Scott Peterson lawyer can’t shake juror testimony over trial

Feb 28, 2022, 3:44 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm
Scott Peterson, foreground, sits as his attorney, Pat Harris, walks behind him during a hearing at ...

Scott Peterson, foreground, sits as his attorney, Pat Harris, walks behind him during a hearing at the San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City, Calif., Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. In 2004, Peterson was convicted of the murders of his wife, Laci Peterson, 27, who was eight months pregnant, and of the unborn son they planned to name Conner. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Pool)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Pool)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawyers trying to overturn Scott Peterson’s conviction in the sordid slaying of his pregnant wife 20 years ago completed their questioning Monday without shaking a former juror from her crucial testimony that she acted properly before and during his 2004 trial.

They must first prove to California Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo that juror Richelle Nice lied on her pre-trial jury questionnaire to get on the panel that convicted Peterson of murdering Laci Peterson, 27, and the unborn son they were going to name Conner. The judge then would have to find that Nice was biased against Peterson from the start, tainting his jury and denying him a fair trial.

But Nice swore in testimony Friday and again Monday that, while she may have answered juror questions improperly, she did so truthfully.

Peterson’s attorneys plan to spend the next two days of the weeklong hearing putting on witnesses they say will contradict Nice’s answers.

“When I filled out that questionnaire, honestly and truly, nothing of this ever crossed my mind, ever,” Nice said Monday of her failure to disclose that she had sought a restraining order in 2000 against her then boyfriend’s former girlfriend, saying then that she feared for her own unborn child.

That, Peterson’s attorneys say, colored her view of their client, accused of killing his wife when she was eight months pregnant and dumping her body into San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve 2002.

“I didn’t write it on the questionnaire because it never crossed my mind, ever. It wasn’t done intentionally — it didn’t cross my mind,” Nice swore.

She also disputed any financial motive in the case.

Jurors never discussed jointly writing a book until after the trial and verdict — “Absolutely not,” she swore.

Another juror loaned her $1,000 only after the trial ended — “Way after the trial, maybe even a year.”

She denied selling a series of post-trial letters between herself and Peterson to People magazine.

Nice said she doesn’t recall a fellow juror’s account that when she joined the jury in deliberations she declared that “We should get Scott for what he did to Laci and ‘little man.’ “

“It doesn’t sound like something I would say, but I have no idea,” she said. “I don’t remember this.”

She said to her recollection, the first time she used “little man” to refer to Conner was in her first television interview after the trial.

Peterson’s attorneys argue that she lobbied to get on the jury.

But prosecutors on Monday called that into question with a transcript of the jury selection process showing that the trial judge had dismissed Nice from the jury pool because of financial hardship and she was ready to walk out the door without complaint — until Peterson’s celebrity attorney, Mark Geragos, called her back.

It was only then that she said she could afford to serve during what was expected to be a five-month trial despite being paid by her employer for just two weeks.

Nice said she could afford to go without pay because she was living with her mother and boyfriend, who could help financially.

But Peterson attorney Pat Harris said Friday that they can’t find Nice’s then-boyfriend, who he said told a defense investigator that he was concerned at the time about the financial toll and Nice’s need to care for a sick child. Massullo is weighing whether to allow the investigator to testify instead.

Geragos has said in court papers that had he known of Nice’s personal history he would have immediately bounced her from the jury.

Peterson’s attorneys plan to call to the witness stand three former fellow jurors; a co-author of “We the Jury,” the book written by Nice and six other jurors; and filmmakers who say Nice had on her wall a photograph of a young child in pajamas with printing on the pajamas that said “Little-man.”

They also plan to question a People magazine reporter who wrote a story based on the 17 letters Nice wrote to Peterson after his conviction and the eight letters Peterson wrote to Nice.

Nice became emotional for the only time during the two days of questioning when she said her therapist had suggested that she write to Peterson in the wake of a trial that she said “absolutely” changed her.

She said she asked Peterson about his infidelity in one letter because she was trying to understand “about men in general, why they cheat.”

Peterson was arrested only after his lover came forward to say he had told her his wife was gone a month before her actual disappearance.

Nice testified that her boyfriend at the time was serially unfaithful, which Peterson’s attorneys have suggested biased her against him going into the trial, which she denies.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Firefighters hose down a burning car after a strike hit a residential area, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk ...
Associated Press

Russia taking ‘operational pause’ in Ukraine, analysts say

Analysts say Russia may be taking an "operational pause" in eastern Ukraine to reassemble forces for a significant offensive.
10 hours ago
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2008 file photo, euro coins and dollar bills are seen in Frankfurt, central...
Associated Press

With US dollar nearly equal to euro, impact is being felt

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. dollar has been surging so much that it’s nearly equal in value to the euro for the first time in 20 years. That trend, though, threatens to hurt American companies because their goods become more expensive for foreign buyers. If U.S. exports were to weaken as a result, so, too, […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Turkish health care workers protest mounting violence

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Health care professionals took to the streets in several Turkish cities on Thursday to protest mounting violence against them, a day after a cardiologist was killed by the son of a patient. In Istanbul, police used pepper gas to disperse doctors and other health care workers who tried to march to […]
10 hours ago
FILE - A home with a "Sold" sign is shown, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.  Average long-ter...
Associated Press

Average long-term US mortgage rates retreat this week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased again this week as the Federal Reserve remains likely to raise its benchmark borrowing rate in its ongoing battle to bring down inflation. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate fell to 5.30% from 5.70% last week. One year ago the average 30-year […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Ryan Kelley, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, speaks during a rally on Feb. 8, 2022 out...
Associated Press

Michigan governor hopeful pleads not guilty in Jan. 6 riot

A Republican candidate for Michigan governor pleaded not guilty Thursday for his actions during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when he says he and other supporters of then-President Donald Trump were exercising their free speech rights. Ryan Kelley appeared via video for a brief hearing in federal court, weeks after […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Medicines agency says EU is seeing ‘new wave’ of COVID-19

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A senior official at the European Union medicines agency said Thursday that many nations in the bloc are seeing a new wave of COVID-19, driven by highly-transmissible mutations of the omicron variant. The European Medicines Agency’s Marco Cavaleri told an online briefing that the BA.4 and BA.5 mutations are expected […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Scott Peterson lawyer can’t shake juror testimony over trial