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Interview With Defense Attorney Jayne Weintraub

Aired June 6, 2003 - 08:07   ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We want to get back to a pivotal day right now, Scott Peterson murder case. This morning the prosecution and defense will square off on several key issues, among them the state's request to release this autopsy report and a defense motion to remove prosecutors for alleged misconduct.
What can we expect a bit later today?

Criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub back with us here on AMERICAN MORNING, live in Miami.

Good morning, Jayne.


HEMMER: Thanks for coming back here.

WEINTRAUB: How are you?

HEMMER: I'm doing just fine.

The judge is going to hold these things in private, right?

WEINTRAUB: Well, he is going to hold some of them in private. We're really not sure why. It's very unusual to go back into chambers to discuss the sealing and keeping the cameras out of this matter of the unsealing of the documents because, after all, the media is the one who has brought the lawsuit and the media is the one who's suing to unseal these documents.

HEMMER: So you don't want...

WEINTRAUB: So it's very unusual that they're going to go in private to do that.

HEMMER: You don't like any of this thing behind closed doors, do you?

WEINTRAUB: No, I don't.

HEMMER: Do you believe right now that -- is it an indication the judge is losing control? Perhaps he's getting things away from himself. Or what's your take?

WEINTRAUB: Well, I don't know what my take is right now until I see what happens today, really. But I can tell you that it's extremely unusual to have these hearings held in chambers. What I do expect to happen today, Bill, is I expect that they will discuss and the judge will rule on whether or not the wiretap evidence will go forward and whether or not the prosecutors will be dismissed. I expect that that motion by Mark Geragos will be denied, unfortunately, and I do think that the judge will rule that the prosecutors did nothing wrong -- although I think they did -- in listening to the attorney-client privileged two minute tape recordings.

I also think that there will be some kind of limited gag order entered today by the judge and I am also sure that the autopsy reports and the search warrant affidavits will be released shortly. And my reasoning for that is that eventually they're going to be released anyway. And Mark Geragos, who is the defense lawyer for Scott Peterson, won't be able to challenge these matters in court until they're released in public.

HEMMER: Now, earlier in the...

WEINTRAUB: And so it's just a matter of time.

HEMMER: I apologize. Earlier in the week, defense attorneys said you cannot release things like the search warrants because they're closing in on the real killers. I believe a quote again on Tuesday in Modesto. If that's the case, the defense attorneys, if they want to win this argument, do they have to prove that right now with evidence?

WEINTRAUB: They don't have to prove it with evidence, but that, I think, will be one of the things that they discuss in chambers in private. I think that at the very least Mark Geragos or someone on his team will have to what we call proffer to the judge -- in other words, they'll have to tell the judge really what they're thinking and what's at stake here so that the judge will know this isn't just hype, this isn't just, you know, a spin on the case, that they're really close and what evidence they have to show that.

I don't know whether or not they will even have to show that to the prosecutor. I would think not.

HEMMER: You know, Amber Frey is one of the chief witnesses possibly in this case. Her attorney, well known, Gloria Allred. They do not want a gag order. Does the judge listen to that at this point?

WEINTRAUB: I don't think he will. I think -- and I think he shouldn't. I think that the only two parties that are important here are the state and the defendant. I think that it's much more important to reign in on the two parties of the lawsuit.

Gloria Allred is interfering on behalf of Amber Frey, which is her job. But remember, Amber Frey, I think, is just an opportunist waiting to happen. She's somebody who is going to profit from her 15 minutes of fame and her one month affair with Scott Frey. Already we're seeing things about the photographs and I just see a book deal in the making down the road for Amber Frey. I don't care what her lawyer says, she's not going to take any money or profit from this. I think she means right now. I think the minute she's off that witness stand, she's signing a book deal and a movie of the week. HEMMER: That could be the case. Ten seconds to go here, Jayne, two days ago here on our program, you said there is no direct evidence that you have found to tie Scott Peterson to this case. Still believe it?

WEINTRAUB: Not only do I believe it, I think what happened this week with the release of the documents about the rape victim and the rape treatment counselor going forward before anybody knew anything, going forward to the police and telling them that she had treated a rape victim that said there was a satanic cult that was involved in a rape of her and that the police should thoroughly investigate this and examine this, I think that goes to show you that this is not just pointing to Scott Peterson. I don't think that the police investigated thoroughly everybody and everything else out there. I think it's reasonable to think they don't have the evidence on Scott Peterson and I have not seen any yet. I think they have 90 bags of nothing from those search warrants.

HEMMER: More later.

Thanks, Jayne.

Jayne Weintraub in Miami.

WEINTRAUB: Thank you.


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