The families react, and jurors explain their decision to recommend the death penalty

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 14, 2004 09:00 AM

Ron Grantski, the longtime companion of Laci Peterson’s mother, said “it’s still a nightmare” after Monday’s death verdict for convicted murderer Scott Peterson – and he added that Peterson “got what he deserved.”

“Justice was served,” said Grantski, speaking to reporters outside the courthouse after the jury’s recommendation was heard. “Today, you all think about your families. And enjoy what you have.”

As for the hopes of the Peterson family that Scott’s life might be spared – as Judge Alfred Delucchi could still decide at a scheduled Feb. 25 sentencing hearing – or that there will be an appeal to overturn the conviction, Grantski said: “They had no reason to doubt that it was Scott who did what he did. He got what he deserved.”

But as the condemned man’s mother is quoted as saying in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Scott is still innocent.”

Meanwhile, Scott Peterson’s attorney Mark Geragos declined to take questions at Monday’s press conference, but he said: “Obviously, we’re very disappointed. … Obviously, we plan on pursuing every and all appeals.” Official word of an appeal was confirmed Tuesday by NBC News.

Members of the jury, speaking at a press conference set up at the courthouse Monday and on TV news programs that have covered the case since the pregnant Laci Peterson was first reported missing two years ago, have made it clear that they do not share Jackie Peterson’s and Geragos’s opinion.

As jury foreman Steve Cardosi summed up, Scott Peterson’s fate was sealed early on. “While (police) were looking for his wife and child,” said Cardosi, “he was romancing his girlfriend.”

That friend, massage therapist Amber Frey, was not available for comment Monday, but her lawyer, Gloria Allred, was highly visible. Offering no specifics of Frey’s reaction to the jury’s recommendation, Allred did tell CNN that her client was “highly emotional,” highly respectful of the American judicial system and was praying for the families of Scott and Laci. Allred also revealed that Frey will be shopping a book proposal soon.