Family of Murdered, Pregnant Laci Peterson Confront Killer Scott at Resentencing: 'Outrage Has Grown'

In a contentious court hearing, the family of Laci Peterson addressed Scott Peterson about the murder of his pregnant wife, Laci

Photo: Al Golub-POOL/Getty

When Scott Peterson had his day in court on Wednesday, the family of his slain wife, Laci, had a lot to say to him.

"For 19 years, their outrage has just grown and grown," a friend close to Laci's family tells PEOPLE. "And it was time to let it out. The hearing was like releasing some pressure that has been building up for a very long time. They got to look Scott in the eyes and tell him what they really thought of him — not that it was a surprise to him."

Peterson, now 49, was convicted in 2005 of two counts of first-degree murder of Laci and their unborn son, Conner. He was sentenced to death row, where he remained for years.

But in court on Wednesday, Peterson was resentenced to life in prison. During the hour-long hearing, Laci's family confronted him about his actions.

"Nineteen years, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my sister," said Amy Rocha. Added her brother, Brent Rocha: "There are no words able to express the pain associated with not being able to experience life together."

The most pointed words came from Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha. Addressing Peterson directly, she angrily confronted him about her daughter's death.

"You betrayed her, your son and everyone else," Sharon Rocha said. "You ended two beautiful souls."

Rocha recounted having dinner with Laci and Scott just days before she was killed. She said she was sitting on a couch, touching Laci's belly to try to feel the baby kick. "Scott doesn't want to do that," Sharon quoted Laci as saying. "He doesn't want to feel the baby move. But he'll come around someday."

Family photo via The Modesto Bee/AP.

"All the while we were there that evening you were already planning her murder," Sharon said to Peterson. "That evening was the last time I saw my daughter alive."

"Two things will never change," she told Peterson. "Laci and Connor will always be dead and you will always be their murderer."

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The family friend tells PEOPLE that the Rochas chose their words carefully — and they spent a long time planning what they were going to say, including giving each other tips about how to best articulate their feelings.

Now, the family is "exhausted," says the friend, and they're spending time together.

"Every year, they commemorate Laci and Conner during December, so they'll keep doing that this month," she says. "In many ways, they believe that what they did today was the most significant commemoration they could possibly have done."

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