Wednesday is formal sentencing day for convicted double-murderer Scott Peterson, as Judge Alfred A. Delucchi will decide whether to grant the former fertilizer salesman a new trial, sentence him to death or order him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Peterson, 32, was convicted Nov. 12 of two counts of murder in the deaths of his wife Laci and their unborn son Conner. The jury recommended the death penalty a month later.
While Peterson still maintains that he is innocent, his former mistress, Amber Frey, said on Wednesday morning’s Today show: “I’m not sure what he’s convinced himself of, honestly.”
Because Frey’s memoir of her relationship with Peterson (Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson) is currently a bestseller, Peterson attorney Mark Geragos claims that Frey’s damning testimony during the trial was colored by her desire to sell her book.
Frey’s attorney Gloria Allred denied Geragos’s claim on the Today show, saying that when Amber testified she did not have it in mind to write a book. Asked when Frey did contemplate a book, Allred told Today host Matt Lauer: “We’ll discuss that at trial.” (That is, if Peterson is to receive a new trial.)
Frey said she would not appear in court Wednesday to hear Peterson’s sentence. Allred said she (Allred) will be there.
In court papers unsealed Monday, reports the Associated Press, Peterson’s lawyers requested a new trial on Feb. 25. Geragos said prosecutors withheld evidence that a state prison inmate claimed he heard that Laci had interrupted a burglary at a neighbor’s home in Modesto on Dec. 24, 2002, the day she disappeared.
Scott claims he went fishing that day, and Geragos says the tip “points to the conclusion that Laci was alive after Scott left for the day.”
Prosecutor David Harris, however, says that the burglary happened two days after Laci’s disappearance. He said the evidence would not have changed the verdict.