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Panel Discusses Developments in Laci Peterson Case

Aired May 9, 2003 - 21:00   ET


MARK GERAGOS, SCOTT PETERSON DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We know that there are people out there, and specifically, there's one particular young lady out there who we believe has some very important information.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: Who is that mystery woman that Scott Peterson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, is looking for? Could she point the finger at another suspect in the murder of Scott's wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Connor?

With us to go over that and the rest of today's news in this case, Ted Rowlands of KTVU, covering the story since it broke last Christmas Eve, Court TV's Nancy Grace, a former prosecutor, defense attorney Chris Pixley, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, assistant district attorney from San Francisco, and defense attorney Jan Ronis. And they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Let's start with Ted Rowlands. I know you spoke to Mark Geragos recently. What do you make of this other suspect story?

TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV: Well, everybody went to Modesto to see what happened today, and exactly what everybody thought would happen did happen. Inside the courtroom, really nothing. The judge ruled to seal some warrants. And outside the court, Mr. Geragos came up with a doozy, saying that they have evidence, or at least potential evidence, that there may be someone else out there and specifically mentioning this young woman. He wouldn't go any further, saying that it would jeopardize the case and it could gag him. So he went right over to the edge, and then he pulled back without giving any more information. But sure made rumbles in Modesto this morning.

KING: Kimberly, what do you make of it, as a prosecutor?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SF: Well, I think it's very interesting. And Geragos is impressing me every day with how he's handling this because he always comes up with something new. Maybe it is someone that can corroborate Scott's alibi. Maybe it's someone that can state that they saw Laci at a certain time that would, you know, validate his story.

KING: Does it affect prospective jurors? NEWSOM: I think it does affect prospective jurors because it's more statements that then to show that, hey, maybe everything isn't as it appears to be. There's a lot more to this case, and we'll find out.

KING: Chris Pixley, what do you think?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it may be an explanation for why this defense team has been so excited about all of the evidence almost from the day that they got on the case. It's just a week old now. Skeptics are going to say this is grandstanding, that this is just an effort to take public attention away from Scott Peterson.

But remember, the skeptics are going to have to deal with the fact that this jury, this potential jury in the future, is going to remember all of the statements that Mark Geragos has made. And everybody on this panel knows from a lot of trial experience that if you make promises to a jury early on in a case, or in a public case like this, if you make promises early on and you don't come through on them, that the jury's going to make you pay for it. So I think it's an interesting, almost a shocking announcement, but I don't think that it's just grandstanding.

KING: Nancy, Mark Geragos says that he's got a team of private investigators working on this. What do you make of all this?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I'm sure that he does have a team of private investigators working the case. He should, and that is very normal. As to Mark Geragos saying that there is an unidentified, unknown, vague and ambiguous woman out there somewhere that has information to help the defense -- I've got to tell you, I find it to be so vague, so amorphous as to not be genuine.

If you'll recall, Larry, when the state wanted information about Scott Peterson's truck and his boat on that specific date, at that specific time, in that area, they made it clear what they wanted. I think this is simply Mark, wisely, going on the offense and trying to shift gears, taking focus off his client and onto some mystery woman that may or may not exist. And if she does exist, it could simply be someone that claims they saw Laci that morning. It could be anything.

KING: Jan Ronis?

JAN RONIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I don't agree with Nancy. The prosecution has been selectively leaking out little bits of information here and there for the last five or six months which have really prejudiced Scott Peterson in the eyes of probably the general American public. And Mark Geragos is a very smart man. He's very experienced. I would be hard pressed to think that he would throw something out there that he's not going to back up at a later time. So I'm excited by this, as well.

KING: Now, what do they -- what's the grand jury story, Ted? And I want our lawyers to discuss it. What did they -- what did he deny, what did he allow, the judge? ROWLANDS: Well, basically, the -- Mark came into court today and said that he was worried that they may use a grand jury in this case. And he argued that any potential grand jury would be the same as a potential jury and that they should be able to move this trial right away. The judge pretty much shot him down on that, although we understand that they are going to file a motion to support a change of venue fairly soon here. But then Mark used that sort of as his in to mention this other woman, saying that if -- All right, if they bring in a grand jury, that we're going to have some folks that we want the grand jury to see, too, including some people that we believe will change the focus and prove that somebody else is responsible, or at least paint the picture that someone else may be responsible for Laci and Conner's death.

KING: Kimberly, if he's already arrested and charged, what do you need a grand jury for?

NEWSOM: Well, a grand jury is a tremendous advantage and vehicle for the prosecution in this case.

KING: To further indict?

NEWSOM: Well, no. I mean, he -- but he hasn't been indicted yet. I mean, the bottom line is...

KING: Well, he's been charged and he's been arrested and...

NEWSOM: Right. Instead of going by way of preliminary hearing, in California, you have the option of going by way of the indictment and bringing the case through information to the superior court. And that was started out. The defense can't present witnesses. They can suggest. but it's up to the grand jury to decide who they want to hear from. And it's going to tie Geragos's hands behind his back.

KING: Will there be a grand jury?

NEWSOM: Hey, I think it is a good idea for the prosecution in this case.

KING: Chris, what do you make of it?

PIXLEY: Well, I agree with Kimberly. It is a good idea for the prosecution to have a grand jury in this case. It's really a matter of perception, Larry. Whether a judge has the preliminary hearing and makes the decision that the case can be bound over to trial, or a grand jury hears the case and finds that there's probable cause to indict, it's all the same thing. But from the public's standpoint, the perception generally is that a grand jury indictment means something. It means that this guy must be guilty. When we hear that a judge has had a preliminary hearing and bound the case over to trial, it typically doesn't really have that same weight with the public.

So for the prosecution to ask for a grand jury, for Mark to try to get around that, it's all to be expected. Ultimately, the defense doesn't have much of a say in it, though. KING: Nancy Grace, what's your take on this argument?

GRACE: Well, Larry, I've presented many, many cases, including murder cases, to grand juries. It's a group of citizens taken normally from voter registration, picked at random, that come in. It's usually 26 to 35 people from the community that hear evidence. We heard Mark Geragos say today that he wanted to have questions put before the grand jury, as well. I think the local prosecutors will do that. And what happens at the end of a grand jury presentation is the jury will hand down an indictment, which is simply a formal charge. That charge, which we expect here to be double murder, will then be taken to a petite (ph) jury, which is a jury of 12, to render a decision, a verdict that speaks the truth as to guilt or innocence.

KING: Is it true, Jan, that some say that a prosecutor could indict -- a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich?

RONIS: Well, I've never seen a presentation for a grand jury in which they didn't return, at least in California, an indictment.

KING: What the prosecutor wanted.

RONIS: But -- right. He'll be severely disadvantaged if, in fact, they do present this to a grand jury because he'll lose...

GRACE: Hold on!

RONIS: ... the opportunity -- he'll lose the opportunity to examine the witnesses, to test their credibility, to see what the weaknesses in the case are. So it's...

GRACE: Wait a minute!

RONIS: It's something that's likely to happen.

KING: Nancy, let him finish...

GRACE: That's not always true!

KING: ... and then go.

GRACE: That's not always true because I believe, in Kim's case, with the dog-mauling that Kim worked on, the grand jury actually handed back something the prosecution didn't expect when they indicted. They indicted on a higher charge. So you cannot control 30 people who vote in secret the way that Jan Ronis is suggesting!

RONIS: Right, but that higher charge, Nancy, certainly didn't inure to the benefit of the defendants in that case. In fact, they exceeded what the prosecution had requested.


RONIS: The grand jury is no friend of criminal defendants that are accused of serious crimes. KING: All right, let me -- let me get a break and come back. Lots more to talk about. Your phone calls, as well, will be included on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Nick Nolte tomorrow night on LARRY KING WEEKEND. Don't go away.


GERAGOS: We know that there are people out there, and specifically, there's one particular young lady out there who we believe has some very important information. We're asking, and we will protect her anonymity, that she contact my office. We will do everything possible to keep you out of this.




JOHN GOOLD, CHIEF DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: A change of venue motion is something that will certainly be addressed when it's brought. Change of venue tends to affect the trial. So I wouldn't expect a change of venue motion to become any before we're in superior court on an information. This is the beginning stages of a criminal case, so all that's been filed is a criminal complaint. Typically, you don't file a change of venue motion until you're in a trial status.


KING: Chris Pixley, what does a defense attorney do when you have the latest issue of the "National Enquirer" reporting that the police have a top secret witness who can place Scott with Laci's body shortly after her death? They also claim police have a pliers allegedly with strands of Laci's hair, found underneath the seat in the boat. None of this may or may not be true. What's the effect on the defense?

PIXLEY: Well, it hurts right now, Larry, because one of the things that we've been saying from the top of this investigation is, Look, the prosecution doesn't have a witness. They don't have a murder weapon. They don't have the cause of death. And they don't really have a motive. Yes, they've got the Amber motive that we've talked about here, but that's got some holes in it.

So to come up with a witness, to come up potentially with a murder weapon, these are the damning types of pieces of evidence that, you know, Nancy has talked about in earlier shows. If they amount to something, they could be a real problem for the defense. But right now, publicly, the defense wants to be putting out their case and reminding the world that this isn't evidence, it's not out there right now.

KING: Kimberly, does the prosecutor like this when things like the "National Enquirer" reports or they run pictures of him and his girlfriend? Is that good for the prosecution. NEWSOM: Yes, the Santa baby photo...

KING: Yes.

NEWSOM: ... Scott with Amber.

KING: I mean, does the prosecution, frankly, like that, if you were the...

NEWSOM: Well, I mean, I don't think it's fair to say that they like it. I don't think they mind it, per se. But again, I think they want to control their case, and when the media starts taking it over and the "Enquirer" is the one breaking news on evidence, then they've got a problem.

KING: But if the news is helpful, how does it feel?

GRACE: Yes, it's not bad, put it that way. I mean, in terms of public perception, it just shows more evidence to suggest -- again, nothing -- we don't know facts yet -- that Scott is the one responsible.

KING: How does the defense fight something like that?

RONIS: First of all, he will likely go in at some point -- and this may work against him -- and ask for a gag order. It may get to the point where he needs to ask for a gag order because the press is just running, you know, wild.

KING: You're you can't gag the "Enquirer."

RONIS: Well, no, you can't gag the "Enquirer," but who knows where they're getting this information from. I mean, like I said earlier, I suspect that the police have selectively leaked out small bits of information, whether true or untrue, for the last several months, which have really prejudiced Mr. Peterson.

KING: Nancy does this not help the prosecution?

GRACE: Well, if we can learn a lesson from history, it damaged the O.J. prosecution immensely because once those witnesses who are responsible for those statements, such as a trucker witness, as you pointed out, Larry, mentioned in the "Enquirer," seeing Scott out at the marina at 3:30 AM on the 24th -- say that witness is used at trial. Then the defense will have a field day -- and Jan Ronis and Chris Pixley will back me up on this -- asking them, Were you paid for the statement you gave the "Enquirer"? Wasn't that why you really said that?

Now, in that case, that particular instance, that may not help the defense because that particular witness did go to police, according to sources, first. But it can come back and hit you like a boomerang in the courtroom if your witnesses are taking money from magazines.

KING: Yes. Ted Rowlands, is there a lot of leaking going on? ROWLANDS: Here and there. It's very -- you know, I'm there every day, and I'm working to get every leak I can, and they trickle out. And the `Enquirer" -- they pick them up and print them right away. Everybody else holds onto them, and when you can verify things, you report them. But it does seem to be selective leaking, first from the prosecution side, and now we're starting to get some leaks from the other side that I think you're going to see more and more of in the coming weeks. Keep in mind there's two investigations that have been going on basically from the beginning because the first lawyer, Mr. McAllister, started his own investigation, and we're starting to get an idea of what he turned up in his. And I think you're going to see a lot of that coming out in the days to come.

KING: Kimberly, "The Modesto Bee" reports today that investigators used a search warrant to take a sample of Scott's hair and a full-body photograph a week after he was arrested. What could that mean?

NEWSOM: I think that's actually really good news for the prosecution, and to say that there's evidence to tie him to the crime scene, maybe to the boat, to the kitchen, specifically, maybe something mixed in with blood evidence. We're still waiting for those results, the serology results, to see what evidence we can tie him with.

KING: Chris, if this were Great Britain, we couldn't be doing this program and nobody could report any of this. Is that a good idea?

PIXLEY: Well, whether it's a good idea or not, Larry, we know -- and I'm going to disagree with what Kimberly and Nancy have said about the problem with the trucker's information and these other witnesses getting out. We know that the prosecution in this case is using the press. And I agree with Jan. These leaks have been coming out consistently over a period of time.

I think that it would be better for the defense in this case if the case were not tried in the media. To the extent that it is being tried in the media, Kimberly's own boss today coming out and saying that Mark Geragos sounded like the Iraqi information minister in saying that there's some woman out there that knows something about the case -- to the extent it is being tried, Larry -- I've made the point before -- the defense has to get out there and make their case known.

KING: Nancy, wouldn't -- isn't the defense up against it?

GRACE: Well, yes, the defense is up against it. It sounds like the state's got a good case, from what we can tell right now. But we keep talking about the state leaking evidence. Hold on! Wait a minute! Does anybody remember the hour-plus interview Scott Peterson did with Diane Sawyer and then several on his own local stations? There's where a lot of leaks came, in an open interview in which he lied! There's no two ways about it! So the defense is using the press, as well, specifically, Scott Peterson and his parents. PIXLEY: Nancy, the district attorney in Stanislaus County followed up by going on the John Walsh show within a week of the arrest and saying, We're going to the death penalty. So nobody's above reproach.

GRACE: But they are going for the death penalty! He wasn't lying. Scott Peterson was.

PIXLEY: And these leaks -- all of the leaks, all of the information that we know, including the new report in the "National Enquirer," where do those come from?

GRACE: Leaks, shmeaks!

PIXLEY: Would you suggest that they come from the defense?

GRACE: It all depends on what goes to a jury. We can leak all we want to, we can kick it around all night until we're blue in the face! All that matters is the 12 in the box here. That's it!

PIXLEY: That's true, Nancy, but you've got to...

KING: And as long as they don't hear it here.

RONIS: And Nancy, you're saying Scott -- you're saying Scott lied because he went on the air and said he didn't do it. And you think he did it...

GRACE: No, that's not...

RONIS: ... and therefore, you think he's a liar.

GRACE: No! No! That's not why I said that! He told Diane Sawyer, and looked right at the camera and said, I went immediately to police the day Laci went missing and told them all about Amber. The BS-o-meter went off the charts! Police did not know about Amber Frey until she saw his picture, Laci missing, and she called police and that's when the phone tapping started!

KING: OK, let me -- I got to get a -- got to get a break, guys. We'll be right back. We're going to include your phone calls momentarily. Don't go away.



GOOLD: We've asked, at this point, that the documents be sealed. We think the information at the moment is sensitive and that it should remain under seal, certainly while things are proceeding. At some point, I imagine, the documents will be unsealed. We're just asking them to stay sealed at this point.


KING: Something the prosecution and defense are in agreement on. We'll go to your calls momentarily. A couple of quick things, though.

Nancy, you wanted to say something about the warrants?

GRACE: Right. That warrant was executed in the Stanislaus County jail April 25, and not only was for Scott's hair, but it was also for a full-body photo. Now, thinking legally here, we know that there was already a warrant for his person for DNA and hair pre- arrest. What does this mean to me, legally? It means that evidence of flight will come in, in front of this jury. They've already had his hair before he was arrested. Why take more hair now? To show that he had dyed his hair and was changing his appearance. That's what I'm deducing from this recent warrant.

KING: Ted Rowlands, are they going to -- are they still searching the bay for evidence?

ROWLANDS: Yes. They say that they'll be out here until further notice. They don't tell us when they're going to be or where they're exactly going, but they say they have a lot of work to go in this investigation. And it's presumed that they'll keep searching in the bay until they can find more evidence, more potential evidence, if that comes through. But you know, in the time that they were up here, it took them three months and they never actually found Laci and Conner. They -- Laci and Conner found them by washing up. So whether or not they'll be able to locate anything remains to be seen.

KING: Let's go to phone calls. Dalton, Pennsylvania. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. You're awesome. You are awesome! My question is, if a jury couldn't convict O.J. with blood and circumstantial evidence, why would the DA bother to indict Scott Peterson with even less evidence?

GRACE: Well, number one, we don't know that there's less evidence. From what I understand, the police still have 9,000 leads to follow up on. Some of those could be about Scott Peterson. And we know Geragos himself has stated that there are 3,000 to 4,000 documents in the state's packet of proof. So there may be as much or more evidence in this case. But you know what? As a prosecutor in the past, I've seen other people get not guilty verdicts. And if you don't go forward with what you think is justice, you might as well retire and go home and watch TV, OK? It's all over the day you don't bring in an indictment that you think is necessary!

KING: Initially, Jan, though this looked like a slam dunk. Somehow, that's veered off a little.

RONIS: Well, I think you're right. I mean, the slam dunk has kind of been misquoted. But I don't think it's a slam dunk because they didn't arrest him until such time as they found the body. And I think if this body had been found, say, a block from the house or three miles from the house, he probably still wouldn't have been arrested. I think that was the one telling point which gave them what they thought sufficient information to arrest them.

KING: Chantilly, Virginia. Hello. CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: I want to ask Jan a question. Well, Larry, I watch your show almost every night.

KING: Thank you. What's your question?

CALLER: And I'm interested in this case, and originally, it seemed like Mark didn't really seem to be behind Scott until he was retained. So I'm guessing maybe he knows something that we don't about the case. But I guess what's concerning me here is that it just seems that like the rich guy who's going to go out and get somebody brilliant like Mark Geragos is all of a sudden getting all this wonderful counsel. All of a sudden, he's not in the orange jumpsuit and...

KING: Well, can you buy justice? I guess that's what she's saying in a roundabout way.

RONIS: Well, it's kind of the history of the world that money certainly eases you through life. There's no evidence that Scott's family is a wealthy family. The fact that Mark Geragos may have said some things about this case before he knew more of the facts is not unusual. And I can assure you that Mark does know more about the facts in the case than any of us, except perhaps Scott Peterson. So the fact that he changed his tune a little bit isn't surprising.

KING: Does this look strong to you, Kimberly, from a prosecutor's standpoint, just from what you know peripherally?


KING: Yes. Does it look...

NEWSOM: Not as strong as the O.J. Simpson case. I mean, I think this case -- so far, there is some evidence. There's a lot that we don't know. But Nancy's right. You have to proceed forward. If the prosecution believes in good conscience that Scott Peterson is the person responsible, you proceed and let it be determined by the jury.

PIXLEY: And Larry, I can if I can break in...

KING: Yes, Chris?

PIXLEY: ... I think there's another practical reason why the prosecution has to go forward. The prosecutor in Stanislaus County does not want to be perceived as the prosecution was in Boulder, Colorado, in the JonBenet Ramsey case. When you have a case that receives this much national attention, you have to proceed forward. I mean, this -- I think the entire panel would have to agree, based on the evidence as we know it now, what's been released, this is not a good case. It is lacking so much. So the only reason that we're really going forward with such a full head of steam behind the prosecution is because they're up against it. KING: Keyport, New Jersey. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.


CALLER: I have to say I love Nancy Grace, and I wish she would join the prosecution team.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is -- I own a 17-foot boat, and we basically have to pick and choose the days we go out on this boat, knowing the tide, the weather, the wind. Now, was his fishing equipment ever checked that it was really used on that day? I mean, there's a way for bait, for water...

KING: Well, what do we know?

CLINTON: Was that ever...

KING: What do we know? Nancy, what do we know?

GRACE: We do know that the boat has been tested and that it has been positive for salt water. We also know -- Larry King, right here on your show, we asked Laci's family and some of Scott's family, as I recall, right after Laci went missing, did they know about the boat. Nobody knew about the boat! Interesting it was kept at his warehouse, away from his home. Could this have been the virgin voyage of the boat that day?

KING: She's asking do you know if it was used for fishing?

GRACE: Yes. Yes.

KING: It was used for...

GRACE: It had salt water on it. It was a 14-foot boat. And interestingly, a recent development, if it is true, is that this trucker who claims he saw the boat at 3:30 AM on the 24th, which would blow Peterson's alibi to hell and back...

KING: If true.

GRACE: ... gave the name -- if true -- gave the of the boat! And if you'll recall, Larry, that was not released to the media. That name, Gamefisher. Interesting!

KING: A lot of things that we know maybe are not true, right? I mean, we could learn a lot that is leaked that may turn out -- as Nancy pointed out before, it's got to be turned up in court and it's got to be evidence.

RONIS: Absolutely. And that's the problem with this case. I suspect that 99 percent of that which we hear is just based upon rumor and isn't based upon the facts of this case. And that's the problem in these kinds of situations. The public hears all these things, which they take as gospel, they take as facts. The fact of the matter is, this man is presumed innocent. He's entitled to a fair trial. And he's entitled to be confronted with the facts, not the rumors on the street.

KING: The next call is from Luxembourg. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello. I'd like to know, will they use Amber as a witness against this guy, Scott Peterson?

KING: Kimberly, there's Luxembourg interested in this case. Will Amber be a witness?

NEWSOM: Yes, definitely. Yes, if I were trying this case, I would have Amber front and center.

KING: All she can testify to is an affair, though, right?

NEWSOM: She can testify to affair. She can testify to any of the statements, some of those recorded phone conversations that were made at the behest of the police department, where he's admitting things to her and lying, just like he lied to Laci.

KING: We'll take a break and come back with more calls, reintroduce the panel. Don't go away.


GERAGOS: The last thing I want to do is get gagged in this case. I will -- and under the rules of professional conduct, I can comment and I can ask for assistance. And that's what I'm doing here, is I'm asking for assistance. We've reviewed the evidence. We believe that there are significant areas that we're following up on, as we speak. We're going to continue to do that. Before the 27th, hopefully, some of these people will come forward to the office. And we'll allow them to talk to our private detectives, and we will follow up on all of these.


KING: By the way, there's a bill that's going to be introduced on Capitol Hill to make the killing of a pregnant woman a federal crime.

Let's reintroduce the panel and back to the calls.

Ted Rowlands of KTVU-TV -- he's been covering the Laci Peterson case from the get-go.

In New York, our own Nancy Grace, the anchor "Trial Heat" on Court TV and a former prosecutor.

In Atlanta is Chris Pixley.

In Los Angeles is Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, assistant district attorney from San Francisco. And also in L.A. is Jan Ronis, defense attorney, who, by the way, has worked 230 jury trials, several of them murder cases.

Back to the calls. Sedona, Arizona, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I have a question for the panel. Why didn't Scott Peterson cooperate with the police when Laci first went missing? He seemed more interested in avoiding than -- excuse me -- cooperating, and as my husband says, if it was me he would do everything possible to help find me.

KING: Chris, do we know that for a fact that he did not.

PIXLEY: No, Larry. In fact, that's the interesting point here. You know, this goes to what Jan was saying earlier -- that so much of what's out in the press is misinformation right now or partial information.

What we do know is that the police said during the investigation, early in January, that Scott Peterson was cooperating, that he could cooperate more, but that he was cooperating. And then after he was arrested, they came out and said something different. They said "Listen, the guy never really cooperated with us."

So that says that we may not be able to trust the police statements about this.

GRACE: That's is so not what happened. This is so not what happened.

PIXLEY: That's entirely what happened.

GRACE: Police begged all along for him to be more cooperative. They had to get a warrant -- a warrant -- within the week after Laci went missing to come into his home. He would not allow police to come into his home to look for evidence.

Not only the police, but Laci's family publicly begged him to, quote, end the circus and cooperate with police. Are you saying Laci's family is lying, too? .

PIXLEY: Nancy, I'm saying in mid-January, the police were asked the question point-blank, and they said yes, he's cooperating. He could cooperate more, but he's cooperating with us.

GRACE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) were their words -- which I have right here. They said he's not fully cooperating.

KING: Ted Rowlands, do you have the answer.

ROWLANDS: Well, I can tell you that Nancy's right in that they had to get a search warrant right off the bat. When you talk to the folks on the defense side, they say it's because Scott was put off by the way that the police were treating him. And the Peterson family acknowledges that they did hire a lawyer, Kirk McAllister, right away, and at least a couple of members of that family in some part think that that may have sent the wrong message and that it got twisted a little bit.

But did he cooperate? He sure didn't cooperate in full, and I think that statement that the police made early in January was really a cryptic one to say this guy's not cooperating, and that's the way a lot of folks took it.

KING: Ogden, Utah, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry.


CALLER: I have three questions for Ted Rowlands.


CALLER: OK, Ted, did anyone find any prints of any kind on the dog leash -- on the finished side of that dog leash. If so, did they match anybody?

ROWLANDS: That something that I haven't heard. The only thing we about that leash was that there was mud on it, but nothing about fingerprints.

KING: Second question.

CALLER: The blood found in the kitchen in the Peterson home -- did that match anyone's involved? .

ROWLANDS: I don't know that there was blood found in the home of the Petersons.

KING: There's the classic example.

There were reports, Kimberly, that blood was found, but who reported it? Who said there was blood?

NEWSOM: Right, I mean there is all the information being disseminated. No one can verify anything. But, they have, however, taken evidence to be analyzed and serrology, so that's probably the blood evidence and maybe that is true, but we'll fine out soon enough.

KING: The important thing is we don't know.

NEWSOM: We don't know know.


Peoria, Arizona, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Hello. KING: Hi.

CALLER: My question is for Nancy Grace.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Nancy, I just want to tell you that I think you're wonderful. You're doing a wonderful job.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is -- does anyone know where Scott Peterson got that $10,000 that they found on him?

GRACE: Well, you know, there have been a lot of rumors circulating about that. We do not he sold his membership to his country club for $25,000. It could have come from there.


KING: Yes.

ROWLANDS: According to the Peterson family, that $10,000 was part of a bank transfer of funds that the family all knew about, and Scott was just in the process of doing. That's the story they're saying.

KING: Forgive me for being an innocent. But, Jan, why is it germane if he had money.

RONIS: Well, there's some theory that he is a flight risk. He changed the color of his hair, which to me is understandable. Here's one of the most scandalous guys in the American public right now so he's got to at least be able to go into the store and be innocuous. And $10,000 is really a minimal amount of money. If you're going to go on the lamb, you ain't going to do it with $10,000.

KING: Reno, Nevada. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: My question is for Nancy. I would like to know if she heard anything about when Scott was in college. I heard that he had a girlfriend that was murdered?

GRACE: Yes. I heard about that.

CALLER: Do you know anything about that?

GRACE: I do. I do, ma'am. There was a woman that was murdered, a college student, and his name came up because he was in school at the same time. He was sent a request -- a form -- to come in and speak to authorities. He didn't do it. It was not his girlfriend, and police have cleared him of that. So he's not involved in that prior disappearance.

But one thing Jan Ronis said $10,000 cash may be walking-around money for you, Jan Ronis. But for me and my family, where I come from, $10,000 cash in your back pocket with a false I.D. and your hair dyed means something. We'll leave that up to a jury.

RONIS: Well, you come from Georgia.

GRACE: That's right. I do.

KING: That may never get to a jury, right, Nancy?

GRACE: Well, you know, Larry ...

KING: You said we'll leave it to a jury. That may not be germane to a jury.

GRACE: Well, actually, the circumstances of arrest are normally allowed into that jury.

When Mark Geragos and I were still arguing on your show, he kept swearing up and down that it can be kept out, but I think Kimberly agrees with me that circumstances of arrest will come in. And we see from this recent warrant, where they wanted to get just a little clip of that bleach blond hair, I think that that will come into court.

KING: Do you think the $10,000 will come into court?

NEWSOM: Oh, I think it can. There is the attendant circumstances surrounding the arrest. Nancy is absolutely right.

Mark was convinced it's not coming in. I'm convinced that it's got a very good chance of coming in. And again, this is a guy who says he fell into a swimming pool swimming and that's why his hair was discolored. So it's going to be interesting.

KING: Back with more and more phone calls on this edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." Don't go away.


KING: We're back with our panel. Modesto, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, thanks for taking my call.


CALLER: My question...

KING: Speak up.

CALLER: for Nancy Grace.

KING: Go ahead, .

CALLER: And Nancy, first of all, I just want to let you know that I admire how well prepared you are for each show...

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: ....and your attention to detail and what you bring to the viewers.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is does the media or some one like yourself have access to court documents that are filed because on Monday, April 21, Chris Matthews asked Geoffrey Feiger if he had heard anything about Scott Peterson pleading innocent to knowledge of his wife's pregnancy. Have you come across anything like that in the court documents that you've studied in preparing for your appearances for this case?

GRACE: No. No. Not in that. It is kind of -- you've got a mutt there. He did plead innocent, but he basically formally not guilty in court. Feiger was right about that much. But knowledge of your wife's pregnancy is not a felony offense yet so he did not plead innocent or not guilty to that.

And Larry, one thing I wanted to bring up regarding that Kristen Smart, the 19-year-old that went missing and was murdered at Cal Poly in 1996 -- see, that is one of the things that everyone called a rumor at the time it got out and it was immediately corrected. So all of these facts and tidbits we are learning are not necessarily untrue.

KING: Yes. But it was got out -- it also got out that he was one of those being possibly questioned and that he was possibly -- that he was a suspect, but he was not a suspect.

GRACE: They did try to question him, but he didn't show up. But he was never a suspect. You're right about that.

KING: Jamison, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Nancy, this is your night. I love you, too. I think you're the greatest.

GRACE: Thank you, friend.

CALLER: I wanted to know if anybody on the panel had any information if Laci confided in her gynecologist and maybe had some testing done to see if she had any transmitted diseases from Scott that would damage herself or the baby.

KING: Would that ever come in, Chris?

PIXLEY: I don't see why it would come in, Larry. It's -- you know, again, we're talking about evidence that tends to prove or disprove a disputed fact.

A disputed fact is whether or not Scott Peterson is responsible for the disappearance and death of Laci Peterson. So first of all, I don't know anything about that. I don't know of any evidence of that kind. But I can't see it coming in.

KING: To Philadelphia, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes, speak up, I'm getting an awful lot of background noise. Philadelphia, go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, I have a statement and a question for Nancy.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: The statement is with Mark making that announcement today about the woman, the mystery woman -- did O.J. ever find the real killers of Nicole or is he still looking?

And my question for Nancy is my understanding is that in order for someone to be arrested and jailed before their trial, does the police not have to have a substantial amount of evidence before they arrest a suspect?

KING: Before Nancy answers, caller, that would mean everybody arrested guilty, right?

CALLER: Not guilty, but substantially suspected with good burden of evidence because otherwise they could arrest everyone who said, I saw -- my neighbor saw him do it.

KING: Does it have to be substantial, Nancy?

GRACE: There's got to be enough evidence that you take to a judge to get a search warrant, or in this case an arrest warrant. So it's not just the police grabbing things out of thin air. An impartial magistrate rate goes along with a lot of these warrants.


GRACE: That's not what the viewer asked. She said does there have to be substantial evidence for an arrest. In a murder case where the state is seeking a death penalty, I would say there's substantial evidence for an arrest. I don't think even the defense attorneys on the panel tonight would disagree with that.

RONIS: The standard isn't any different for a petty theft arrest than it would for the arrest of a capital crime. The law in the state of California is that you have to probable cause and that isn't substantial evidence.

GRACE: Jan, both you and I have tried lots of murder cases and you know darn well as a practical matter -- do not mislead the viewer, that when police are making an arrest in a case like this with a double homicide on the line, we're looking at a death penalty, they're going to make darn sure they've crossed their T's and dotted their I's and they had probable cause to arrest.

RONIS: And that's exactly what I said. Only probable cause. That doesn't mean substantial evidence and I don't want the jury to think that just because somebody's charged, that's not evidence. That only means that they met the standard at least for the arrest and nothing more.

KING: Rockford, Illinois, hello.

CALLER: What is it about a murder case...

KING: I can't hear you.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: What is it a murder case such as this that causes it to draw national attention?

KING: Kimberly, you've got a thought.

NEWSOM: Yes, I mean look at the victim in this case. I mean, she's one of the most charming, lovable people we've seen in a long time come across, you know, the television. I mean, like I said before, she's got a Julia Roberts smile. She was a lovely person and everyone spoke so highly of her. And also, kind of Scott's behavior during this whole thing has really focused attention on him and on this case.

KING: Also, Ted, the print media that's been critical of the coverage is also doing a lot of coverage.

ROWLANDS: Oh, yes. Everybody...

KING: The same critic who writes about the coverage is watching the coverage.

ROWLANDS: Yes, well people come up to me on the street and say, Why is this case getting all this coverage? And then five minutes later they've told you every single fact about the case, or at least that's out there.

I think that people were introduced to it, they know about it and now they want to see what happens.

KING: We'll be back with remaining moments. More questions, more calls. Don't go away.


GERAGOS: Obviously, we're gratified today that the judge has conditionally sealed the warrants and not for the reason that you normally would expect. If you read the court of appeals decision that came down, the court of appeals, which has reviewed the search warrant affidavits, stated in unequivocal language that releasing you or unwinding, if you will, or releasing to the public any of this information now could compromise not only the investigation, but whoever the actual perpetrator might be. (END VIDEO CLIP)


KING: We're back. Loves Park, Illinois, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thank you very much.

First of all, I just want to say with all this coverage and all this type of thing, I don't -- Nancy, I think you are -- I have to agree with Mr. Peterson. I'm a person who I want to get the facts. I have formed no opinion. The man showed -- Scott Peterson showed very poor judgment. But a cheating man does not make a murderer.

And I think you have a lot of hate for Scott Peterson. And in the legal business I would think you would wait to get that -- all of the information and after the trial. But with all this media attention, do you believe in jurisprudence and how on earth can this man get a fair trial when you people rake this over the coal every night and all of the inquiry...

KING: All right, you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) well.

Nancy, how do you respond?

GRACE: Well, as I recall there are two defense attorneys on your panel tonight to take the other side.

KING: Correct.

GRACE: Now, is it my fault that some of their points don't sound genuine? Is it my fault or the other prosecutor's points that Scott Peterson lied on national TV? No, it is not.

And this lady is a prime example, the lady caller that he can get a fair trial. Because there are people out there that are not persuaded at all that he lied about his whereabouts and his affair. That's fine.


PIXLEY: Let's talk about relevant points. Let's talk about the real issues here.

This is not just a case about a woman and her son that have gone missing or that are dead. We are also pondering the fate of her husband, the father of that child. That means that we potentially have two tragedies brewing here. Not just the death of Laci and Connor, but also possibly the wrongful conviction of her husband.

And remember, even if he's acquitted, but only after his name has been so horribly smeared in the media that he can never lead a normal life again, that's a tragedy in and of itself. So to say that we're disingenuous in standing behind the defense is absolutely wrong. You know in this nation today, Nancy...


PIXLEY: If you are a victim of violence, if you're a victim of addiction, even terrorism, there are any number of organizations and people that exist to come to your aid. But if you are a victim of our system of justice, the way the wrongfully accused can be, there is no way to get your life back.


KING: Many, many people have been released from jail, convicted of murder who didn't do it based on DNA.

NEWSOM: Yes and even that happening to one person is not OK.

KING: Had over a hundred.

NEWSOM: Yes. I understand that and that's a complete tragedy. And that's why it's so important.

And it's important to understand here that both sides, meaning Laci has the right to a fair trial. The victim in this case and Scott Peterson. They are both equally important.

KING: But Nancy has the right to presume what she wishes, right?

NEWSOM: I've heard her argue both sides. She said this isn't necessarily the strongest case, she's bringing up points of law and interest and things that are being brought out in the media. And we're creating dialogue. And again, there's defense here on this panel and there's prosecutors.

RONIS: Right. And, Larry, as a follow-up to what she's just suggested, it isn't just DNA that's cleared a lot people of murder in this country. People were have been cleared of murder because of corrupt police officers by the scores in Chicago and the state of Illinois. They've had a moratorium on the death penalty as a result.

NEWSOM: And been cleared by juries across America.


GRACE: I'd like to respond.

KING: Yes, go ahead, Nancy.

GRACE: Yes, I'd like to respond to what Chris Pixley said, he referred to victims of violent crime. I am a victim of violent crime, I am fully aware of what our system has to offer.

Larry, the other night you brought up a poll, a recent poll that states 65 percent of those asked think that Scott Peterson is getting an unfair, raw deal. So does that mean to you, Larry, that the state cannot get a fair trial since already 65 percent of the people think that Scott Peterson is being treated unfairly? So doesn't the state have a right to a fair trial? And as far as hatred, I have no hatred toward Scott Peterson or his family. In fact I wish -- I wish that it comes out that Laci's last moments were not being murdered by the man she loved the most.

KING: So you hope he didn't do it?

GRACE: Yes, I hope he didn't do it. But the sad truth which is very hard to swallow is that the facts as we know them now suggest he did.

RONIS: I have to say this, Nancy...

GRACE: That's just the hard truth.

RONIS: Nancy may be opinionated but I know she's not hateful. Just opinionated.

GRACE: Thank you, friend.


KING: Santa Cruz, California. Hello?

CALLER: Hi, Larry, thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure, quickly.

CALLER: My question is for Nancy Grace. Nancy, you are my hero and you are right on the money.

KING: What's the question? We're out of time.

CALLER: I want to know from Nancy, I would have gone to any lengths even though it's not admissible in court, why Scott refuses to take a lie detector test...

KING: We're running close on time, Nancy. Should that mean anything?

GRACE: Well, obviously in my mind he didn't take it because he thought he'd flunk. But it is inadmissible in court, unless both sides agree up front to allow it in.

KING: Thank you all very much. Ted Rowlands, reporter for KTVU TV, he's been covering the case from the get go. Always god have him with us. Nancy Grace of "Trial Heat" on Court TV.

GRACE: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Chris Pixley in Atlanta. The defense attorney in Los Angeles, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, assistant district attorney for San Francisco. And the prominent defense attorney Jan Ronis.

And I'll be back to tell you what's coming up tomorrow night right after this.


KING: One of our great producers, Melissa May (ph) is leaving us today. She's one of the best. We wish her nothing, but the best.

Tomorrow night Nick Nolte will be with us on "LARRY KING WEEKEND." On Sunday night we'll repeat our interview with Lisa Marie Presley.

Stay tuned now for Aaron Brown as he hosts NEWSNIGHT, but first Fredricka Whitfield has the headlines. Thanks for joining us and good night.


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