Prosecutors may conclude their case in the next two weeks, a source tells PEOPLE

By Frank Swertlow
Updated September 14, 2004 04:00 PM

Prosecutors in the Scott Peterson double-murder trial may rest their case within the next two weeks, a source close to the team tells PEOPLE.

There had been talk that the prosecution could wrap up as soon as next week. A source close to the defense also predicted that prosecutors would end their case shortly, potentially the week of Sept. 27.

Meanwhile, there also has been speculation that Peterson’s lead attorney, Mark Geragos, may let the defense rest without presenting a rebuttal, on the belief that the prosecution has failed to make its case. Geragos declined to comment, but he has said in the past that it is rare that a case gets better after the prosecution rests.

Peterson, 31, is accused of murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner, on Christmas Eve 2002. He has pleaded not guilty.

Most of Tuesday morning’s testimony revolved around evidence and tests conducted by Pin Kyo, a criminalist for the California Criminalistics Institute. She examined duct tape found on Laci’s body, as well as a plastic bag from Target found near the body, articles of clothing and what the prosecution described as “chunks” of concrete from a covering used to protect the fishing boat Peterson that claims to have been on Dec. 24, 2002, the day Laci went missing. No blood stains were found on any of the items.

Kyo also looked for traces of blood on Peterson’s work boots and running shoes, as well as two mops, a bucket, a vacuum cleaner and folding knife, among other items. The tests came back negative.

Chuck Smith, a former San Mateo homicide prosecutor, says the absence of blood means that “the prosecution must try to show that (Laci) was killed in a way that could not produce blood, like suffocating her, strangling her or drowning her.”

In his cross-examination, Geragos battered Kyo’s testimony, arguing that despite all the tests she conducted, the items provided no real evidence.

Former Alameda County prosecutor Michael Cardoza, who has been critical of the prosecution, said the district attorney’s team “keeps digging tunnels and letting the defense drive right through them.” He added, “It’s like watching a bad CSI episode, without the ‘A-ha, gotcha’ at the end,” to describe Kyo’s testimony.