Scott Peterson will face a new sentencing trial for the 2002 killing his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner

By Steve Helling
August 25, 2020 03:12 PM
Laci Peterson, Scott Peterson
ZUMA Press

The sister of Scott Peterson is speaking out -- and saying that her infamous brother is "exactly where he should be" after his death sentence was overturned.

In an interview on Today, Anne Bird said she agrees with the court's decision to overturn his death sentence after he was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the 2002 death of his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son, Conner.

"I'm against the death penalty, but I do think he's exactly where he should be," Bird told reporter Miguel Almaguer on Tuesday morning. "I lost my sister-in-law Laci and my unborn nephew Connor, and I believe he should remain in prison for the rest of his life without parole."

Peterson had been on California's death row since 2005, until Monday, when the California Supreme Court reversed Peterson's death penalty conviction and ordered a new sentencing trial for him.

The court decision did not overturn the murder conviction and allows the prosecutors to try again for the death penalty in the high-profile case.

In its ruling, the court said Peterson's guilty verdict will stay in place.

"Peterson contends his trial was flawed for multiple reasons, beginning with the unusual amount of pretrial publicity that surrounded the case," the court said in its ruling. "We reject Peterson’s claim that he received an unfair trial as to guilt and thus affirm his convictions for murder."

But the court went on to say that the trial judge "made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection that, under long-standing United States Supreme Court precedent, undermined Peterson’s right to an impartial jury at the penalty phase."

Scott Peterson

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Laci Peterson was eight months pregnant when she disappeared from her Modesto home on Christmas Eve day of 2002. Her body was found in April 2003 in San Francisco Bay. Peterson claimed that Laci was killed as she walked the couple’s dog after Peterson left to go on a solo fishing trip on Christmas Eve morning.

But as the case moved forward, jurors heard about Peterson's dark secrets, including a months-long affair with a woman named Amber Frey, who was unaware that Peterson was married when she started dating him.

Frey later worked with prosecutors, taping damning phone calls with Peterson. During trial, she testified for several days about her relationship with Peterson, her realization that he was still married and that his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, had vanished. Frey first called police in Modesto, California, in late December 2002 to disclose the affair.

Frey's testimony proved crucial in the court proceedings. Peterson was convicted by a Redwood City jury in 2004 and in 2005 was sentenced to death. He has remained on death row while his appeal worked its way through the courts.

The case has baffled Bird, who wondered how her brother could be capable of his crimes.

"You know, it was too hard for me to comprehend that someone who is as courteous, as kind as he is, would kill his wife and unborn child," Bird said. "It is just something that is so incomprehensible."