The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


Legal Analysis of Scott Peterson Preliminary Hearing Developments

Aired October 29, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: day one of Scott Peterson's crucial preliminary hearing. The prosecution began laying out the murder case against him while headlines were made by Gloria Allred, attorney for Scott's other woman, Amber Frey. Why did Scott's lawyer, Mark Geragos, fight so hard to keep her out of this hearing? We'll talk later with Gloria Allred.
And we'll get all the latest on today's dramatic developments with Ted Rowlands of KTVU, who was inside the Modesto, California, courtroom all day; reporter Brian Melley of the Associated Press, who was also there to watch the prosecution and the defense go at it; also Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor; high-profile defense attorney Chris Pixley; and psychologist Dr. Robi Ludwig, a frequent Court TV commentator. The case against Scott Peterson, and when will he go to trial, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Let's start with Ted Rowlands and Brian Melley. Ted, you first, on the occurrences today in court. We understand from reports it was a boring day about DNA evidence. Right?

TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV: Well, the bulk of it, yes, was about mitochondrial DNA, and part of a Kelly-Fry (ph) hearing, what they call it. Basically, the prosecution wants to introduce this type of DNA. The defense doesn't want it in court. And it was a long day and a long lesson for non-scientists to follow.

But there were some other things that popped out, as well. One, the prosecution said that they will not use any wiretap evidence in the prelim. That would lead most people to believe that Amber Frey is, indeed, going to appear. And as you alluded to at the top, also, Mark Geragos wanted Amber Frey's lawyer, Gloria Allred, out of court, and they skirmished a bit in court. She ended up staying, and I guess, technically winning that battle.

We got a glimpse of what to expect next. The prosecution was forced to tell the court, because of the Judge Girolami's order, the next witness in line, each time they call a witness. And they said the next witness will be the Peterson maid. When that happens, though, remains to be seen. We'll have to wait until the mitochondrial DNA lesson is over.

KING: Now, Brian Melley, we understand that this mitochondrial DNA -- that deals with hair, right?

BRIAN MELLEY, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, they use it to -- yes, to extract DNA from hair in this case, some hair found on pliers in Scott Peterson's boat, the boat that he said he was fishing on Christmas Eve, the day his wife disappeared. As you've alluded to, yes, the prosecutor referred to it as "DNA 101." At times, it seemed like a graduate-level seminar on DNA testing. And Gloria Allred, who you've referred to, appeared to be dozing off at one point.

The important thing, I think, to point out is that they did find a match between Laci Peterson and her mother, although this type of testing is apparently -- does not provide the high level of probability you tend to find in so-called genetic fingerprinting. The expert from the FBI said that this DNA sample would be found in 1 in 112 Caucasians and 1 in 159 Hispanics.

KING: Nancy Grace, in view of that, is that solid evidence?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, of course, everything is subjected to cross-examination, but I would like to point out some documents that I have uncovered tonight, Larry, a big brouhaha as to whether mitochondrial DNA will be allowed. It's not just hair, but the tooth, blood, as well, has been used for decades in identifying bodies from overseas -- for instance, in the world war. But this is very important, Larry. In this decision that I found in a neighboring jurisdiction, right there next door to them in San Diego, with a colleague of this judge -- this is Judge William H. Kennedy, ruled just two years ago nearly to the day that mitochondrial DNA in hair form in a murder case would be allowed in.

And we can split hairs -- pun intended -- all we want to and argue the numbers, but I think a jury will be very convinced when they hear about the hair wound into needle-nose pliers in Scott's boat.

KING: It's obvious then, Nancy, you're convinced.

GRACE: Yes. I'm convinced to this point, and I am a firm believer in DNA, whether it proves you guilty or innocent.

KING: Chris Pixley, what do you make of the Geragos's argument that this doesn't belong?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think it's a solid argument when you look at the history here, Larry. I mean, there's no case law on the books in the state of California regarding the admissibility of mitochondrial DNA testing.

KING: Nancy just said she had a case.

PIXLEY: It's not -- these are not appellate decisions, Larry.


PIXLEY: That means that the California courts have not said, as a matter of law, this is admissible, reliable evidence. And that's why, in fact, we're going through a Kelly-Fry standard hearing today to see whether or not it should be admissible. You know, I think one of the best arguments for why it may not be admissible -- ultimately, I do think it will be admitted, but one of the best arguments against it is actually in the prosecution's own brief, where they say, Look, 38 states don't allow it, don't allow it to be admitted in criminal cases. So it's certainly not something that, while it's been around for a while, certainly, is not something that is so reliable that courts allow it in as a matter of course.

KING: What do you mean...

GRACE: Well, that's not what this says.

KING: ... Chris, by -- Chris, what do you mean by Kelly-Fry hearing?

PIXLEY: Well, Kelly-Fry is standard hearing in California that you go through when you are testing the admissibility of novel scientific evidence. And what the court is essentially saying, by actually going through with this hearing and forcing the prosecution to prove that this evidence is, in fact, reliable -- the court's saying, Look, it is novel. This is an unusual technique. It's one that may not be generally accepted in the scientific community. And if it's not generally accepted in the scientific community, then we will not allow this evidence in. So the fact that we're even having this hearing, Larry, is evidence to the fact that this is not something that is standard.

KING: Debatable. Dr. Ludwig, is there any psychological aspect so far in this to you?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it is interesting that, initially, people really thought Scott Peterson is guilty. And there is something called the "primacy effect," which is very similar to a first impression. So basically, if our first impression is a bad one, that is very hard to alter. But there's also something called the "recency effect," and if there is a time lag between an initial impression and then, subsequently, later we find out information that is very powerful, for some people, they will tend to believe what is most recently revealed. So it will be very interesting to see which way it goes.

KING: Ted Rowlands, isn't it all a bit moot since it's obvious that he's going to be bound over for trial? I mean, all of this whole 12 days, he's going to be bound over, right?

ROWLANDS: Yes. You know, the bar is pretty low here and, in fact...

KING: Right.

ROWLANDS: ... most preliminary hearings, most lawyers will say, are an afternoon, maybe one day. But I think that both sides, because of the publicity, want to come out of this either not losing any momentum or gaining momentum because they really are playing to a potential jury pool, no matter where this trial eventually takes place.

KING: Brian, is that the purpose of this, playing to 12 people?

MELLEY: Well, eventually, it will be, but you know, they've got to get...

KING: I mean, right now. Isn't all of it kind of moot? Nothing's in evidence yet. There's no trial yet. He's going to be bound over. Why all these days doing this?

MELLEY: Well, I think, eventually, they want to introduce this evidence, and maybe it's not the best evidence they have, but it's going to be tested, at some point. Why not test it now? And maybe if it's not the best evidence they have, they can use it in the preliminary hearing, get him bound over on it, and save some of their big guns for later.

KING: Nancy, why is this hearing important?

GRACE: Larry, if we did not have this hearing, you, Chris Pixley, the media in general, would be screaming, lying prostate on the courthouse steps, that Scott Peterson has not gotten his constitutional rights if this case were rubber-stamped and sent on to trial. This is a very important right in our constitution that Scott Peterson get every safeguard there is, including a hearing before this judge.

And I'd like to correct something that was said earlier. There are many states that have not yet considered mitochondrial DNA. They have not ruled out the use of mitochondrial DNA. And the number of 38 states in that position is changing literally by the month. Now that number has gone down to 34.

KING: Nancy, you can be indicted by a grand jury and not have a pre-trial hearing, can't you?

GRACE: Absolutely. And when that happens, Larry, you will hear the defense bar scream to the top of their lungs that it was done in secret and that the defense didn't get a chance to put up their witnesses or cross-examine witnesses! So here you've got an open forum, a very thorough forum, and that is why the state is going forward with the preliminary hearing.

KING: Let me get a break, and then Chris will respond. We'll be taking your calls. Gloria Allred will be joining us later. As we go to break, Mr. Geragos did speak with the press today. Watch.


MARK GERAGOS, SCOTT PETERSON'S ATTORNEY: Obviously, we're still -- we're still under a protective order, so I don't have anything to comment on that would violate the protective order, other than the fact that, obviously, we're glad to finally be underway, and we're looking forward to the truth coming out in this matter.



KING: We're not going to discuss Gloria Allred yet because she'll be on at the bottom of the hour, and then we can discuss her after her appearance, when I talk to her. I want to get in -- we'll take some calls in a little while. I want to get into Amy Rocha, but Chris, you want to respond to what Nancy said?

PIXLEY: Well, first of all, I agree with Ted and others. Obviously, it is a bit of a foregone conclusion that this case is going to be bound over for trial. I think that was the case the moment the bodies washed up in the San Francisco Bay. But there is a reason for going forward with the preliminary hearing as a defendant in a case that's receiving this much media attention. You've got to defend yourself. Let's be honest. The press tends to convict defendants. When was the last time any of us read a heading or a headline that said, Government brings bogus charges? It just doesn't...

GRACE: Kobe Bryant!

PIXLEY: ... happen. Well, but the headlines don't read that way. It's very balanced...


KING: Kobe Bryant never said bogus charge. What headline said that?

PIXLEY: Exactly. But what we do hear -- and Nancy will have to admit this -- in headlines are things like the statement of the California attorney general, when he said this case was a "slam dunk." So the defense has to take advantage of this opportunity to air...

KING: So that's why they want a preliminary.

PIXLEY: ... some evidence.


PIXLEY: That's why they want to go forward with this.

KING: Laci -- Laci Peterson's sister, Amy Rocha, may be called as a prosecution witness. She was one of the last people to see Scott and Laci together. That's the night before Laci disappeared. She was a guest on this show back in January, and Nancy Grace asked her about that last meeting. Watch.


GRACE: Amy, when did you last speak with Laci?

AMY ROCHA, LACI PETERSON'S SISTER: It was on Monday night, around 5:30. Scott and Laci both came into the salon where I work, and I had cut Scott's hair and -- so they were there together.

GRACE: Did she mention anything unusual? What was her frame of mind?

ROCHA: Nothing. It was just the same as always. They were both very happy. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Dr. Ludwig, do you think she's going to testify, Amy?

LUDWIG: If she's asked, I'm sure she will. She'll probably do anything she can to help out her deceased sister and to find the actual killer. And the family, at this point, after they found out he had an affair, seems to think that he is guilty. So I'm sure the family will do anything that it takes.

KING: Is there guessing, Ted? Is it definite that she'll be called? Does she have something germane to add?

ROWLANDS: Oh, yes. She was the last person to see Laci and Scott together, as you mentioned, and she knows what Laci was wearing the night that they came into her hair salon. And she was brought into the house during one of those search warrants on Covina to find the clothing that Laci was supposedly wearing the night before, and sources say she didn't find it. The clothing was not in the home. And sources also say that the pants that Laci found may have been those pants that she was wearing -- or that she was wearing when her remains were recovered was possibly the same pair of pants that she was wearing when she went to the hair salon.

That opens up the timeframe for the prosecution to say that Laci was killed the night before and not on Christmas Eve, as Scott said, that she was alive and went to walk the dog.

KING: And speaking of that...

ROWLANDS: So it goes a long way proving the timeline.

KING: And speaking of that, Ted, when the sister, Amy, was called -- may be called to testify -- she was on this show in February, and Nancy at that time asked her what Laci was wearing the last time she saw her. And here's the response.


ROCHA: I do know what she had on.

GRACE: What?

ROCHA: She was wearing, like, a black-colored top, with cream either flowers or polka dots on it. It was a maternity shirt. And like, cream-colored pants, a black coat, cream scarf.


KING: Nancy, why was that important?

GRACE: Well, it was important to me because I was wondering if the police had taken her into the home yet to see if she could find those clothes. Like, Larry, you could recognize your wife's clothes and vice versa. So I thought Amy could recognize some of Laci's clothes. And as a matter of fact, Larry, it was the next day that the police took Amy Rocha into the home. And I know this much. She came out of Laci's home crying, visibly crying really hard. And what I'm hearing from Ted Rowlands is that those suspicions were correct.

Another thing, regarding the timeline, the jury would have to believe that Laci, if Scott's telling the truth, wore the same maternity clothes to the hair salon, to dinner that night, into the evening, slept in the clothes and was killed and abducted by a satanic cult the next day wearing the same clothes. A jury's just not going to buy it.

KING: Brian Melley, what's the coverage like there? What's the press situation like?

MELLEY: Well, I've never covered a case quite this large. I was in Modesto during a lot of the Gary Condit-Chandra Levy disappearance, and it's just overwhelmed by the amount of coverage here. I have to say, it's probably not as large as it would have been. A lot of crews apparently pulled out to go cover wildfires down in southern California.

KING: Sure.

MELLEY: But you know, there's a small tent city set up here in front of the courthouse that we're in front of. And behind the cameras are -- is a large parking lot of -- well, a construction site that's been turned into what they're calling "satellite city," with satellite trucks and -- there's quite a bit of coverage. Nearly 200 reporters applied for press credentials to cover the case, to be in the courtroom, including a crew from a TV station in Japan. So it's being widely covered.

KING: We'll take a break, and when we come back, we'll include a few phone calls for this portion of the program with this panel. And as we go to break, Jackie Peterson spoke today with the press. Watch.


JACKIE PETERSON, SCOTT PETERSON'S MOTHER: We're fine, and we're glad it's getting started. And we're -- we're praying for wisdom for the court, and we're looking forward to seeing the truth come out.



KING: We're back. Let's include some calls. Hayward, California. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. Hi, Larry. Good evening.


CALLER: I love your show. Watch it all the time. And Nancy, you're great, too. I have a question. I'd like to find out, will the trial ever be televised live over the air?

KING: Do we know, Scott or Chris -- do we know, Chris Pixley, whether it will be?

PIXLEY: No, we don't know yet, and we don't even know if that request is going to be made. But at this point in time, obviously, the cameras are being kept out of the preliminary hearing. It's a long time before we'll probably know the answer to that question, though.

KING: You got a guess, Robi?

LUDWIG: I would guess no because of the concern about the impact the media could have on the trial. And it does have a clear impact.

GRACE: I disagree!

LUDWIG: I would like to see the cameras in the courtroom, though. I'm hoping that they will agree to it.

GRACE: Larry, I disagree.

KING: Nancy?

GRACE: No. 1, there will be a request for cameras to be in the courtroom. There's a big difference between a preliminary hearing and a petite jury, a jury of 12. The reason the judge may not have wanted the prelim broadcast is so it won't affect the jury pool. Once there's a jury in place, the jury pool will not be affected. They will not be watching television. So we'll also have a different judge at that time. Right now, you've got the prelim judge. If he decides to bind it over, which I think he will, it will then go to a trial judge. So they've got a whole different -- a clean slate.

KING: Sequestered jury?

GRACE: I would think, yes. Nobody likes it. Everybody hates it. But probably yes.

KING: Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I was wanting to know from Nancy that when Laci's family went inside and took her belongings, are the defense going to make an issue over this?

GRACE: Yes. I think...

KING: They did at the time.

GRACE: Yes. Remember, the attorney that's no long with the defense team, no longer sitting at the table with Mark Geragos, came out and demanded that Laci's family be arrested for felony burglary. I think Mark Geragos will probably try to play that down because you don't want that can of worms opened in front of a jury, where Laci's mother, who only wanted her wedding dress and a few other sentimental items, was threatened with a burglary charge! Geragos will probably keep the lid on that pot, but it may come up as far as contamination of the crime scene.

KING: Tampa, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question is based on a recent report by Nancy Grace that Scott Peterson has received a plethora letters from women showing support and love. Is this truly a case of things that make you go, Huh?

KING: In other words, like, why is it a story? Is that your question?

GRACE: No, why are they writing love letters?


KING: Well, all prisoners...

GRACE: I think I can answer that.

KING: ... get that. All convicts, prisoners, accused -- Robi?

LUDWIG: Well, some women like the idea of rescuing a man. They are also women who are attracted to men in prison. It's this kind of false intimacy, where it's not like the real world. They get to be the focus of attention. And clearly, Scott has not been convicted yet, so they may identify with him as being a victim in life.

KING: How does he look, Brian?

MELLEY: We didn't see a lot of Scott Peterson today. He had his back turned to the gallery. I did happen to see him after the hearing, as he shuffled across the hallway to head back to the jail. He, you know, sort of looked out of place in his suit with his ankles shackled and -- ankles shackled and his wrists shackled. But I didn't see much of him during the hearing. Saw him smile at his folks at one point, and that was about it.

KING: Northport, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes. I have heard in interviews that Laci was a strong- minded person and that she was take-charge and she would sort of like to run things. And her family and friends thought that was terrific. But I would suggest that it's very likely that Scott, indeed, if he did this, perhaps didn't think this was so terrific, and that a simple motive could have been that he just grew to hate her.

KING: Well, Robi, is the tough part in all of this going to be motive, since there is a way out if you're unhappy, and it's called divorce? LUDWIG: It's called divorce, if you're healthy, but if you're spoiled and you're egocentric -- you know, people who are psychopaths tend to suffer (ph) for a wrong view of the world, that it's all about them. And they don't have the balance in their head, where they say, Oh, here's a consequence for bad behavior. So it's very possible, if she confronted him, if he felt, let's say, forced in the marriage, to even be in the marriage, to be a parent, that he just lost control. And perhaps it wasn't premeditated, but it ended in death anyway.

GRACE: You know what, Larry? The caller called in, asking if he hated her, if that could be a motive. Simple hate or resentment sure can be a motive, but I would suggest that only about seven months before that, he didn't hate her. Where'd the baby come from? He must have loved her to some extent, and he married her.


GRACE: I don't know that hate -- and also, the viewer seemed to suggest that Laci was bossy or -- I've never read that. I've never heard that report ever, not once.

KING: So what's your -- what's your theory of motive?

GRACE: My theory on the motive is, A, the state doesn't have to prove it, but you like to give it to a jury anyway -- is that he simply wanted his freedom. We have heard reports that Laci had figured out about Amber and/or others -- we know there are other women -- and told him he would have to pay child support and alimony.

KING: So rather than that, you kill somebody?

GRACE: So let's just say that would have put a cramp in his -- Larry, I know it doesn't make any sense to you or to me, but I can name you off the top of my head 15 guys, 20, 30, that killed their wives. It doesn't make sense. Why not get a divorce? But that doesn't play into some people's heads.

KING: Chris...

LUDWIG: Murder doesn't make sense anyway as a coping strategy, period.

KING: Chris, will the prosecution have to show some history of violence on his part?

PIXLEY: Well, you know, practically speaking, that's what you want, Larry. And of course, they don't have that in this case. And that raises one of the big questions. You know, not only how did he commit this crime, if he's responsible for it -- we have no physical evidence that we're aware of, at this point, that would explain how he committed it -- but again, why he did it and whether he has the capacity to do that. This is a guy with what we're told is a fairly pristine record, no history of violence. And so it's a very big challenge for the prosecution to step up and show that, for reasons of freedom or because he had a girlfriend, that somebody with no history of this kind would suddenly do something so violent, and again, with a child on the way. That is an uphill battle.

KING: Ted, how long is this hearing supposed to take place?

ROWLANDS: The estimate is five days. But today, especially after today's hearing, people have changed it to six or seven days. We'll have to wait and see. I guess it all depends on the rest of the witnesses and how much of a defense Mark Geragos is going to put up with each of these witnesses, in terms of his cross-exam. But if it's anything like today, I think probably five to seven days is a good estimate.

KING: We thank Brian Melley for joining us. We'll be calling on him again. We appreciate it, Brian.

When we come back, I'm going to spend some moments with Gloria Allred, and then go back to the panel, and more of your phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: Joining us now for a few moments, in Modesto, California, is Gloria Allred, the attorney for Amber Frey, Scott Peterson's former girlfriend. Defense attorney Mark Geragos tried to have Gloria excluded from court today, arguing she was an agent and therefore would provide information to her client about what happened at the preliminary hearings before they could cross-examine Amber. The judge allows Gloria to remain in court, with the proviso she can't discuss anything with Amber.

How are they going to control that, Gloria?

GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY'S ATTORNEY: Well, actually, it's not that I can't discuss anything with Amber. It's that I can't discuss the testimony of witnesses with Amber. But honestly, Larry, I don't see how Amber would benefit anyway from knowing what the mitochondrial DNA expert testified to today.

Mr. Geragos tried to exclude me today. He's tried in the past to have a gag order imposed on me and he was unsuccessful -- to have a hearing held to hold me in contempt for the gag order. He was unsuccessful. And today to exclude me from the courtroom. He was unsuccessful.

KING: Why...

ALLRED: Three strikes. I think he should get over it. I'm there. I'm her attorney and he needs to deal with his own client.

KING: Why do you need to be at the hearing?

ALLRED: Well, I think I need to understand the case in order to advise my client, to help her...

KING: About what?

ALLRED: understand the criminal justice system. Well, I would never disclose, Larry, what the content of my communication would be...

KING: No, Gloria, I mean, she's -- she's just a witness. She doesn't have to know about evidence. She doesn't have to know about the case. She doesn't have to know about proof. All she is, is, tell your story. Why does she have to know anything else?

ALLRED: Well, and she is going to if called to testify.

KING: So therefore, why does she need a lawyer? Why does she need you?

ALLRED: I think that witnesses can benefit in high profile cases from having an attorney to advise them and to support them. It's not the first time I've been an attorney for witnesses and for victims in other criminal cases, and I'm sure that it won't be the last time.

There are -- often a witness is under attack. Her -- sometimes their reputation is unfairly maligned and I think it's important to have legal advice to understand what a person's options are in that kind of situation.

KING: But that would be after the trial, wouldn't it? If she is maligned in any way? I mean, why do you have to be at a hearing where your client is going to be a witness, where all you -- all you can instruct her is just tell what you know. I mean, what other instruction can you give her but just tell the truth? You can't object in court. You have no state in the court. What can you do?

ALLRED: Well, actually, I have been heard in this courtroom a number of times since this case began.

KING: Yes, but when the trial begins you can't object to a question asked of her while you're sitting in the audience, right?

ALLRED: Well, that's true, Larry.

KING: So...

ALLRED: That's true. And she doesn't need to take the fifth because there's no way that she has...

KING: Right. So again, what do you do there? What do you do?

ALLRED: Well I'm there as -- I'm there as her support, as her adviser. And I'm entitled to be there. And if I weren't entitled to be there, I think the judge would have excluded me, as Mr. Geragos requested today.

And -- you know, defendants are not the only ones who are entitled to have attorneys. Victims and witnesses are also entitled to have attorneys. And I'm glad that they're exercising their right to have them. In -- often in this case, my client's reputation has been unfairly attacked. Inaccurate statements have been made. People have tried to profit at her expense. And -- and I think she shouldn't have to be alone in all of this.

She's been very brave. She's cooperated with law enforcement. And she should know there are other people out there who care about her and who are there to support her. And I'm one of those people.

KING: Are you anticipating the filing a lawsuit? That's the way it sounds.

ALLRED: Well, Amber actually hasn't -- Amber has already filed a lawsuit, actually, Larry, against...

KING: Against?

ALLRED: Against the person who -- who dared to publish photos of her on the Internet for profit when she -- when her position is that she has not released her rights to those photos. And she has filed that lawsuit and I'm very glad that she's filed it. I haven't filed it on her behalf. Someone else has. Because I will be a witness in that important case.

KING: Does Amber have an opinion in this case?

ALLRED: Amber's feeling about whether or not Scott Peterson is guilty or is -- or should be acquitted is that that that is for a jury to decide, Larry, that that is not for her to decide. It is only her job to testify if, as and when and if she's called to testify, and not to reach a conclusion on whether or not Scott Peterson is innocent or guilty.

She is going to be neutral. She is going to just provide her testimony and then the jury, based on all of the evidence, will make its decision.

KING: As a defense attorney, do you tend to sympathize with Scott?

ALLRED: Well, actually, I'm not a defense attorney. I'm a victim's rights attorney.

KING: You're not?

ALLRED: No. And, I represent victims and that's very different thing.

But I -- as to Scott, I really can't say that I have sympathy for him or no sympathy for him. He is certainly well-represented and I don't spend time thinking about sympathy for Scott. I really am -- I have sympathy for the family of the murder victim. And I also have sympathy for my own client, Amber Frey, who's taken many (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in this case.

KING: But she's not a victim, is she? You said you were a victim's rights attorney.

ALLRED: Oh, absolutely.

KING: Amber Frey is a victim of what?

ALLRED: Oh, absolutely. Oh, she's a victim of Scott Peterson's deception, absolutely, because he indicated that he was not married to her, and she did -- she believed that he was not married and had she known he was married, she would not have had a relationship with him. So yes, she is a victim of Scott Peterson.

KING: So therefore, is she going to sue him? Or not?

ALLRED: Amber Frey has no -- has no plans to sue Scott Peterson. Her only -- her only thought is to take care of her little girl, to go to work every day, and to testify truthfully in this case if she's called as a witness. That's the only focus of Amber Frey.

And, you know, it's been a -- she's under a lot of pressure. It's going to take a great deal of courage to come into that courtroom, if she's called to testify. And I hope that many other people will be supporting her. Many have indicated that to me through e-mails and we really thank them for it.

KING: Are you staying through the whole hearing?

ALLRED: I will be here through the preliminary hearing, Larry, and that's -- that I think is going to go into next week. And we don't know exactly how long it's going to last. But I think it's an important hearing -- double murder case -- and I plan to be here until the end.

KING: And you cannot tell your client about anything a witness said. Is that the ruling?

ALLRED: Yes. I cannot advise her as to the testimony of other witnesses. But, you know, I can still advise her and I intend to advise her and I will do so in compliance with all the rules of professional responsibility, taking into account my duty to the client and also taking into account the order of the court and the spirit of that order.

KING: But there is one thin line here. You do have client- lawyer privilege, right? So no one knows what you say to your client.

ALLRED: I do. Larry, you're absolutely right about that. I have attorney-client privilege. That means that any communication between my -- between the attorney and a client is confidential. She cannot be compelled to testify as to what I told her, nor could I be compelled to testify...


KING: The judge's ruling therefore is unenforceable?

ALLRED: Well, I think....

KING: How -- are they going to put a tape on you?

ALLRED: No. I don't think that's a happening thing. I think... KING: No.

ALLRED: ... the judge is going to be relying on my honor. And in 27 years practicing law, I think that my integrity has been intact and I think he knows that he can rely on that. I'm a member of the bar and I take my responsibilities very seriously.

KING: Thanks, Gloria. We'll be calling on you again. Gloria Allred, the attorney for...

ALLRED: Thank you, Larry.

KING: ...Amber Frey. Always good to see you.

We'll take a break and come back with the panel. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Let's reintroduce our panel -- I'm laughing because Brian Nelly is still with us. We've asked him to come back, because we like him so much. Brian, thanks for staying with us. Ted Rowlands remains in Modesto, California. Both Brian and Ted cover the trial. In New York is Nancy Grace, from "Closing Arguments" on Court TV. In Atlanta, Chris Pixley. And psychologist in New York, Dr. Robi Ludwig. Nancy, what did you make of what Gloria Allred had to say?

GRACE: I think over time, many, many witnesses do have attorneys in the courtroom. And you're right, she can't stand up in the back of the courtroom and scream out, I object! But, Amber Frey does have a right for a lawyer to be there.

What it says to me is you can count on several civil suits lining up as soon as this verdict is in, stories sold, made for TV movies. You know what, hey, it's America, have at it. I'd be mad if you didn't. The only kicker is, don't do it before she takes the stand. Why? Cross-examination on a money interest, the state doesn't need that. Remember what happened in O.J.?

KING: Yes. Chris Pixley, what do you make of Gloria Allred's -- what she said?

PIXLEY: Well, I thought it was interesting. I still don't think you got an answer of what her purpose is in the courtroom at this point in time. It would be one thing if the defense's theory was that Amber Frey had a role in Laci's disappearance, but, of course, from day one. We have never heard that.

And short of that, I don't know there's a legitimate reason for her to have civil counsel or a victim's right attorney or anyone else involved on her behalf.

And I agree with Nancy. I think, the end game here ultimately are the book deals and what comes after the trial. That doesn't require Gloria being involved in the preliminary hearing or the trial though.

KING: Dr. Ludwig, does Amber Frey need support?

LUDWIG: It's very possible. I mean, she strikes me as somebody who was very nervous when all of this information came out. She doesn't strike me as somebody who's a celebrity wannabe, but somebody who was scared, perhaps she could have even been implicated.

So, Gloria Allred could be not only her attorney, but almost like the good mother figure giving support in this very trying time. And also, makes her look somewhat vulnerable, which could work to her advantage.

KING: Brian, was that part the most interesting part of the day, the argument about Gloria Allred?

MELLEY: No, I don't think it was the most interesting part of the day. And one of the things that you've raised too, was also raised by Mark Geragos, which was that, he didn't think Gloria Allred had any standing in the court to even object to such an order. Of course, she did get to have her say. But, no, it wasn't a very dramatic showdown by any means.

Probably the most interesting part of the day was the actual evidence and they finally got down to the one little piece after listening to the sort of tutorial on DNA evidence.

Also, I thought one of the most interesting parts was that Laci Peterson's name was hardly ever mentioned in the opening hearing. Her family mentioned at the beginning. I don't think I heard it after that.

KING: Now, do you expect, Ted -- Mark Geragos, to cross-examine this FBI person?

MELLEY: Yes, he started that in the afternoon session, and he will continue that in the morning tomorrow. Also, he is bringing his own expert witness on Monday to most likely refute some of the stuff that was said today and basically try to poke holes in the science here with the mitochondria DNA and you can see him setting up his witness with some of the questions he was asking the FBI witness in the afternoon session.

KING: Back to the calls. Jonesboro, Arkanasas, hello.

CALLER: Yes, my question is -- first of all, Nancy, I think you're great. And my question is, I haven't heard anything mentioned of Dr. Lee and Dr. Wecht. And I know that the defense retained them. Do they have to testify no matter what their findings, whether it's favors the defense?

KING: Good question -- Chris.

PIXLEY: No. They won't have to testify. I think ultimately, Dr. Lee and Dr. Wecht probably will be testifying here. Remember, this is evidence that is very much in dispute. What the cause of death was. Whether there is evidence that actually, you know, body parts were physically removed by the killers as opposed by the tide. Something that occurred in the bay.

So, I think that we will hear from them but, no, they wouldn't have to. The defense does not have to put them on the stand. They don't have to use them.

KING: Orlando, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Larry, I have a question and then a statement. Very important. I've never heard this before.

KING: We want to do the statement first?

CALLER: Can you hear me, Larry?

KING: Do the statement first.

CALLER: The statement?

KING: Yes.

CALLER: The statement is, what does this have to say about -- can you hear me?

KING: Yes!

CALLER: What does it say about Scott Peterson? I have never seen, in a press conference, or anything where it shows Scott's parents any support from his brothers. What does that say? Because Amy and in Laci's brother always there to support the mother, but Scott's five brothers are never on the scene. What does that -- what statement are we getting from that?

KING: Is that Ted? What do you make of it?

ROWLANDS: Well, it's inaccurate. That's inaccurate. His brothers have come out. In fact, last Friday the only Peterson family member in Modesto was his brother John and he was very supportive.

So, the Peterson family, make no mistake about it, have been behind Scott since the beginning and remain solely behind him and completely believe in his innocence including his brothers.

KING: Lake Eerio, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Larry, I have a question. I'm thinking Nancy might be able to answer this.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: I heard today that Scott's parents wearing yellow ribbons which usually in the whole case signified that justice for Laci, but in the trial itself, justice for Laci might mean a conviction for their son. So if they're wearing yellow ribbons, can you kind of play around the significance of that?

GRACE: I heard that. That that was done in the courtroom today and that could backfire just as you are pointing out. Why they chose to wear a ribbon that was symbolic of Laci, I don't know, other than the fact they truly believe their son is innocent. Whether that is seeing the world with blinders on, I don't know. But that is what they believe. I find it ironic that they used her ribbon that has been used in the past to wear in the courtroom, though. I agree with you.

KING: Clearwater, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Go ahead. Go ahead. Can you hear me, ma'am?

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Okay. Well, I have two -- a question and a comment.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: The first thing is that they put so much emphasis on one piece of hair that was found on the boat. And I know that pregnant women lose hair a lot of times and my hair floats all over the place. That's No. 1.

The other thing is more for Nancy, and what is, is that emotion -- like well balance, emotional balanced people recover from bad news very quickly. And, all the indicators about Scott Peterson was that he's well balanced and you always talked about certain ways that he should behave. And grieve and not play golf, et cetera, et cetera. I don't think a well balanced human being should sit at home and grief.

KING: Nancy, are you prejudging his behavior?

GRACE: Well, let me clarify something that I had said. Regarding him playing golf, I found it disturbing that he allegedly would pick up a stack of fliers and claim to the volunteers working to help find his wife that he was going out to put them out on cars and public places and instead go play golf. Okay? That's disturbing to me.

What is also disturbing to me regarding his demeanor -- and believe me, I have been there as a crime victim. What disturbed me now that all the evidence is out regarding all the phone calls that were made, is that on the day he's going to a vigil to hold a candle and pray up to the sky to find his wife and baby, he's on a phone with Amber Frey for an hour asking her to move to Europe with him so she can have his baby. Okay? I don't think that's typical grief. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe a jury will disagree with me. But you know what, I don't think so.

PIXLEY: Nothing that Nancy has just referred to is actually evidence that's come out in court. The only thing I find disturbing is the reference...

GRACE: It was in court filings.

KING: Filings?


PIXLEY: Nancy, Nancy, I'm sorry. The first story about Scott going golfing while other people -- while claims to be putting out fliers for his missing wife, that's not in any filing out there. If you have an unnamed source you want to name now, now would be the appropriate time because I think it's disturbing to go on national TV and make news disparaging a defendant in the double murder trial.

GRACE: I was referring the phone calls, Chris. Take a look at the 400-page document that the state filed two weeks ago. I am not referring the fliers but to the phone calls.

PIXLEY: Yes, yes. We have read those and I would like to see where the phone calls contain testimony or statements by Scott Peterson saying, hey, you know, I was supposed to be putting fliers out. I said I was, but in fact I was golfing.

GRACE: I'm referring the phone calls prior to the vigil, Chris.

PIXLEY: Yes. OK. So you don't have an answer for the first statement. The golf.

GRACE: I read that in an AP report and reports from sources that were there with the volunteers at the Red Lion. The second thing I referred to is in an official court filing.

PIXLEY: OK. I'll keep looking for that.

KING: OK. We'll come back with remaining moments. Try to get a few more calls in. Don't go away.


KING: Salt Lake City, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hi. Hey, I was just wondering if the Laci and Scott's home -- what's going on with that. If they're selling it or if it's occupied. Any of that.

KING: Brian Melley do we know what's the situation at the house?

MELLEY: I actually I don't know what the situation at the house is. Maybe Ted does.

KING: Do you know?

ROWLANDS: Yes. The Peterson's are actually living there when they come up to Modesto or staying there when they come up. Scott cannot sell the house until the trial is over. The Rochas did file basically a freeze on this. So that they could make sure that none of the assets were liquidating until the trial is over. So it's there and the Petersons use it when they come up to visit Scott or go to a hearing.

KING: New York, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi. This is for Nancy. I was very curious since Laci was close with her mother, that it was very strange when she spoke to her that night didn't tell her that Scott was going fishing the next day. And then there was a boat that appeared. If she didn't tell her that night, why didn't she call her the next day and Scott's going fishing on Christmas eve?

And why wasn't he working since his wife is pregnant?

GRACE: I don't think you're the only one wondering about the answers to those questions. I think a jury will, too. It sounds fishy. It smells fishy. Also, regarding the boat, it's my understanding and Ted probably knows the answer for sure, that Lee Peterson, Scott Peterson's father subpoenaed possibly to answer the question that nobody knew Scott had bought a boat. And Larry, I remember distinctly on your show, we asked various members of the family if they knew about the boat. Nobody knew about it.

You know what, isn't that significant? It could go to premeditation.

KING: Do we know anything, Ted. I have 20 seconds.

ROWLANDS: Well, the defense claims that Laci knew about the boat and claim that they may have a witness at the warehouse that saw Laci there in the days prior which may come in during this hair testimony and, of course, to the boat, as well.

KING: Thank you all very much. Ted Rowlands, Brian Melley, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley and Dr. Robi Ludwig, we'll do more tomorrow night. We will also have another guest tomorrow night. Half the show is devoted to this. The other half to the other guest. And you may find that interesting and I'll tell you who that is when we come back. See that's called a grabber. See. Stay with me to find out.

We'll be right back on LARRY KING LIVE, don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night, we'll have another panel. A lot of the same people returning, of course, to discuss the Peterson matter and spend half of the program with Paul Burrell, the former aide to Princess Di who has written that now infamous book, which is now famous world wide. Paul Burrell tomorrow night and we'll take your phone calls.



International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.