Prosecutors aim to show that anchors could have been used to weigh down Laci's body

By Lyndon Stambler and Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 14, 2004 08:00 AM
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Credit: POOL-Bart Ah You/ZUMA

Prosecutors on Tuesday tried to show that double-murder suspect Scott Peterson made five cement anchors but that only one anchor remained – suggesting that he used the missing cement blocks to weigh down wife Laci Peterson’s body in San Francisco Bay.

Modesto Detective Henry Dodge Hendee, who spent most of Tuesday on the stand, testified that he found a cement-like substance on the wooden bed of a boat trailer when he searched Peterson’s warehouse on Dec. 27, 2002, three days after Laci was reported missing.

Hendee pointed to what he suggested were five circular areas on the boat trailer that had less powder than other areas on the trailer. Also found on the wooden bed of the trailer was a dustpan surrounded by the white powder and a sledgehammer.

The defense plans to counter the impression that Peterson made four additional cement anchors when it cross-examines Hendee on Wednesday.

In another development, the defense is set to argue two motions outside the presence of the jury on Wednesday morning: one to dismiss with prejudice and a motion for a mistrial.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos plans to make a case that the prosecution has violated a number of discovery issues and misstated key pieces of evidence.

Though it’s believed that Judge Alfred A. Delucchi is unlikely to grant the motions, Geragos is establishing a case for a possible appeal should Peterson be convicted.

Peterson, 31, is charged with killing Laci, who was 8 months pregnant, in their Modesto, Calif., home, weighing down her body with homemade concrete anchors and then dumping the body into the bay. He has pleaded not guilty.

On Wednesday morning’s Today show, Court TV reporter Catherine Crier revealed the contents of Scott’s car on the day of his arrest in San Diego, near the Mexican border.

Besides the previously reported $14,000 in cash and a stack of credit cards, Peterson, who had bleached his hair and grown a goatee, was carrying, among other things: 24 packs of sleeping pills, Viagra, nine pairs of shoes, four cell phones, a double-edged knife and a water purifier, which, as Crier noted, should not have been required for the San Diego golfing trip that Peterson claimed he was on.