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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Analysis of Scott Peterson Arraignment
Aired December 3, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that correct, Mr. Peterson, you're pleading not guilty to the two charges of murder, plus the special -- denying the special allegations?
SCOTT PETERSON: That's correct, Your Honor. I'm innocent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: Scott Peterson in court today, stating he didn't murder his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner. What was the reaction to Scott's statement? And what's next in this case that's gripped the nation?
We'll ask Ted Rowlands of KTVU, inside the courtroom today, plus Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor, high-profile defense attorney Chris Pixley, psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig. We'll spend some moments with Adam Stewart, the civil attorney for Laci Peterson's mother, Sharon Rocha. And Gloria Allred, attorney for Scott Peterson's other woman, Amber Frey. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Let's start with Ted Rowlands. Busy day in court. Give us an update.
TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV: Well, as expected, Scott Peterson pled not guilty to the charges against him. Then the judge set a couple dates in the case. Tentatively, he set the trial date at January 26. More importantly, the much anticipated change of venue motion will be argued on January 6. Peterson will be back for another hearing on the 12th of this month.
Then the bulk of the day was spent talking about the return-of- property motion that the defense filed. The defense wanted Scott Peterson's pick-up truck to be returned to the family, saying that they've been making payments on this truck and it is inappropriate for them to continue to do so for no good reason.
Well, the prosecution got up and said, Well, there's a very good reason. We want to use this truck during the trial. We want to show the jury the truck. There's blood in this truck that's Scott Peterson's. We believe it came from an injury that he sustained either during the murder or just after the murder of his wife. The judge, however, in the end, sided with the defense, saying that he did not see anything unique about this truck. He ordered it returned to the Peterson family within two weeks, along with the almost $15,000 in cash that was confiscated when Peterson was arrested near San Diego.
KING: Nancy Grace, if the change of venue is granted, that throws out the January 26 date, right?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Absolutely. And Larry, what's interesting is that a few months back, the prosecution asked the judge, could they begin polling the local county residents regarding their knowledge or any impartiality in this case, and he disallowed it. If that had been allowed at that time, we would be ready to go forward with the trial January 26, as Geragos asked. I was surprised that Geragos actually asked for such an early trial date, but I predict, Larry -- I'll do it right here, right now tonight -- the case will not go forward. Remember how many tries we had at the prelim before it finally went forward?
KING: Chris Pixley, what do you think will happen? Do you think they'll delay it because of rulings on change of venue?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't know that the rulings will delay it, Larry. And you know, it's really a mixed bag. I think there are a number of good reasons for pressing forward right now and exercising Scott Peterson's right to a speedy trial, but there are a lot of practical limitations, as well. And I think Nancy's right on when she says it may be very difficult to do this.
Remember something, though. We've had reports just in the last week that Amber Frey is pregnant. She is reportedly, if the reports are true, five or six months pregnant. If she is pregnant at the time of trial and if Scott Peterson can get this case on track for trial in late January, then that would be an explosive fact, to have her walk into the courtroom full term when it comes her time to testify. Now, there are a lot of ifs in that because, of course, the state's case can take months to put on. And they can choose to put her up late in the case, if they want to. But there are a lot of good reasons for trying to move it forward. Whether that actually can be done by Scott's defense team with the huge task they still face is a big question, I think.
KING: And Gloria Allred will tell us more about the pregnancy factor when she joins us in a little while. Dr. Ludwig, a change of venue means it's the opinion of the judge that they can't get a fair trial. How do they judge that?
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYD.: They usually...
KING: In that county. How do they judge...
LUDWIG: Probably be taking certain polls and trying to find out if people in the community can be fair and unbiased. And of course, there's a whole questioning process for that. The problem is, with such a highly publicized case, everybody knows all of the details, so it's not clear what a change of venue would actually do for the defense. However, if I were part of the defense team, I would certainly try to get a change of venue because it would have to help in terms of just providing a little bit of distance because you certainly don't want to have people on the jury who knew Laci. That's just too close for comfort.
KING: Does that mean, then, like, as far away as -- if you change the venue, you'd go to San Diego?
LUDWIG: Wow. That's a legal question, but you certainly want to change a venue where people can be as open-minded as possible. And there are different polls, I believe, and Nancy and Chris probably could back me up, that would help determine that.
KING: I'll ask them both about that. I'll ask Nancy about the truck in a minute.
Ted, why was his money held? The money wasn't gained in the commission of a crime.
ROWLANDS: Yes, well, the prosecution didn't put up any fight on the money. They said, You know what? We agree that we should give back the money. So they stipulated that they'll be able to make copies of the money, but they put up no argument at all about giving back the money.
Also today in court, the judge did say no to a media request to allow some of the autopsies to be part of the public record. He also kept the gag order intact. Mark Geragos argued that he should be given some sort of a window so he could basically combat any charges out there in the media that are incorrect. But the judge said no, he's going to just keep the protective order in place.
KING: Nancy Grace, concerning the truck -- if there was blood in the truck, that could be introduced into evidence without having the physical truck, can't it?
GRACE: Well, sure. But Larry, I've got to tell you something. I can't -- I don't know how many cases I've tried. I can't even count them. And I've had plenty of judges rule against me, but never have I had a judge take away the state's evidence! I don't mean, Larry, rule, OK, this is inadmissible or this is suppressed. I'm not going to let the jury find out about this. But actually take away the evidence.
And Larry, what's so significant about the truck, in my mind, is, No. 1, it is emasculating the state's case. It's taking away their physical evidence. And Larry, we have seen Geragos, as he should -- this is a shrewd move -- challenge the authenticity of every state's piece of evidence. Every move the prosecution or the defense makes, he says, Hey, when did you really take that picture? When did you -- did you really sign that document? Did you really follow the steps you should have? And he's going to have that same tactic at trial. But Larry, it's not just about the blood. And Peterson stated in a national interview, as a salesman, he bleeds all the time! But there's not only the blood in the car, Larry, but there's cement in the back of the car that I think the state hopes they can tie up to cement found in the warehouse!
KING: Well, Chris Pixley, was the truck going to be brought into court? Why do you think the judge released it? PIXLEY: The judge did the right thing here. I disagree with Nancy. I mean, the idea that the prosecution is going to take the jury on a field trip to go examine this standard Ford F-150 truck and treat it as though it's a smoking gun is kind of laughable. The fact is, they had the preliminary hearing. They don't have to present all their evidence. But let's be honest. If they had blood evidence and they didn't present a stitch of blood evidence at this preliminary hearing -- if they had it, they would have presented it. So we're talking about...
GRACE: They said it today, Chris.
PIXLEY: ... a drop of blood. We're not talking about a pool of blood. They didn't have blood evidence at the preliminary hearing.
GRACE: They said it today, Chris.
PIXLEY: Yes, they said they have blood...
GRACE: Larry, that's not correct! They said there is Scott's blood in more than one spot in that car, and they believe they will be able to connect that to the time of the murder. I think that's very important, Chris. And not only that, they mentioned the umbrellas, Larry. We know that a neighbor claims to have seen Scott loading things into this truck.
PIXLEY: Nancy, you know they can't connect...
GRACE: I don't give away my evidence!
PIXLEY: ... the blood to the time of the murder. You know there is no test that will show us empirically...
GRACE: I agree.
PIXLEY: ... that blood that's found in the truck was from December 24...
PIXLEY: ... any more than...
PIXLEY: ... from June 24. So...
GRACE: And I never said that. How about if...
PIXLEY: I just heard you say it.
GRACE: ... the neighbor saw fresh cuts on his hand? You don't have to -- you can't date blood, but what if the neighbors and detectives saw fresh cuts on his hand?
PIXLEY: That will all...
GRACE: What if the blood was still wet?
PIXLEY: ... come into evidence. Why do you need to take the jury out to view the actual truck to see that? It's treating the truck as though it's more than what it is.
KING: All right, I got to get...
PIXLEY: And Nancy, you're doing that here, as well.
KING: Let me get a break. We'll take a break and come back, and we'll spend some moments with Adam Stewart, the attorney for the deceased's mother. Don't go away. As we go to break, here's Geragos speaking today to the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS, SCOTT PETERSON'S ATTORNEY: ... jury view of the truck, which is fine and dandy, if they want to buy the truck. But the problem is, is that there's payments on that truck that are being made every month. In addition to that, they can obtain a truck, I'm sure, from a local dealer that's the same truck. I'll stipulate that it's the same truck. Or in the alternative, I'm perfectly willing to sell them the truck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Before getting back to the panel, we're going to spend a few moments with Adam Stewart, the attorney for Sharon Rocha, who is the mother of the deceased. There's a civil suit pending to prevent Scott Peterson from profiting from the case.
Isn't that premature, Adam, because if he's found not guilty, he can write a book, can't he?
ADAM STEWART, CIVIL ATTORNEY FOR LACI'S MOTHER, SHARON ROCHA: Well, actually, Larry, if he's found not guilty, you're correct. He could write a book and potentially profit from that. But the law was amended to permit us to file this once he's been charged with a crime. As you've noticed, lately, there's been a lot of fund-raising activity going on by Scott's defense team, and many of those things are Laci's property.
KING: This suit, though, would have to be heard after he were found guilty, right?
STEWART: No, actually, we have a management conference coming up in January, and we're going to ask the court at that time to impose a constructive trust over any profits or proceeds that have been generated as a result of the notoriety with this particular case.
KING: But then, if he were found not guilty, that trust would have to go back to him.
KING: Yes. STEWART: You're absolutely correct. Then those funds would be released to him. But in the interim, we have a lot of assets. I mean, in the last week, we've seen the home encumbered to the tune of $100,000. We've seen the vehicle now released, which Laci has an interest in. We've seen $15,000 released, which Laci has an interest in. And we've now come to discover photographs that have been made available to news organizations at a high price. Lots of money out there being made.
KING: How is she doing, Sharon? She was in court today.
STEWART: It was a very difficult day. I spoke with Sharon shortly before coming here this evening. I spoke with Ron. Ron wanted to be here. He wants to abide by the gag order, so he didn't make it this evening. But it was a very difficult day for them.
KING: And it's going to get worse, now, right, as we approach the anniversary.
STEWART: Yes. Many people have asked me if they're going to be doing anything to commemorate the anniversary, and anything that's going to be done is going to be private. We are looking into preparing and filing a wrongful death action on behalf of Sharon and Dennis Rocha. And so that's something we're working on.
KING: They were friendly at one time, very friendly. Any contact between the Rocha and Peterson families at all?
STEWART: None whatsoever.
KING: The reaction Sharon had to the photos from inside Laci and Scott's home that were shown on TV?
STEWART: Extremely upset. These photographs -- and they're in my office today in the form of a videotape -- apparently taken recently, as recently as October, because there's some decorations in the home that weren't put there by my client. And she's wondering who granted access to the home, who gave them permission to film the home and then make those available and -- to media organizations to look at that. Laci still has an interest in that home, and essentially, Sharon feels they're using Laci assets to finance Scott's defense. And it's very difficult, in terms of being a victim here.
KING: What are your own thoughts about the change of venue idea?
STEWART: Personally peeking, I think it's probably going to happen. I think it's something that's going to be somewhat automatic. Is it going to matter where else it goes? Probably not. I tend to agree with the prosecution that everybody knows about this case.
KING: Thank you, Adam. Adam Stewart, always good talking to you, the attorney for Sharon Rocha.
Nancy Grace, what did you make of what he had to say about -- in general, what he had to say about the lawsuit and the rest? GRACE: Well, I would be very interested to find out, Larry, if someone from the defense camp had given access to the media to take photos from inside that home or video, and if there was money compensation. I would be very interested to find that out.
I can tell you right now, there's either going to be a change of venue, Larry, or they're going to bus jurors in from another county. The judge doesn't need another appellate headache. I think he's already got one on his hands, and that's the ruling today regarding that truck. I think -- I know he stated today that there were two weeks before he would enforce this order giving this truck with Scott Peterson's blood in it back to the defense. During that time, I think the state can, what we call, "go up." In other words, a certificate of immediate review. They appeal that trial decision before it's too late.
KING: Does he have a point, Chris, about that house still, in a sense, belonging to Laci Peterson, and the fact you're using funds from the house to defend what might be her murderer? It's sort of like the kid who shoots his parents and then pleads to get off because he's an orphan.
PIXLEY: Yes. The answer really depends, though, on whether you're speaking legally or practically. I think, practically speaking, most people recognize that Sharon Rocha and Laci's family have some rights here, and that they have reason to be upset and reason to step in and try to impose a constructive trust, or for that matter, seek an injunction, if they believe that Scott Peterson is going to be convicted.
The problem is, this is still putting the cart before the horse. As you said, Larry, you know, this -- this -- there may be legal cause for this civil action in California by virtue of a change in the statute. I've looked at it. But the fact of the matter is, this is not ripe for adjudication unless Adam Stewart can show that Scott Peterson had profited from his notoriety or that Scott Peterson is essentially whittling away the assets.
And I think the latter argument is not an effective argument because it is still, again, legally Scott Peterson's property. When Laci died, the common property between the two of them went to Scott. So you understand where they're coming from, but I don't think that, legally, they're in the right position.
KING: Dr. Ludwig, you do understand the family's involvement, do you not?
LUDWIG: Oh, absolutely. Again, they are victims of a horrendous crime. We are coming up on the anniversary of the horrible death of both Mrs. Rocha's daughter and grandson. And I don't think it would look very good for Scott Peterson to be profiting off anything related to the crime. It just makes him look worse than he potentially already does. I mean, it is just -- it's not proper. And I can't speak to the legalities of it, but I think a jury, if they were looking at him and he was clearly profiting from anything related to this crime prior to the trial, he would look really criminal. KING: And how, Ted Rowlands, did Scott look in court? We see him there. How was his manner generally?
ROWLANDS: Well, today he seemed very relaxed and very confident. He was joking around with Geragos before the judge entered the courtroom. And comparing him to other court appearances as of late, he looked much more relaxed and much more confident. When he said not guilty or when he entered his plea, he said, I'm innocent, and he seemed to have conviction behind that.
KING: We'll take a break. When we come back, we'll talk to Gloria Allred about her client, Amber Frey. As we go to break, the prosecutor discussing the truck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK DISTASSO, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, STANISLAUS COUNTY: There was blood found in the truck, I believe in a doorjamb or a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) pocket or something, as well as on a visor, that matched the defendant. And I think the jury's entitled to see that. If I get another truck from the dealer, of course, that's not going to be present. So I think all those reasons weigh heavily in my favor, as far as keeping this particular truck for the purposes trial. And like I said, we're not trying to own this truck. We're trying to keep it for evidence for trial, and then we're prepared to release it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Gloria Allred joins us, the attorney for Amber Frey, Scott Peterson's former girlfriend. OK, Gloria, set us straight. Is she pregnant?
GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY'S ATTORNEY: Hi, Larry. Well, we're not commenting on whether she's pregnant or not. We think what's important is not whether Amber is pregnant but who murdered the pregnant Laci and Conner. Whether or not Scott Peterson did that, that's the issue. There have been reports that Amber didn't testify at the preliminary hearing because she was pregnant. That's absolutely false. The reason she didn't testify at the preliminary hearing is because the prosecution decided not to call her to testify because they had enough to persuade the judge to hold Mr. Peterson to answer for a double murder charge for trial...
KING: But Gloria...
ALLRED: ... and the defense decided also not to call her.
KING: You do realize if she is pregnant -- and you don't comment, I understand that -- but if the trial were to start in March and she's due in April, that would hurt her credibility as a witness, would it not?
ALLRED: No, I don't think...
KING: Just conjecture with me. It wouldn't?
ALLRED: Yes. Larry, I don't see how Amber's condition of pregnancy or lack of a condition of pregnancy would have any impact whatsoever on her credibility. And that's -- and for this reason, because much of what she would testify to, if called to testify, will be corroborated, and secondly, because she's going to tell the truth, whether she's pregnant or not. So it will have no impact whatsoever on her credibility.
KING: How about if she is pregnant -- again, this is if. If she is pregnant late in term, ability to travel? Supposing there's a change of venue.
ALLRED: Well, she doesn't live too far from Modesto. If the trial is here, that's not going to be a problem. She's a very healthy person. She's very fit. I remember when I was pregnant, I had no problem traveling. I don't think that that would be a problem for Amber. She's going to do her duty as a citizen. She's going to do whatever is required, whether she's pregnant or not. She'll be here, if called.
KING: Since, as you say, it's immaterial to the evidence she would introduce, why can't you tell us whether she is or isn't? So what?
ALLRED: Well, that's a good question. And...
KING: If it's immaterial, so what?
ALLRED: The reason is because Amber is very protective of her privacy. She is trying to protect her zone of privacy, whatever shreds of privacy are left to her, and she is doing her best to do that. Just because she's a witness in a high-profile double murder case doesn't mean that she has to sacrifice all of her privacy, especially about something like that. And she's just not going to do it.
KING: Dr. Ludwig, do you have a comment or a question for Gloria?
LUDWIG: Don't you think a jury would be curious about Amber, if she's pregnant, whether she's married or not married? Don't you think that would have an impact, if a jury can tend to be the consciousness of the community?
ALLRED: You know, I don't think that a jury should consider whether -- if a woman is pregnant and she is not married, that -- that that should have any impact on anything. There are many single mothers out there. Amber happens to be one, at this point, and there are millions of others. And they are hard-working people. They are honest people. They love their children. And whether or not they are married, for whatever reason they're not married, should have no impact, in a juror's mind, on what they say.
KING: Maybe it shouldn't have, but Nancy, as a prosecutor, if you were prosecuting this case -- this is an if -- and Amber Frey were late-term pregnancy when she's forced to testify, would you think it would affect some jurors?
GRACE: You know what, Larry? Maybe 20, 30 years ago, yes. But earlier, we heard Chris Pixley say it would be explosive if Amber Frey walked into the courtroom pregnant. Well, I've got an update for everybody on the panel! There are a lot of pregnant women walking around out there. And they're working, they're testifying, they're trying cases. They're even on air! I don't see what's explosive about it. But I can tell you what the problem will be, Larry. If Amber comes into that courtroom 8, 9 months pregnant, good luck, Geragos, trying to do an intense cross-examination on her! The jury will kill him!
KING: What do you think, Chris?
PIXLEY: We really disagree strongly on a lot of things tonight, Larry. You know, listen, the jury's going to have a very hard time believing that Amber had a serious relationship with Scott Peterson and that he mattered to her deeply, if she turned right around and had a relationship with and a child by another man. And remember, to prove this case against Scott Peterson, especially if you're using the Amber motive, you've got to prove that this was more than a fling between Scott and Amber. If it's just a fling, how does a man who has no history of violence and no criminal record make the decision to commit premeditated murder? So her walking into that courtroom, Nancy, pregnant, full term is explosive. It matters.
GRACE: Larry, I...
ALLRED: ... ridiculous, Chris!
KING: Hold it. Go ahead, Gloria. And then Nancy. Gloria?
ALLRED: It is so ridiculous to think that that is what is what would be explosive.
ALLRED: What might be explosive...
PIXLEY: ... when did they end their relationship?
ALLRED: ... is the evidence that the prosecution might be presenting against Scott Peterson. Let's not lose our focus here. Will the blood be explosive, Scott's blood in the truck? Will the fact that there was testimony that he said to Amber that he had lost his wife prior to Laci's disappearance, that, in fact, that this would be the first holidays without her, that he would be exclusively with Amber after January 25. This is testimony...
PIXLEY: And you've suggested that Amber's...
ALLRED: These are the kinds of things... PIXLEY: ... the star witness.
ALLRED: ... the jury would focus on.
PIXLEY: You've suggested that Amber...
ALLRED: Pardon me?
PIXLEY: ... is the star witness. Now, Amber didn't know about the relationship, so the only way she can be the star witness is if she's the motive for the murder. I think we all know that. There isn't any of arguing around that, Gloria. So the fact of the matter is, if she ended her relationship and her phone calls with Scott only in April and then got pregnant by another man a few months later, their relationship could have been very serious. And jurors are going to understand that. And you can't talk around that.
KING: Ted Rowlands, what do you think?
ALLRED: Well, I've never called her a star witness. That is your term. And she is a witness, and it will be for the jury to decide what weight to give her testimony.
KING: Ted Rowlands...
ALLRED: And I'm confident that they will understand the proper weight.
KING: Ted, do you have any question for Gloria?
ROWLANDS: Well, I wonder if Amber's motivation to testify has diminished a bit, now that she's pregnant. You would think that her No. 1 priority would be towards her unborn child, and I wonder if she is now maybe less than eager to have to deal with all of this and deal with getting up on the stand and then deal with all the scrutiny.
ALLRED: Well, I wouldn't say that Amber has ever been either eager to testify or dreading to testify. She just understands that the prosecution may call her as a witness, and she will do what she is asked to do, if she is called. And it isn't a question of being eager. Who in their right mind would want to step into this case unless they had to? I don't know anybody who really would. But she is going to testify, and I think that people are going to have a lot of respect for what she has done to assist law enforcement in this case.
KING: Thank you, Gloria Allred, as always. We'll be calling on you again.
ALLRED: Thank you.
KING: We'll come back and go to phone calls for our panel. And as we go to break, Mr. Geragos discusses the autopsy photos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GERAGOS: As I sit here and hear this Ms. Kenyon (ph) bandy about the public's right to know -- they don't want a copy, they don't want it published -- you know, this is this man's wife and his baby, and they're gruesome photos. And we went into this with a -- and we were very clear to the court that at the time that we recognized that these were -- they're awful photos. I've seen them. They're seared into my brain. I don't understand what macabre fascination anybody would have to want to see these things and have them seared into their brain and what the possible purpose it would serve by having these things published anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that correct, Mr. Peterson, you are pleading not guilty of the 2 charges of murder plus the special -- denying the special allegations?
S. PETERSON: That's correct, your honor. I am innocent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's reintroduce our panel. In Modesto, Ted Rowlands, KTVU reporter, has been covering the Peterson case since day one. In New York, Nancy Grace. She anchors her own show on Court TV, the former prosecutor. In Atlanta, the well known defense attorney, Chris Pixley. In New York, the psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig.
And by the way, one reminder. The guests next week will include, Laura Bush, Oprah Winfrey, former president Jimmy Carter, Tom Brokaw and former first lady, Betty Ford. That's all next week. And tomorrow night, the daughters of the late Ingrid Bergman remember their mother.
Before calls, here's Mark Geragos being asked today about Jackie Peterson -- was asked -- about Mark Geragos -- Jackie Peterson, the mother of Scott Peterson was asked what she thought about Geragos' other high profile client.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel about Mark Geragos also representing Michael Jackson?
JACKIE PETERSON, SCOTT'S MOTHER: We think he's great and we're comfortable with whatever he does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's go to calls for the panel. Los Angeles, hello.
CALLER: Oh, hi. This is for Nancy Grace.
KING: Sure, go ahead.
CALLER: Do you think that -- this is what I think. I think that Scott Peterson saw the Hernandez woman -- remember, she was found in the bay decapitated almost like Laci Peterson's body was found. Do you think he heard about that before she went missing? And, possibly coincided it or made it look like the same type of thing and is there a closer place that he could have fished if not?
GRACE: You know, that's a really good question. He probably did read the newspapers or see the local news regarding Miss Hernandez's death and disappearance. Did he pattern this after that, don't know. But I think what's interesting about your question is was there a closer place for him to fish? The boat was 14 feet long and it's clearly a boat for a lake not a rough and tumble area like the Berkeley Bay.
Also, we do know that on his computer hard drive it was discovered he had been looking at various water sites in his area. I think that's a very wise, because if there was a place for him to fish for something other than, let's say, 100-pound sturgeon which is what he said he was fishing for that day, that's going coming into play. What else is around for him to fish?
KING: Chris, does the prosecution -- may not legally -- do they need a motive?
PIXLEY: They do, they do, practically speaking. And they may not be able to come up with one. But we've talked about this before, Larry, you need to have either a motive or some very solid physical evidence, and when you don't have either of those factors, you really are in a difficult position as a prosecutor.
Motive is something that jurors want to hear about. They want to understand why someone commits the ultimate crime and why they're going to be subjecting that person to the ultimate penalty.
KING: Dr. Ludwig, what do you make of the Amber Frey situation? Whether pregnancy will effect or not effect a jury?
LUDWIG: Well, if she is in fact pregnant, it would be much better to be married when she testifies. Otherwise, she's going to look like a woman who has a lot of different men in her history.
LUDWIG: Wait, wait, wait, Nancy, let me finish. The first guy she was involved with who was married also had a pregnant wife. In between the male stripper, who had a pregnant wife and Scott Peterson who also had a pregnant wife, she had a baby.
Now, after Scott Peterson, again we hear she's pregnant. So this is a woman who is drawn to men who give women babies. She's -- women who obviously defines herself as if she has a baby, then she is loved. Then she is wanted. And if she's not married, going to make her look very different to the jury. It doesn't mean they won't believe her. It doesn't mean that she's a dishonest woman. It just that she looks like a problematic woman.
GRACE: You know what? I'm glad this panel is not on my jury and making moral judgments on how I live my life. I can tell you that much, because I don't know anybody on that jury not going to have a sin buried somewhere in the background. And as long as we're talking about sleeping around, let's put it out there. That's what everybody is accusing Amber Frey of. Hello? What about Scott Peterson? We've already -- we think this...
PIXLEY: So Nancy, which moral judgment do you want to make? The ones just against Scott Peterson?
GRACE: I don't want to make any of them. All I care about is the murder, Chris. I don't care who's sleeping with who. All right? The only thing that concerns me is, does Scott's desire to lead a double life? And not be married in the true sense of the word. Does that qualify as a motive? That's all I care about Scott Peterson's sex habits.
KING: Vancouver, British Columbia, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. This is for the panel. I have heard Chris Pixley say that he actually believes Scott Peterson is innocent. If he is found not guilty, will the search for the real killer be as vigorous or less vigorous as it was at the beginning of this case when they were searching for some satanic cult?
KING: What does sheriff's do Chris, when a person they think is guilty is found not guilty?
PIXLEY: Well, you hope that the case doesn't become a cold file.
KING: But it usually does, right?
PIXLEY: Typically, it will. And I don't think that they have other leads in this case that they consider to be credible.
Now, the defense believes there are other credible leads. We're going to find out at the time of trial just how credible those leads are and whether they actually find their way into the defense theory.
The other thing to add is unless this caller is one of my neighbors or someone that's had a private conversation with me, I haven't said on air I believe Scott Peterson is innocent. But I'll say this, I believe the evidence against Scott Peterson is wholly insufficient to find him guilty of capital murder. And I believe -- I have believed that with respect to the evidence from the beginning. This's legal proof. Factual proof, what happened, only the real murderer, whoever that is, actually knows.
KING: Ted Rowlands, as a reporter, as a reporter, do you think the state has -- from what you have seen to this minute, a very strong case?
ROWLANDS: Well, you know, the thing is that we haven't seen the entire state case. The preliminary hearing...
KING: What you know now.
ROWLANDS: Some of the evidence. I know that the prosecution has a theory that they have tied together. So, I just don't know what their story's going to be when they have the ability to actually tie it together and present it.
There's no opening or closing arguments in the prelim. So, we didn't have an idea where they were going presenting the case. So as a reporter, I really don't think I should say either way. And quite frankly, I'm eagerly anticipating the prosecution's case to see exactly what they do is have and what they think actually happened.
KING: Burlington, Ontario, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. My question is for the panel. On the morning of December 24, was there any evidence pointing towards Laci being alive like a coffee or tea mug? Her toothbrush being used? A cereal bowl or anything else such as that? Thank you.
GRACE: To my knowledge, we haven't heard any of that. And I feel very strongly just taking a look at Mark Geragos' cross- examination of the detectives, he questioned them on a lot of evidence, and challenged them on a lot of evidence, and I really believe knowing what a good lawyer Geragos is, he would have questioned these detectives about, hey, isn't it true you found two coffee mugs in the kitchen sink? We also know there was caffeine in Laci's body, but there was no evidence of any coffee mugs or any tea mugs or any kind of circumstantial evidence that this caller is pointing out, which would be highly probative. I think if it existed, we would have heard about it, not necessarily from the state but from Mark Geragos.
KING: Cordova, Tennessee, hello.
CALLER: Hi. This is for Chris Pixley.
CALLER: I was wondering why he thought -- why -- what would make Scott think that Amber would keep the affair a secret once she found out about Laci's disappearance, since she would have probably been concerned for her own safety. Why would he think that she would not come forward?
PIXLEY: Yeah. I think that he was terribly naive, and I think that the phone records that came out at the preliminary hearing, the phone records that we may be seeing at the time of trial, as well, are going to bear that out. I mean, Scott from all appearances, believed that in talking to Amber he could somehow keep her from looking into this any further, and maybe keep her in the dark.
But, you know, there's so many unanswered questions that we'll probably never be answered, even if Scott Peterson were to take the stand, when it comes to what his motivations were and why he wanted Amber Frey kept away from this, and what Amber might have been thinking or doing at the time.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more calls for the panel. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK DISTASSO, DEPUTY DIST. ATTORNEY, STANLISLAUS COUNTY: As far as the actual truck in this case, it is important, and it's important to how this -- the truck was used in -- as I submit, to transport Ms. Peterson's body to the defendant's shop and to the bay. And I think the jury is entitled to see that. So I don't think that we can get another truck from a dealer. It doesn't -- another truck from the dealer is not the actual truck that I believe was used in this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKIE PETERSON, SCOTT'S MOTHER: When my son walks out the door, I'll consider that truth and fairness and what should be happening in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's Jackie Peterson, Scott Peterson's mother. Back to the calls. That was outside the courtroom today. Garland, Utah, hello.
CALLER: Yeah. I have a question for the panel.
CALLER: OK. They were talking about somebody -- I can't remember who it was -- said that Scott Peterson had three phones. Did they ever find out about those three phones, who they were for?
KING: Nancy, do you know?
GRACE: Yeah. When they pulled Scott Peterson over, Larry, and I wanted to bring that up tonight because I've been going over the prelim hearing transcript. He had four cell phones with him in that Mercedes he bought in his mother's name, $15,000. Larry, we've never talked about this. He had volumes and volumes, a lot of clothes with him in the car. A lot of survival camping gear in the car, and coincidentally, Larry, no golf clubs that day. And you know he was a scratch golfer. He didn't take his own golf clubs. He did have his bleached hair and his brother's ID. I don't know how that fits into the picture, but he did have four cell phones.
KING: All right. And what -- Dr. Ludwig, you're a psychotherapist, why would someone need four cell phones? Analyze that for me. I hate one.
GRACE: Different girlfriends.
LUDWIG: He has a lot of people to call. It says to me that he is a very busy guy. No, but a lot of his behavior, and this is, again, somewhat circumstantial, is very unusual, and it's not the way an upright man in the community would act. It seems like he's wheeling and dealing and hiding, and a lot of the things that he does seems to add up to mischief.
But again, you know, does that make him a murderer? That we don't know at this point.
KING: Bend, Oregon, hello.
CALLER: Yes. This is for the panel. And I don't know whether this has ever been addressed before, but if Laci was in fact dismembered before being placed in the water, wouldn't the torso have some kind of marks as to what type of weapon or tool was used?
KING: Ted Rowlands, you want to comment on that?
ROWLANDS: Well, the prosecution maintains that she was not dismembered; in fact, that she was basically just put into the bay and that over time, the reason that her appendages separated was just because of the San Francisco Bay and the water. The defense sort of is most likely going to float that they're not quite sure what happened, and the coroner said that there was absolutely no evidence of any markings, any tool or imprint markings on the appendages. So it's been looked at by both sides, and I think it's inconclusive, or it would appear as though the evidence would probably favor the prosecution in terms of the fact that there seems to be a lack of evidence of any tool markings or anything like that.
KING: Marietta, Ohio, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: Love your show. Nancy, I love you. I have a question for the panel.
CALLER: I just wonder if anyone has ever considered that Laci could have been poisoned. I have never heard that.
PIXLEY: Yeah, well, you know, it's one of the things that would be tested for. The problem is, when the body has been submerged in the bay or when the body, for that matter, has been dead for some time and then decaying, much of that evidence is lost. And you can bet that the coroner was testing for it, you can bet that it went into their analysis of the cause of death. When the coroner comes back and says there is no cause of death, we can't make a determination, then the suggestion is there that they haven't found any substance, any poisonous substance in Laci's system.
KING: When Scott Peterson was arrested, he had quite a bit of money on him. That money will be returned to him. Here's Mark Geragos arguing for that fact today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERAGOS: I'm curious as to why they just didn't agree to it in the first place when I asked them, but the prosecution is willing to give back the money if there is a stipulation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you OK with that stipulation?
GERAGOS: Well, that's what I was going to say. The only thing that I would have a question with is the subsection B. That it was found in the amount, denominations and locations. I assume they're going to copy it, which is fine with me. I will stipulate that what they copy is in fact what Detective Bueler (ph) says he recovered, but I don't want to be foreclosed from cross-examining Detective Bueler (ph) as to the manner and mode of the recovery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Champaign, Illinois, hello. That's not Champaign, Illinois. They hung up. We go to Houston, Texas, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: Happy belated birthday.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: This question is for Ted Rowlands.
CALLER: Had anyone checked to see if the baby's amniotic fluid, I'm sorry, was in the warehouse or on his clothes?
ROWLANDS: Oh, yeah. All -- every test you could think of was done to try to find any potential evidence in this case by investigators, and everything that they did find is part of this case. That has not been one of the things that has come out as being part of this case.
KING: Destin, Florida, hello. CALLER: Yes. My question is for Chris Pixley. I would like to know why the prosecutor claims that Scott couldn't get 80- to 100- pound fish in the boat, but yet he could get a 160-pound body in the boat. So they can't have it both ways, can they, Chris?
PIXLEY: No, you're right. It's a great point. And one that we've never made before, but the fact is, if you're going to make arguments about what Scott was fishing for or why he shouldn't have been out in the bay fishing for a certain kind of fish or why he didn't have the appropriate tackle, and so forth. If you make the argument about the weight, absolutely, you're going to walk right into it.
GRACE: Hold on.
PIXLEY: But they're walking right into a lot of problems in this case.
GRACE: Chris, there's a big difference between 100-pound sturgeon fish fighting for its life and a dead pregnant lady already weighted down with weights. Big difference.
PIXLEY: But remember something, we have heard this report that there is paint on his boat that came from one of the buoys in the bay, and that maybe he had to put the boat up, anchor it to the buoy or attach it to the buoy so that he could actually keep from overturning as he was throwing the body out.
Well, it's these kind of ridiculous theories that will spin back against the prosecution. If that were true, then don't you think the divers would have gone down immediately underneath the buoy to find the anchors and the missing body parts that have never been found. I mean, it's that kind of argument and the many arguments that the prosecution is making as...
GRACE: ... made that argument, Chris. The only one that I hear making that argument tonight is you. That's not in any of the court documents or the transcripts that I've read.
PIXLEY: No. And it is very interesting that it was a report that came out just a week before the prelim. We did talk about it at the time. And it's not the kind of report that the defense would have been floating, so where it came from, who came up with it is the question.
GRACE: Well, Geragos brought it up in court, as you'll recall. Mark Geragos is the one that brought that up in the courtroom on cross-examination regarding the red paint on Scott's boat, but I have to agree with you, I think it would be very difficult in the dead of night, and we learned today that there are marina employees that are going to identify Scott's truck. That's another development that came out today.
In the dead of night, which is when prosecutors' theory is that Laci was disposed of, to tie up to a buoy. I think that would be very -- almost impossible to do.
LUDWIG: I have a question that I don't think has ever been answered, and I don't know if anybody knows this. Does anybody know if Laci could swim? Does anyone know? Because one possible scenario is, I wonder if Scott, let's say, was in his boat just fishing for space, let's say. He was very stressed out with everything going on in his life. If she was somehow suspicious or paranoid, followed him to where he was somehow fishing, and do we know if she could swim, if there was a potential for an accident?
GRACE: And how would she get from her car to out in the middle of the bay? That's the piece of the puzzle that's missing there, Robi. An eight months pregnant woman...
LUDWIG: If she followed him? If she was suspicious and followed him?
GRACE: Followed him into the middle of the bay? Followed him on what? Jet skies?
LUDWIG: It was just a question. I don't know.
GRACE: All right.
KING: London, Ontario, hello.
CALLER: Yes, good evening.
KING: London, Ontario, go ahead.
CALLER: Yes. My question is for the panel. Has Scott Peterson ever been tested regarding a possibility of him being sociopathic? Certainly his demeanor, you know, looks like -- appears like that to me. And also, did he have his hair cropped the day before he made an appearance in court? Thank you.
KING: Dr. Ludwig, you don't test someone unless they're pleading insanity?
LUDWIG: Yes. There are -- absolutely. There are tests that can indicate that someone has a certain kind of personality disorder. However, what studies have shown very often is that when people in prison are tested for personality disorders, including sociopathic personality disorder, that they are so slick that they actually advise other people on what to check off in order to appear more depressed and anxious, as opposed to having a character pathology. So sociopaths can be very, very smart and know how to answer in order to avoid being identified.
KING: So it is hard to spot one?
LUDWIG: Sometimes it is. Depending on how good the sociopath is.
KING: Thank you all very much. We'll be calling on you again. Always good seeing you. Ted Rowlands in Modesto, Nancy Grace in New York, Chris Pixley in Atlanta and Dr. Robi Ludwig, also in New York.
We have a great show coming up tomorrow night, and what a week we have got coming next week, and I'll tell you all about it right after these words.
KING: What a week we've got coming next week, including Laura Bush and Oprah Winfrey. Tomorrow night, a tribute to the late Ingrid Bergman with her three daughters. Ingrid Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini and Pia Lundstrom.
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