CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Panel Discusses Scott Peterson's Defense
Aired June 17, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight: Mark Geragos versus Gloria Allred. The gag order issued by Scott Peterson's judge has started a war between the lawyers for Scott Peterson and his lover, Amber Frey. Meanwhile, new evidence. Investigators have extensive cell phone records and a mysterious surveillance video. But what are they after? And a highly unusual move. The defense has subpoenaed a judge -- that's right, a judge -- to testify on secret phone wiretaps. That's just the beginning. Tonight, with us, Ted Rowlands of KTVU. He has covered the Peterson story from day one. Defense attorney Chris Pixley, Jim Hammer, the assistant DA for San Francisco, defense attorney Jayne Weintraub, and Judge Jeanine Ferris Pirro. She's the DA for Westchester County, New York. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Welcome to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from COURT TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
Well, news is breaking practically by the minute in the Scott Peterson investigation. Let's go to Ted Rowlands with KTVU. What's the latest, Ted?
TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV: Well, today we filed some warrants that came back in Stanislaus County, and the return on these warrants were not sealed, so we got a little bit of a glimpse as to some of these cell phone calls that Scott Peterson's been making. And then, as you referenced at the beginning there, also this mysterious DVD or CD -- it says "a surveillance video." Now, what that is, we don't know. But they came back on the return. And this return was fairly extensive, a total of 46 pages of different cell phone calls. All of it now is in the hands of the defense. Also, Mark Geragos, busy, as well, today, filing something with the 5th District Court of Appeals today, continuing the war with, as you mentioned, Gloria Allred. He wants her to be held in contempt of court.
GRACE: Let me go to you, Judge Pirro. Will she be held in contempt, Gloria Allred?
JEANINE FERRIS PIRRO, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK: Oh, I don't think she will because the gag order here specifically applies to defense and prosecution attorneys, witnesses, law enforcement, court personnel. Gloria Allred is not one of the defense or prosecution attorneys. She's an attorney representing a witness. She has not made a comment about the -- whether or not Scott is guilty. She's only there to protect the reputation of her client. And this is really a sideshow, and I think it's really kind of humorous that Mark Geragos, of all people, who called the show when I was on on June 3 to speak to a reporter to put his spin on some of the -- the statements, would be concerned about Gloria Allred...
GRACE: Let me go to...
PIRRO: ... who's not commenting.
GRACE: ... Jayne Weintraub. But Jayne, wouldn't the other side argue that Gloria is speaking on behalf her client, Amber Frey, and therefore, that means Amber is speaking?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, actually, I think that -- I disagree with the judge. I think that Gloria is covered by the gag order. The gag order specifically speaks not just to the DAs, the police and the defense, it speaks to witnesses that may -- that will potentially testify. Obviously, Amber is one of those witnesses. Gloria Allred is her agent and I think is bound by that. I do think she's in violation of the court order, and I don't know for sure that she won't be held in contempt. You know, Nancy...
GRACE: But Jim -- go ahead.
WEINTRAUB: ... all lawyers were all bound by the ethics of the code of conduct that we abide by and of the court's orders. If she doesn't want to abide by it, she can go appeal it. But she can't go on a cable national news show and just disregard it.
JIM HAMMER, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SAN FRANCISCO: She can do whatever...
GRACE: Well, let me go to you, Jim Hammer, on this. Do you think Geragos is spending too much time fighting with Gloria Allred? I mean, we're looking at preliminary hearing coming up possibly next month.
GRACE: He's got to get the ducks in the row. Why is he chasing Gloria Allred all the way to the 5th Circuit?
HAMMER: It's a little ironic for Mark Geragos, who reminds me of the Iraqi information minister, putting out a new theory every week about who killed this woman, to then accuse Gloria Allred of speaking and somehow, you know, polluting the jury pool. And it is a sideshow. Gloria Allred was not covered by the gag order, the way I read it. Judges read those very narrowly, Nancy, as you know. And if she's not named in it, she's not covered by it.
GRACE: Well, Chris Pixley, from your point of view -- and I know you are defending Scott Peterson and you're defending Mark Geragos. What will Mark's argument be regarding Gloria Allred? He's spending an awful lot of time chasing Gloria Allred, trying to get her held in contempt.
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, and I think he's got good reason to, Nancy. How many shows do we see Gloria commenting on from day to day, actually from hour to hour? You know, I -- listen, Gloria has a point. I think, as she reads the order, it does not apply to her. Gloria's an outstanding attorney. She can make that argument. But you know, the problem that I have, and I think the problem that Mark has, is she's arguing this case two different ways, and she's trying to play both sides of the fence. On one hand, you know, she goes out and asks the court, Listen, can I have the opportunity to argue here against a gag order? She, in fact, made an argument against the gag order. And then she comes out after the fact and says...
GRACE: Well, hold on...
PIXLEY: ... Well, obviously, it doesn't apply to me. I'm a private citizen. I have First Amendment free speech rights. You know, you got to go one way or the other, Nancy.
GRACE: Jayne, wouldn't you argue -- wouldn't you expect the prosecution to argue, though, that Geragos is the one that wants his cake and he wants to eat it, too? He wants to, A, get rid of the gag order, but, B, leave it in place just long enough for the judge to sanction Allred under the gag order!
WEINTRAUB: Well, no, because, Nancy, it's a balancing test, as you know, with any constitutional right that's an issue. I mean, here the balancing test is the right -- the Sixth Amendment right of Scott Peterson to have a fair trial balanced against Gloria Allred's First Amendment rights to say what, to say Amber Frey is to be believed? I mean, she's not even doing a service to her client. But those are the competing interests, from a legal standpoint -- Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial. They are trying to execute Scott Peterson, if convicted. They want to kill the man.
WEINTRAUB: ... interests for her speaking out publicly like that?
PIRRO: Nancy, what's ironic here is that you've got a judge who's saying that he's gagging the lawyers to protect the defendant's right to a fair trial, and then you have Mark Geragos, on the other hand, saying, We don't want the gag order. We don't want the gag order. And it's almost as though, in the judge's opinion, that Mark Geragos arguing against his own client. And by the way, Gloria Allred is not talking about the guilt of Scott Peterson. She's talking about Amber Frey, and she has never once repeated what Amber has said because recognizes that's protected by the attorney-client.
PIRRO: So what is the problem there? (CROSSTALK)
WEINTRAUB: The problem is, all she does is bolster Amber Frey's testimony. And by bolstering...
PIRRO: She hasn't -- she hasn't...
WEINTRAUB: ... Amber Frey...
PIRRO: ... said one word...
GRACE: Well, let me go to Ted...
PIRRO: ... about what Amber Frey has said.
GRACE: ... Rowlands. Ted -- Ted, you've been on the scene from the beginning. I find it unusual, strategically speaking, that when Mark Geragos is looking down the barrel of a prelim, where the state going to show its hand to a certain extent, and he's got to be ready to meet that challenge, he's chasing Gloria Allred on what she's saying about Scott Peterson's -- one of his girlfriends. Who cares!
ROWLANDS: Well, I tell you, one tidbit I could tell you is that prelim is really in jeopardy for the 16th. The prosecution mentioned it in court that they had a witness conflict, and we're hearing now that that definitely will -- or not definitely, but could very well be pushed back. All of the discovery in the case has not been pushed over. And folks with the defense team or people that are familiar with it say that that date is really in question now, and because of the amount of discovery and the lack of discovery that's been transferred, I doubt very highly that it's going to be July 16.
HAMMER: If that's the case...
GRACE: So Ted Rowlands, are you saying...
HAMMER: ... and the DA's not...
GRACE: ... it's the defense -- are you saying it's the defense or the prosecution that wants a continuance? Ted?
ROWLANDS: Well, In open court, the prosecution brought up with Judge Girolami a potential conflict with July 16 because they said they had a witness problem that would carry over through the entire week and that they were working with the defense to possibly push it back. And in the subsequent days and weeks from that comment in open court, it seems like that still is a problem for the prosecution. And it seems as though the defense may not fight that, and so we may see a continuance here. And the reason, from the defense standpoint, is that because there is so much discovery, so much discovery they haven't seen...
ROWLANDS: ... they quite frankly probably are not prepared. GRACE: Jim Hammer, a lot of allegations have been made that Geragos, Mark Geragos, is trying to play "hide the ball," and there's nothing wrong with that. He wants to...
HAMMER: Nothing at all.
GRACE: ... focus, according to some sources, attention off the double homicide charges and onto Donnie and the brown van and the...
PIXLEY: And Marie, maybe.
GRACE: ... satanic cult. Look, Mark Geragos knows very well what he's doing, and now onto Gloria Allred.
HAMMER: He -- listen, Mark Geragos came to this case with 99 percent of Americans convinced that Scott Peterson is guilty. And his first order of business was try to inject some doubt into people's minds. I think he succeeded, but I also think his credibility's at issue, at some point, when you go from satanic cults to drug cartels to Donnie and maybe sister, Marie. I mean, it comes...
HAMMER: ... becomes pretty ridiculous, at some point.
GRACE: Jim, do I have to remind you of the Colombian drug lord theory brought up in the O.J. Simpson case? And it worked.
HAMMER: A lot works in L.A.
GRACE: So never say never.
PIRRO: But you know...
WEINTRAUB: Nancy, don't forget there really was a brown van. Don't forget there really was a burglary in the area.
HAMMER: And don't forget there's...
WEINTRAUB: Don't forget there really were...
HAMMER: ... never been a documented...
WEINTRAUB: ... cult members that were (INAUDIBLE)
HAMMER: ... satanic killing in the history of America. I mean, that theory...
PIRRO: And you know, one of the reasons...
HAMMER: But it has people biting.
PIRRO: One of the reasons that I think that Mark Geragos is so upset with Gloria Allred is because she said something that was repeated or stated by the judge regarding the satanic cults and the van and Donnie, and that is that the judge unsealed the search warrants specifically because the defense proffered nothing...
PIRRO: ... about the possibility of anyone else being involved. So Gloria's...
GRACE: Hey, Jeanine...
PIRRO: ... the one who said, You know what, Mark? Your hands are in the cookie jar, and we caught you. That's why Mark is so upset!
GRACE: Jeanine, that is...
HAMMER: He made all that noise and showed nothing.
GRACE: ... whole other can of worms. We're going to take a quick break and...
GRACE: ... and when we come back, everybody, I've got in my hands the return on one of the search warrants. We're going to find out where are they headed and what cell phone records and what video do they have? Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
Let's go straight out to Ted Rowlands. He's with KTVU, and he's been covering the Scott Peterson case from the get-go. Ted, I want to talk about these cell phone records. You know, at the beginning, we discovered that the search warrant, the affidavits that police swear to in front of the judge, were all going to remain under seal. Can't see them. And now Judge Michael Cummins (ph) did not order the return, which is what cops get from the search warrant, to be under seal. And therefore, we've gotten part of the return, according to Steven Jacobson (ph), an investigator with the DA's office. What do you make of the return, Ted?
ROWLANDS: Well, really, I mean, there's not much there, in terms of substance, but it sure does have a few clues with the amount of return, in terms of phone transcripts, and then, also, this mysterious video, whether it was -- the surveillance tape. And what that is, we just -- I don't know what it is. And you know, there's a lot of speculation that maybe it is some sort of convenience store videotape or something of that nature.
GRACE: But Ted...
ROWLANDS: But I would yield to the lawyers to look in to see what that possibly could be. But it sure does raise a lot of questions and interest.
GRACE: Jim Hammer, I know you've got some theories. The kicker with this video, the DVD, that came along -- everybody, this is what the cops got back from one of their search warrants. It came from a telecommunications company. That...
GRACE: ... suggests to me it's not from, like, a 7-Eleven store or Salon Salon (ph), that it is something the police had set up through a telecommunications company. What do you think?
HAMMER: Well, if it were simply in a public place, Nancy, you know, as a prosecutor, they wouldn't need a search warrant. They could have set their own video camera and simply collected it.
GRACE: That's right.
HAMMER: There are -- in certain investigations, police get warrants to put up what are called pole cameras. That is, they use telecommunications telephone poles to set up a surveillance camera, and that's considered more an invasion of privacy. It's possible that happened, or it could just be from some kind of phone store or something, where there was an ordinary surveillance camera running and they wanted to subpoena it.
PIRRO: But Jim...
GRACE: You know, Chris Pixley, you have handled a ton of cases like this. My question to you is, do suspects, criminal defendants, never learn? Was the urge to reach out and touch someone so overwhelming...
GRACE: ... that now there's been a 46-page return of cell phone calls?
HAMMER: It's an AT&T commercial!
PIXLEY: Well, let's remember, Nancy, first of all, these returns are coming back with cell phone records from five different cell phone companies. Now, I don't assume that Scott had five different cell phones. So we're talking about different people's cell phone records. I think this may be as simply as the police trying to figure out who was talking to Scott and when.
PIXLEY: It may not be Scott's records. And you know, the DVD, that's all a little too mysterious, and we...
GRACE: ... leave Scott Peterson...
PIXLEY: ... know far too little about it...
GRACE: ... out of this search warrant?
PIXLEY: ... to speculate.
GRACE: You know, I...
HAMMER: Maybe it's "The Accused" or some movie.
WEINTRAUB: Nancy, we have no idea what it was. I mean, he was moving around. He moved to his family's home again. It could be his mom or his dad's cell phone, talking to him, or it could be more calls with Amber. We know that there's nothing of any substance as far as guilt of a murder, only guilt of being an adulterer, on there. So who cares?
GRACE: Other than the statement, Jayne, where he allegedly said, I didn't have anything to do with it, but I know who did. And when I see you, I will tell you. Jeanine Pirro, bottom line...
WEINTRAUB: But Nancy...
GRACE: ... let's get real on this.
GRACE: Why would they want anybody else's phone tapped, other than...
WEINTRAUB: Because they're desperate!
GRACE: ... Scott Peterson...
WEINTRAUB: They're looking for some evidence.
GRACE: ... his family...
WEINTRAUB: They don't have any.
GRACE: ... Amber Frey? Jeanine?
PIRRO: Here's the reason. It may be as simple as the prosecution looking to make sure that they tie the loose ends. Look, we've got hordes of wiretaps, and people called Scott, Scott called people. We don't know whether the search warrant is for subscriber investigation, for toll information, which is information about specific calls...
HAMMER: It's for both.
PIRRO: ... making sure that they connect up -- it may be for both. That's what I'm saying. We don't know.
HAMMER: The return says it's for both.
PIRRO: But it may -- fine. It's for both. What that means is they may simply be tying up Scott's phone calls with someone at the other end. They may not know who the person is, so they're finding out who the subscriber is. They may...
HAMMER: Well, 99 percent of that's going to be irrelevant.
PIRRO: ... also be finding out -- it may be irrelevant, but they're tying up all the loose ends to put together the pieces. That's what prosecutors do. That's what they have to do.
GRACE: There's another angle, as well, under the process of triangulation. They can determine not only who was calling who, at what exact moment in time and the date, but geographically where Peterson was at the time he was making phone calls...
HAMMER: That's a good point.
GRACE: ... geographically.
ROWLANDS: Yes, and if he...
GRACE: I think that's where they're headed with some of this.
ROWLANDS: He was obviously tracked for the -- for much of this four-month period, while he was being looked at by investigators, tracked with the GPS, first with Laci's Land Rover and then later his white pick-up truck. However, he was aware of it, and I think that he did make a number of moves -- according to people close to his family, he would changed cars. He would really do his best to evade police and the media, too. He was really -- especially in the last couple weeks here, he was pretending to be undercover.
And of course, it looked -- on one side, you could look at it as though he was getting ready to flee. On the other side, from his family's perspective, he just simply wanted some peace and quiet. So that may be a good point, in that that would be one way to track his whereabouts in those gaps where he was maybe playing a shell game with investigators.
PIXLEY: But Nancy...
WEINTRAUB: Do we know the dates that these warrants cover, Nancy? Do we know -- if the return was May 28...
GRACE: Yes, we do.
WEINTRAUB: ... or did they begin May 28?
GRACE: The warrant receipt May 28...
WEINTRAUB: That's what I thought.
GRACE: ... through June 5.
WEINTRAUB: He was in jail.
GRACE: But there are other warrants, as well, that are outstanding.
HAMMER: I think the one was issued in April.
WEINTRAUB: ... saw from May 28...
GRACE: ... warrant was issued in April. That's correct.
WEINTRAUB: But he was already in custody.
GRACE: I've got a question...
WEINTRAUB: So what's the cell phone activity going on? He's in a jail cell (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
HAMMER: Maybe it's the real killers' phones.
WEINTRAUB: Maybe it is.
GRACE: But remember...
GRACE: ... guys, this is just one of many warrants. This is just one return on one warrant. There could be other returns coming on this warrant. I've got a technical question for you, Jim Hammer. With the process of triangulation, I know once the warrant is in place, authorities can tell where you are when you're making the phone call. But what if they wanted to go back in time and find out where Peterson was the day Laci went missing, based on his cell calls. Can they do that?
HAMMER: It depends on how long that phone company keeps the records, but they absolutely can. I had a kidnapping case where drug dealers kidnapped a man, kept him below a house. And within a week or so after that, they still had the records at the phone company, and we could show exactly where the fellow was kept within a couple hundred square feet, and the SWAT team freed the guy. So if they got to those records quickly, who knows? They might...
GRACE: They could triangulate.
HAMMER: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at the marina that night. GRACE: Jeanine Pirro -- Jeanine Pirro, before we go to break -- all these phone returns are pretty expected. We knew this was happening. Amber Frey knew it was happening. Anybody with any brains in their head would know they're being tapped. But what about the video? Jeanine, what do you make of it?
PIRRO: You know, I'm not really sure about the video. It seems to me it's not something law enforcement did because they wouldn't need a search warrant for it, and it may not be something that -- it may be something that's as simple as in the course of business of a particular company or store. But it seems like they got it from one of the telephone companies. Is that correct?
GRACE: Yes. It's coming back from...
HAMMER: That's what it sounds like.
GRACE: Yes, from one of the phone companies.
PIRRO: So then it...
HAMMER: AT&T has a facility in Florida.
PIRRO: So the question now is whether or not AT&T has surveillance cameras or videos of various places that might be relevant to somebody, not necessarily committing the crime but maybe affecting the records. I don't know what it could be. I really don't. I don't know if anyone else does.
WEINTRAUB: Could be as simple as software -- you know, software devices. We have no idea what it is, and we're just speculating. Also, Nancy, I hope -- and I do hope that they could show where Scott Peterson was on the day that she's was missing because maybe it'll clear him.
PIXLEY: Although Nancy...
WEINTRAUB: But I'm sure that the records are not available past 30 days.
PIRRO: He puts himself in that area where she was found.
GRACE: Hey, Chris, last word to you. Hit me.
PIXLEY: Yes. The idea that triangulation will prove where Scott is on December 23 or 24, when Laci went missing...
WEINTRAUB: It's not happening.
PIXLEY: ... is not going to happen. And it's such a problem for the prosecution, if that's actually what they're pursuing. You know, this is a really questionable approach. You not only have to have somebody on the telephone, using the telephone at the time, but if there are any buildings in the way, any large obstructions, the math of triangulation is completely thrown off.
GRACE: Well, you know...
PIXLEY: So I don't think it's...
GRACE: ... successfully in the case of Samantha Runnion, the little girl that went missing. And her perp, Avila, was accurately triangulated to place him...
PIXLEY: It can be used.
GRACE: ... and helped them actually find the body.
PIXLEY: It can be used.
GRACE: So it can be used.
Everybody, this and a lot more. We now have reports that Scott Peterson is behind bars not only playing chess and watching TV but reading his love letters. Think about it. Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
Ted Rowlands, reports are out basically coming from a jail trusty that has served time in the county jail with Scott Peterson behind bars, saying there are a lot of love letters, a lot of chess playing and a lot of TV watching going on behind bars. What about the love letters? You know, Ted, it's not unusual. Think back. The Menendez brothers, both of them, Lyle and Erik -- one of them actually married behind bars. Then you have one of the most prolific serial killers in this country, Ted Bundy, was overwhelmed with love letters. And of course, the preppy killer, Robert Chambers, had plenty of sweethearts he met behind bars that would come visit him.
ROWLANDS: Yes. The Yosemite killer, Cary Stayner, also met someone who he married supposedly behind -- after he was behind bars. I don't know that the trusty -- these trusties in the Stanislaus County jail, they have certain privileges that other inmates don't have. They get to deliver things -- books, pencils, meals and such. These folks that come out, they're released a little bit later, and then they have Scott Peterson stories. We've talked to a couple folks outside the jail that have said they saw him do this or they saw him do that. So to what weight you want to give this person, it's up to you. But it -- I can tell you for sure, he is getting tons and tons of mail from all types of people from around the country. A lot of it, according to his family, is hate mail, but some of it is support mail and undoubtedly, some of it's probably a few love letters.
GRACE: Jeanine Pirro, the strategic kicker to that is if he writes any of them back, of course, all of these letters can and will be screened by police authorities. PIRRO: There's no question. Not only will they be screened, but anything that he says in those letters might be used against him. But the whole issue is a very curious and bizarre one, Nancy. I mean, here you have this guy who's charged with a double homicide, facing the death penalty, and women writing him love letters. I mean, what is that all about? Is it about the fact that there are some women who are simply attracted to bad boys? You know, whether it's a James Dean or a Marlon Brando or an Eminem -- I mean, do they feel they can cure them or mother them? Or is it just the attraction to his now being a celebrity? And it's a real reflection of the celebritization of criminals that our society engages in. And the whole concept of a woman wanting to connect with someone like this is absolutely amazing and shocking.
WEINTRAUB: It's really very common.
PIRRO: And when I was a judge, one of the things that I would do is I would marry a defendant on his way to an 8-and-a-third to 25-year sentence after I sentenced him, marry him before he went off to prison. It makes no sense...
WEINTRAUB: It's bizarre.
PIRRO: ... but it's real.
GRACE: Well, you know, Jeanine...
HAMMER: It's a terrible indictment.
GRACE: ... one heck of a honeymoon. What do you think, though, Jayne?
WEINTRAUB: I think it's really just another diversion, and it's a diversion against the evidence, the lack of evidence. I mean, we're sitting here talking about these wacky women writing Scott Peterson and whether or not he's going to write back. He's not going to write back any letters. He's not going to answer any of this. This is a guy who's playing chess, trying to get these hours go by until he has the preliminary hearing.
GRACE: You know what, though?
WEINTRAUB: This is a guy who says...
GRACE: You know what, Jayne?
WEINTRAUB: ... there's no forensic evidence...
GRACE: I'm not...
(CROSSTALK) GRACE: I'm not so sure because even after he knew police were trailing him, that he was the focus of an investigation, he continued to call Amber Frey. And I know, Jayne, that you have said many times his phone calls mean nothing, but when a jury hears those phone conversations and hears the first thing he says is...
WEINTRAUB: I don't know that they're going to hear them, Nancy.
GRACE: ... I love you, while they're looking for his wife's body -- that's going to hurt, Jayne!
HAMMER: Absolutely, that evidence is coming in. Absolutely.
PIRRO: Without a doubt.
WEINTRAUB: I don't think that they're going to hear all these tapes. I think that they're going to hear some of the tapes. I think that they're going to -- the prosecutor will try and introduce them to show motive. But you know what, Nancy? It just shows that he was having an affair. It just shows that he was an adulterer. It does not show that he's a murderer. And remember...
WEINTRAUB: ... on every one of these tape recordings...
HAMMER: You know, it's not...
WEINTRAUB: ... feeding her words to entice him...
HAMMER: It's not just his motive...
WEINTRAUB: ... professionals trying to bait him, and he didn't buy it.
HAMMER: The simple fact is that most men who have adulterous affairs are pigs and horrible men, but they don't kill their wives. On the other hand, if shortly after Laci disappeared Scott Peterson is some ways elevating this relationship or talking about how he really wants to move on with his girlfriend and he knows -- he's acting like he knows that he's not coming back, I think that's going to be very powerful evidence at the trial.
PIRRO: Without a doubt.
WEINTRAUB: That could also mean that he was going to divorce her and leave her. I don't think that means that he was...
HAMMER: Or he knew -- he knew...
WEINTRAUB: ... just killed her!
HAMMER: He knew she was gone and not coming back, and only one person knew that, and that was the killer.
GRACE: Ted Rowlands, let me go to you before we have to go to break. All along, we saw Scott Peterson continue making these phone calls to Amber Frey -- we know that now -- even though he knew police were suspicious of him, asking him to take a polygraph, following him around, and so forth. We also know that he continued to talk to the media, Diane Sawyer. I remember seeing him call you one night on your cell phone. So my interpretation is, he may very well have written or write some of these women back.
PIRRO: That's right.
ROWLANDS: Well I know that...
WEINTRAUB: ... certainly not going to do it now, with Mark Geragos as his counsel.
ROWLANDS: ... family member...
GRACE: Ted, go ahead.
ROWLANDS: I know from a family member he does write back anybody who supports him, so...
PIRRO: Oh! There you have it!
ROWLANDS: ... whether he's writing back people that, you know, love him, I don't know. I've heard...
HAMMER: ... dates for his own good.
GRACE: Mark Geragos, I hope you're listening tonight. Your man is writing letters from behind bars!
GRACE: Everybody, stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace, from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us. We were discussing love letters that are inches thick, reportedly, that are placed beside Scott Peterson's bed in his cell, and Chris Pixley wanted in. Chris, you know, the Constitution protects defendants and suspects from what they may say to the police. But the Constitution doesn't mention protecting you from writing your own love letters from behind bars.
PIXLEY: No, no. It doesn't, Nancy. I've yet to hear any reports that Scott is in fact responding to these love letters. Ted may be more in the know than I am on that, but everything I've heard from defense sources before the gag order was that Scott wasn't responding to the multitudes of inquiries and mail that he was receiving, and I don't think that love letters and the people that are writing the love letters are really the mainstream here. I don't think anyone thinks that they are, but I think that there is a real silent majority out there that believes that Scott isn't receiving fair treatment in the media, and they don't feel that they have a voice.
You know, I get e-mails and cards and letters all the time, and I know that the Peterson family gets them in hordes. So some of this I think is a reflection of the fact that the media has covered this case so vigorously on the side of the state from the very beginning, and that we have heard really very little from the defense until the last month or so.
GRACE: Well, Chris, I agree with you in that the love letters...
ROWLANDS: Nancy, I want to make it clear, Nancy, if I could...
GRACE: Go ahead.
ROWLANDS: I just want to make it clear, if I could. I by no means believe that Scott is returning whacko love letters from around the country. In fact, what I've been led to believe from family members, is that he is returning select letters, people that are showing support to him. He only gets a certain amount of stamps per week. I don't know what that allotment is, but so he has to be real frugal with what he does write. He has sent letters within letters at times to family members to have them send them out, but by no means did I mean to say that he was responding to any of these love letters, folks he didn't know.
GRACE: Chris Pixley, I do agree with you in the sense that the attacks on Allred, Gloria Allred, the fracas over the love letters really are side issues. You're so right about that. What's going to matter is what goes on in the courtroom, Chris, as you have mentioned very often.
Let me go to you, Ted Rowlands. What exactly went down in the courtroom today? Bring us up-to-date.
ROWLANDS: Well, Geragos filed a petition with the 5th District to suppress those search warrants that Judge Bouchet (ph) -- remember, there's two judges really in this case -- that Bouchet (ph) ordered to be unsealed on July 9. The Court of Appeals or Bouchet (ph) -- put it at July 9 so that there could be some appeals here, and Geragos did file a petition asking the 5th District not only to keep them sealed, but also he asked them that they stop this two track and take all of this case and put it over into Judge Girolami's courtroom, and he cited some earlier arguments that he made on this, saying that Bouchet (ph) really has no business ruling in this case.
The court did come back after three hours and ordered responses within seven days for both the media lawyers who want these warrants unsealed and from the state. So we'll see what happens with that. Not unexpected that he would do that.
GRACE: Jeanine Pirro, the strategy that Mark Geragos is using seems to be wanting everyone thrown off the case. First of all, he wanted the judge at the beginning to recuse himself. Then, he wanted the prosecutors to be thrown off the case because of alleged wiretap violations. Now he wants Gloria Allred held in contempt. What's the strategy, Jeanine?
PIRRO: Well, you know, I think that it's kind of you know, throw everything out there and see if anything sticks. I think that Mark Geragos is making some strategic errors. Number one, you don't ask a judge to recuse himself unless there's some basis, because it's the judge himself who makes that decision and you don't want to get on the wrong side of the judge right off the bat.
Number two, he's very bombastic in his motion papers, saying the prosecutors should be recused or the prosecutor should be substituted or thrown off the case. He's looking to have the family arrested for burglary when they took Laci Peterson's rocking chair out. I mean, he's making a lot of strategic errors, and I think that it's all going to come back to haunt him. He's got to recognize that when he is in a courtroom, he's going to have to try to make sure that he's throwing out real evidence or he is not going to be seen as credible.
GRACE: Jayne, wouldn't you argue, Jayne -- wouldn't you argue that Mark Geragos is trying every single trick in the book, everything he's ever learned in law school and in the courtroom, be it to attack a judge, a witness, a defense attorney, a civil attorney, the prosecutors, you name it? He is willing to take on everybody.
WEINTRAUB: I think he's willing to take on anybody in the name of his client and protecting his client's rights. Remember, Mark Geragos may be the only thing between Scott Peterson, ultimately, and a conviction. Mark Geragos is the one who's going to be his protector. When the death penalty is being looked at, as it is in this case, there is no choice for Mark Geragos except to attack any and everything lawfully and zealously that he can.
I also take issue with what Jeanine was just saying. I mean, you know, attacking Gloria Allred is because all she does is bolster Amber Frey. I mean, if Gloria Allred wants to keep Amber Frey's privacy, let her stay off the air. If Amber Frey doesn't want to be in the midst of this, let Gloria stay off the air.
But no, it's about Gloria. Not about Amber Frey.
The second thing is, as far as Mark complaining about the burglary from the family, that's not true, either, Jeanine. Mark Geragos never wanted them arrested. Mark Geragos didn't want ...
WEINTRAUB: ... without a video. Because again, he is looking to protect Scott's rights. PIRRO: But Jayne...
PIRRO: I'm not saying he is or isn't a good lawyer. What I'm saying is it's already a matter of fact that Mark Geragos' defense team lawyers told the police he wanted Laci's family arrested for burglary. When that went out in the public, it was like a lead balloon and then all of a sudden he backed off.
PIRRO: Everybody -- everybody -- everybody knows. That's right, Jim. But everybody knows a defense attorney has the right and the obligation to protect his client, and as a judge, that's one of the things that I made sure of. The defendant's right has a priority in a courtroom.
GRACE: Hold on. Hold on. We are going to go to break, but Chris Pixley, last word to you, Chris. You're defending Mark Geragos and defending Scott Peterson. What's your take as we go to break on Geragos' apparently attacking...
PIXLEY: In fairness to Judge Pirro, Mark has very legitimate concerns. He has concerns with respect to the two judges ruling on very common issues, and that is, in fact, what we have got going on right now. Two judges ruling differently. I know we have got pre- arrest search warrants and post-arrest search warrants and autopsy reports. We haven't actually had the judges disagree so far, but Mark Geragos foreshadowed this months ago, two months ago when he came on the case and said, this is going to be a problem, and in fact, as of this past week, this past Friday, it is a problem.
So he has some legitimate concerns. Gloria Allred, also, she goes on and insinuates on a regular basis that the defense is desperate, that they are misguided, and then she says, listen, I'm not suggesting guilt or innocence.
PIXLEY: Well, she is.
GRACE: You know, as we go to break, we're discussing who's protecting Scott Peterson.
Obviously, Mark Geragos, but that begs the question, who is in there fighting to protect Laci Peterson?
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Nancy Grace in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us. Jim Hammer, apparently Mark Geragos is not concerned about irritating the judges. He asked them to throw themselves off the case, throw the prosecutor off the case. He has also subpoenaed a judge, a judge we have heard little from, Judge Ladene (ph) who apparently is the one that authorized some of the search warrants. He has subpoenaed the judge to testify as to the wiretaps.
Strategy good or bad?
HAMMER: Well, not going to make the judge happy but nothing prohibiting him from subpoenaing the judge. What Geragos trying to get at, apparently colloquy with the DAs and investigators and the judge, with the judge telling the DAs not to do anything. And the investigators recorded a couple of calls that they shouldn't. Mark Geragos, would like nothing better than to expose that in a public forum and show that the DAs went overboard. But in the end, I think the conversations irrelevant. What controls the wiretaps is what's on the four corners of the search warrant and going to make them rise or fall. I think he'll survive.
GRACE: And Chris Pixley, the bottom line is, this is not a popularity contest amongst Mark Geragos or the prosecutor and the judges. Lawyers are not in court to win home coming queen. OK. You end up irritating and chafing a lot of judges doing your job. Anything wrong with that?
What if this causes adverse rulings in the future, Chris?
PIXLEY: This is a hard-fought case from the start to finish. Anything learned from the last few weeks, that is it. But, you know, if Judge Ladene's testimony not relevant to the sanctions request, that Mark Geragos has made, then the judge can quash subpoenaed.
The fact is I think the defense making a very legitimate statement here. And they are saying, we have a right to know what is going on at all the proceedings in this death penalty case. And remember, these are, you know, prosecutors and chief investigator and a judge that were meeting every three days to discuss these wiretaps. During that period of time, illegal wiretap, eavesdropping going on of attorney/client communications, whether mistakenly or purpose think. And in that period of time too, the prosecution has to go back to the judge at least three times by my math to ask for extensions.
GRACE: Well, that's not uncommon, though, Chris.
PIXLEY: But those communications, Nancy, potentially influencing the judge when the judge is then looking at the affidavit and considering whether there is probably cause...
GRACE: I see where you're headed. Let's take a phone call. Let's take some phone calls, guys.
Montreal, are you there?
CALLER: Yes. This is a question to the panel. Has anything definite decided on the location of the trial?
GRACE: Good one.
Ted, what about a venue change?
ROWLANDS: Well, it's coming. At the request for a change of venue from the defense team, however, this -- the Judge Girolami (ph) in a backwards way referenced the way with no fair trial in the state of California. But there is a professor that lives in Stanislaus County petitioned by the court in the Polly Claas case and ran an a little experiment using the same criteria he used in the Claas case. And determined that there's no way that this case could be held in Stanislaus County. One of the places he looked at was Los Angeles and said that would be pretty much the only place that he can determine whether Peterson would get a fair trial according it his criteria.
GRACE: Moving to L.A., that's like throwing Mark Geragos into a hot of pot honey. We will see if that happens.
Paducan, you there?
CALLER: Yes. Hi. Thank you. Has Mark -- so has Mark decided not to press charges against Laci's parents for not going into the house and will any of that affect the trial?
GRACE: Chris Pixley.
PIXLEY: That's a really good question. We haven't heard anything on it. And I'm assuming without knowing, and maybe Ted has a report I haven't seen, that he's not pursuing any charges.
GRACE: You know, Ted, it's my understanding that Mark is not pursuing charges against the Laci/Rocha family.
ROWLANDS: To clarify, you know, before that was an emotional time there. And we were talking earlier about Matt Dalton was the lawyer in front lawn saying did anyone call the police?
This was a very emotional time for both families. Obviously, the Rochas. But also remember the Peterson family. They heard the alarm going off. They got a telephone call that the alarm in the house went off. They had Geragos' person in Modesto, Dalton go over this and saw it unfolding live on CNN. They too were very emotionally scarred by this whole thing. And this was an emotional response, I believe, from Dalton. And they have backed from that. They're not going to press charges.
GRACE: But the reality, Jayne Wientraub, a PR nightmare. Sources have told me that Laci's mother went into the home simply and sat in various rooms, sometimes on the floor in tears, crying. So, I could just see Mark questioning her on the stand regarding that. It would be a total disaster for the defense.
WEINTRAUB: Well, first of all, Nancy, as you know, this isn't going to be Mark Geragos' decision whether charges will be pursued or filed. That's a police decision and prosecutor's decision.
GRACE: Also the family, the Peterson family decision, right?
PIRRO: The prosecution and police said this is a civil matter. They'll not entertain burglary or criminal charges. It is over. Mark Geragos has nothing to do with this in terms of prosecution.
WEINTRAUB: The Peterson's are suffering just like the Rocha's. You don't remember, Scott Peterson presumed innocent as we sit here today. Our constitution says...
PIRRO: What's that got to do with the charges?
WEINTRAUB: That he is not guilty. And yet, we have convicted him and talking...
PIRRO: No, we haven't.
GRACE: We are talking about the burglary, right now. That was the caller's question. But I'm glad you reminded me of the presumption of innocence again, Jayne. From your point of view, Jayne -- Yes. Go ahead.
Jayne, my question to you is your strategy would you seek charges against the Laci/Rocha family if you where...
GRACE: I agree 200 percent.
Everybody we are taking your phone calls. Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
Ted Rowlands, just when we thought we had seen it all, we find out there are reports that remains of four other people, men and women, in various states of decomposition had been found in nearby Davis. What does it mean and what's the latest?
ROWLANDS: Well, this is a -- in Davis, which is near Sacramento -- Yollo County is the presiding coroner here -- and I talked to that individual, the coroner today by phone or a person from the coroner's office. They are testing one set of remains, a female set of remains to see if there's a match with Laci Peterson because they said that after a visual inspection, there is a chance, just given the fact that they have these unidentified remains, that there could potentially be a match, so they are going ahead with DNA testing. They did that, started a couple of weeks ago.
I baited this person and said, No, you're doing this because Geragos or those are pushing you. And she said, No, nobody pushes us. A defense lawyer can't tell us what to do it. We tested it or we looked at it visually and we decided to go ahead with these tests just to be sure. So that's taking place. The DNA tests will not be back for another week and a half out of the Richmond, California lab.
GRACE: Well, Jim Hammer, even if these remains do not match up to Laci, it could still be a huge gift for the defense, in that it could support their theory there a Satanic cult out there killing people.
HAMMER: Well, again, the Satanic cult theory, I think you know Nancy, there's never been a documented case of Satanic killing. But the idea that there's a serial killer, somebody out on the loose, a parolee kidnapping women, murdering them, I think would be a better theory for the defense. If they could other dead women in the area, I think that would be a gold mine for Geragos.
GRACE: Well, Jim, unfortunately for the theory you have just espoused, the other three bodies were men. So that's kind of the problem with that scenario.
HAMMER: Maybe it's a nondiscriminating serial killer.
GRACE: Let's go to our caller from Austin, Texas. Austin?
CALLER: Hi. My question is that for the longest time Gloria said Amber will not talk to the media for money or for otherwise. Now that has changed to, until after she testifies. And I'm curious if y'all, the panel, think that that is why she had Amber get this makeover. Because Amber was rather hard looking, in my opinion, before...
GRACE: Good question. Jeanine, do you smell a rat?
PIRRO: Well, you know, I think it's kind of curious that someone would hire Gloria Allred, although I suspect that Gloria is an -- we all know she's extremely confident. She is extremely vocal about protecting her client's interests. I don't know what Amber has in mind.
And you know? I'm not so sure she looked so terrible before. The first time this country saw Amber Frey was when she talked about the fact that she had actually dated a man she thought was a widow. He told her his wife died and that he was a widower and that he was the one for her, and that now he is looked at as a suspect in a double homicide. You wouldn't look so terrific yourself in that situation.
HAMMER: ...not a rat, if you ask me.
GRACE: I kind of actually liked her before as well.
But Chris Pixley, even if she does a book or a movie, still the defense can make a lot of hay with that, with her on the stand, cross- examining her on pecuniary or money interest in her testimony, Chris.
PIXLEY: Yes, absolutely. And that's why Gloria's been so smart and so wise to come forward and say, Listen, she's not taking any money. She hasn't taken any money in the past. She's not going to talk to any of you. You know, the only curious thing here is that while Gloria's saying Amber's not talking to anybody, she's filing motions opposing a gag order.
So Gloria wants to continue to talk to people.
GRACE: Jim Hammer...
HAMMER: You know, Nancy, in the Willy Kennedy Smith trial, the victim in that case, the alleged victim's best friend, was decimated by Roy Black on cross examination...
HAMMER: ...for all the money she had taken for book deals and giving boat tours of the Kennedy compound.
GRACE: Yes, the same thing happened in O.J.
And before going to break, Jim Hammer, we've been talking about cell phone records, makeovers, body parts, you name it. Somehow lost in the sauce is Laci and Conner and the real search for the truth in this case.
Jim, I know it's an early call, but will all the side circus, will we get a true verdict, Jim?
HAMMER: You know, we're going to find out hopefully in a month when -- I think ironically, this prelim should not go forward. They ought to go to grand jury so they'll have a chance to pick a fair jury.
But in three or four weeks, if this prelim goes forward, I'll be willing to give an opinion then on his guilt. But until I see the evidence, Nancy, I just can't answer the question.
GRACE: Judge Pirro, I wanted to come to you so much, but I will talk to you on another night. To our entire panel tonight, Chris Pixley, Jim Hammer, Jayne Weintraub, Jeanine Pirro and Ted, Rowlands, you've all been fantastic. Thank you, everybody.
Stay with us one more moment. We'll be right back.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. It's a real honor being in for Larry tonight, and I want thank you all for being with us this past hour.
But right now, we're going to "NEWSNIGHT WITH AARON BROWN."
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