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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Analyst of Scott Peterson Case
Aired August 5, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Judge Delucchi recessed until Tuesday, specifically so that this new, potentially exculpatory evidence could be examined.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight, Judge Delucchi slams the breaks on Scott Peterson's double murder trial. The defense leaves the courthouse to investigate new evidence they say could exonerate Peterson. What new evidence could turn up this late in the game?
With the death penalty on the line, will it affect the case? We go live to Redwood City with an all-star panel of experts. And we're taking your calls. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. I want to thank you for being with us. A bombshell in the Scott Peterson double murder trial. Today, everything hit the brakes. The skids on the evidence. And everyone left the courthouse.
Mark Geragos, after behind the doors meeting with Judge Delucchi is convinced there is evidence that could exonerate his client, Scott Peterson.
Let's go out to Redwood City. CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands standing by. Ted, what's going on?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, there was a in-chambers meeting today. It lasted about an hour this morning, first thing this morning. The judge came out, along with the attorneys and the judge announced that there was some new, exculpatory -- potentially exculpatory evidence that had surfaced in this case, and that he was granting a defense request to continue the hearing, to stop testimony until Tuesday so that initial test results could come back on this potential evidence.
He then brought the jury in. He didn't use the word "exculpatory" with the jury present, but told them take a long weekend, we'll resume on Tuesday.
Now, what we don't know, what specifically is being tested. We do know from a source close to the case that it is something that was retrieved with the remains of Laci Peterson, along the shoreline of the San Francisco Bay. We don't know what it is, and we don't have a real feel on the significance of it.
Let's say it does help Peterson. Is it going to help him to the point where he walks out of the courthouse? That we don't think, but we're not sure how important it is. The judge stopped the trial, so there's got to be something to it.
GRACE: Well, Ted Rowlands, I know there's a lot of speculation going on as to what exactly the piece of evidence is. OK, we know pretty much that it's something that's washed up on the shore alongside Laci and Connor's body. But can you be any more specific as to what the item is? Even though we realize, as of tonight, it's still speculation.
ROWLANDS: Well, it could be a number of items that were retrieved along with the body. One item that seems to stand out is a piece of plastic that was used as a -- basically from a construction company, to hold a palette. It's a large piece of plastic. It was confiscated. It had a piece of duct tape on it. Of course, Laci Peterson's remains were found with duct tape on them, as well. It could be that, or it could be another one of the -- any one of the items that was found around the bodies as they were retrieved.
The problem is is that the defense is not talking about this, neither is the prosecution, and the judge was very vague. But the judge did qualify this as potentially exculpatory evidence. So it's definitely leaning towards Peterson. At least that's what the judge thinks.
GRACE: Well, Ted Rowlands, whatever Mark Geragos said behind closed doors to Judge Delucchi, it must have convinced Delucchi, the judge, the impartial arbiter here, that they had to take a continuance, stop the evidence so Geragos could investigate.
Let's go to Richard Cole. Richard Cole is with "The Daily News Group." He's been reporting on the case from the get-go. He's been in the courtroom from the beginning. Richard Cole, got anything to add?
RICHARD COLE, DAILY NEWS GROUP: Yes. We do know what the material or what part of the prosecution's case this material could undermine. And that's the theory that Laci's body was weighted down when it was in the bay.
Now, we know that that is the issue that the defense thinks that this information, this evidence, could challenge. Now, exactly how that would work, that I cannot tell you. But we know it's something about the weights, it's something -- the way the body was contained or taped or something, that would indicate that perhaps cement anchors were not used to tie it down.
We also know that the evidence came through the prosecution. This wasn't necessarily newly discovered evidence. It was evidence that had been seen by police initially. They picked it up. They brought it in. What they apparently failed to do was to write in the reports how exactly they found this material and where it was in relation to the body. And when that was discovered -- and the prosecution, to their credit, did discover it -- they came to the defense, and apparently the combination of where that material was and whatever forensic evidence there might be on it does seem to help the defense. Or could potentially help the defense.
GRACE: Michael Cardoza, from what Ted Rowlands and Richard Cole are telling us tonight, it sounds as if this tarp, or this piece of plastic was found near the bodies, that it became part of the evidence, it was handed over. But the location and the significance was left out of the report. What do you think?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think there's a little more to it than that, Nancy. Because, here you have a judge recessing a trial, right in the middle of trial, and saying it could be exculpatory evidence. I've gone back in my mind and gone over some of Geragos' cross-examination where he asked the police witnesses, did you collect that? Did you forensically test that? For example, bags, styrofoam.
And Ted said something I thought that was interesting. Plastic with duct tape. You know, one might think, and my prosecutorial and defense experience tells me, is there a fingerprint on that tape, or on that bag that they didn't test to see whose fingerprint it was? And they're just getting around to it now? And that's what they mean by exculpatory evidence?
Whatever they come up with, I do know this, it won't get them a dismissal on Tuesday. They will move forward. But it well may raise a reasonable doubt in the jury's mind. That's why a fingerprint sort of leaps out in my mind.
GRACE: Well, of course. I have no doubt in my mind, Michael Cardoza, we're still on Amber alert, full Amber alert. The judge made that clear, that the witnesses scheduled...
CARDOZA: Tuesday morning.
GRACE: ... for next week will go on as planned. And from what I understand, Amber Frey headed straight toward the witness stand around 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
Let me go to Dr. Larry Kobilinsky. Dr. Kobilinsky is an internationally renowned forensic experts. He's at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Doctor, can you get a fingerprint off duct tape that's been underwater for this long?
DR. LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC EXPERT: Yes, you certainly can. The duct tape could very well not only have fingerprints but also DNA. And in fact, this is potentially a double-edged sword. This may end up to be highly incriminating information.
The other thing that we have to remember is that Laci had duct tape on her body, attached to the waist band, and reaching over the right thigh. About a length of about 15 inches. Now, forensic people can make a comparison of the duct tape on Laci with the duct tape on this bag. They can examine the adhesives. They can examine the fabric. Although duct tape is ubiquitous, they may be able to determine if there's a match.
This tarp or plastic bag may be totally irrelevant to this case. It may be a red herring. Who knows. We'll have to wait and see.
GRACE: But Chuck Smith, is it -- with us is Chuck Smith, a former San Mateo County prosecutor. Chuck Smith, isn't it significant, though, that at the time Laci and Connor washed ashore, the police thought it was important enough to confiscate it, to collect it? What's your take?
CHUCK SMITH, FORMER SAN MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Well, sure, Nancy. And I don't know, I think we might be making too much of all this. As you recall, Nancy, because you were in the courtroom with us watching some of this evidence, there's an awful lot of junk and an awful lot of debris in that area of the shore of the bay where the bodies were found.
Geragos raised a lot of questions about why didn't you seize this, why didn't you seize that. The things that Dr. Kobilinsky is talking about, undoubtedly these were down already. I have a sense that this is something new. This is something that potentially was overlooked.
How important it might be is really anybody's guess. It's really speculation at this point.
GRACE: Chris Pixley, what do you think?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that there's a great possibility that this is new evidence. If it's overlooked evidence, then the prosecution has a big problem at this point. I mean, everything from the lemon meringue debacle to Detective Brocchini's false testimony, and now this pattern of discovery abuses that ultimately culminated on Tuesday of this week with the judge deciding to strike the testimony of a state's witness, is sending a strong message to the jury. It's essentially telling them, either the state is over its head, or it simply is cheating and being dishonest. At best, it's over its head. At worst, it's being dishonest. And the only message it sends to the jury, by letting them go now for the next five days, is that the prosecution has trouble, and the defense has not received all of the evidence. So it's a win for the defense.
GRACE: Here in the studio with me, Court TV anchor, former prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom. Kimberly, aside who may or may not get spanked by the judge when this is all said and done -- we'll burn that bridge when we get there, OK?
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, COURT TV: Exactly.
GRACE: What does this evidence mean? I'm talking, this is a death penalty case.
GRACE: Where is it headed? NEWSOM: This is the problem. I think if it was that big of a deal -- and I don't think it's that big of a deal -- the court wasn't going to be in session tomorrow anyway. They're taking one extra day off. This is a capital case. The judge has to bend over backwards to preserve this record on the appeal. It is not unreasonable to give the defense the time they need to examine this evidence. It's my understanding that some presumptive tests need to be done that should be completed by Tuesday. We'll know more then.
But guess what? This trial has not come to a screeching halt. We've got one of the biggest witnesses on the stand on Tuesday. There was nothing where the judge admonished the prosecution. Obviously no showing of wrongdoing. Mark Geragos has gone through this evidence carefully. So this, I think, is really something that is being blown out of proportion.
GRACE: And interestingly, I heard Ted Rowlands I believe earlier say that Mark Geragos was not angry or accusatorial...
GRACE: ... or pointing the finger at the prosecution. He's very calm when he brought this up. But the fact that it's a couple of days before it could be resolved, this says to me there are fingerprint tests or an r-felt (ph) DNA test just to have it tested.
As you can see, we've got an all-star panel lined up to analyze what is going down in that Redwood City courthouse. As you know, Judge Delucchi put the skids on the evidence today. No more testimony until Tuesday morning, giving defense attorney Mark Geragos a chance to test newly discovered evidence he says could exonerate Scott Peterson. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Is this new information something that could exonerate Scott?
GERAGOS: I can't comment on anything. All I can tell you is it obviously, as the judge indicated, we need to follow up on it, and that's what we're going to do. That's all I can say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
A bombshell was dropped in the Scott Peterson double murder trial today. When Mark Geragos emerged from closed-door meetings with Judge Delucchi, it was announced that testimony and evidence would end until Tuesday. When Mark Geragos, Peterson's defense attorney, was leaving the courthouse, he announced there was potentially exculpatory material, that could clear his client, Scott Peterson. Exculpatory simply means evidence that tends to point to the innocence of the accused.
Again, welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. Let's go straight to the panel. Ted Rowlands, what was the reaction in the courtroom today? What's the general consensus of this announcement?
ROWLANDS: Well, as you might imagine, people were shocked and trying to figure out what exactly was being discussed in terms of this evidence. Whatever it is, the judge is very cognizant about taking time off in this case. He's very sensitive to the jury in this case. So, it was perceived by everybody in the courtroom that there must be something to this for Delucchi to halt testimony. Why not just let the computer forensic guy continue while tests are being run?
Something happened behind closed doors. And Geragos was very mild-mannered in open court. But we don't know what happened for that hour that they were in chambers when they haggled all this out. We do know that Delucchi seemed to agree with Geragos that there's something significant or potentially significant that they had to halt testimony.
GRACE: You know, Chuck Smith, Ted Rowlands just hit on a very important point. And that is, on the stand was basically a computer guy. And he was going through everything he found on Peterson's computer. Searching for the tides and the waterways, you name it. The reality is, if this is a DNA test or some type of scientific test, why couldn't that testimony go forward while this tarp or this plastic was being tested by scientists?
SMITH: You know, that's what normally happens in these situations, Nancy. It's not unusual -- it's not that unusual that new evidence or newly discovered evidence will come up during the course of a trial. Shouldn't happen, but it does. Normally, they'll continue with the testimony that's going on. Let the experts, let the investigators look into this new issue while the lawyers continue to work. And the jury's time is not wasted.
So this does give this an importance that makes all of us think that perhaps it's more important than that. And that perhaps it could bring the trial to a halt.
But it is unusual. Ted makes a good point, and it did cause us all to wonder how significant is this.
GRACE: Michael Cardoza, why do they keep referring to it as newly discovered evidence, if this plastic, if that, in fact, is what was recovered, has been in the evidence room from the beginning. They said at the get-go that this piece of plastic was collected around the time when Laci and Connor washed up. So why is it new evidence?
CARDOZA: Well, we certainly know, whatever it is, was in the prosecution's evidence locker.
Now, one of the reasons I think it's not the D.A.'s in this case -- and remember last -- a couple of days ago, Judge Delucchi scolded the district attorneys in front of the jury, struck testimony. So we didn't get that same reaction from Judge Delucchi. And Mark Geragos or Pat Harris didn't seem to be all up in the air about it.
So that leads me to believe that it's some other arm of government. Was it the Modesto police? Was it a forensic lab that had this evidence that came to the D.A. yesterday and said, hey, you know what, we've got some evidence that you might want to look at. I think because of Delucchi's scolding of the D.A.s, they ran right to the judge and told him and gave it right to Geragos.
So I think it's another arm of law enforcement that we can look to for holding back on whatever evidence this is.
GRACE: So Richard Cole, did the district attorney go behind doors with Mark Geragos? Or was it ex parte, with just the defense?
COLE: No, no, no, they -- they -- it was both sides. They both went in together, and I strongly agree with Mike. What we understand happened was that the original officers didn't write down in their reports observations about this material. Perhaps where it was in relation to the body.
COLE: Perhaps if it was wrapped around the body. That wasn't in the reports. The prosecutors didn't have it, so they couldn't discover it to the defense. But it has now, somehow, come out recently, and when the prosecutors found out that there were other observations about the significance of that material that the officers had not included in the reports, they did immediately inform the defense, as far as we know, and then they all went into chambers.
And one thing I also wanted to agree with, everyone is saying this won't stop the trial. I'm certain it won't stop the trial. If it is, indeed, the question of whether the body was anchored or not when it went into the water, that hurts. If they could show perhaps it wasn't anchored, that hurts the prosecution's case. But it doesn't cripple it.
GRACE: Wait a minute, Richard. Richard, just because Laci's body was not weighted down with, for instance, homemade anchors or cinder block, does that change who put her there?
COLE: No, I'm agreeing with you, I'm absolutely agreeing with you, Nancy. What it does is it hurts the prosecution, because they made a big issue of these cement anchors. But it doesn't cripple them. They can still argue that Scott could have dumped the body in the water.
GRACE: Exactly. Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, duct tape, plastic. How does this fit in scientifically with what we're talking about?
KOBILINSKY: Well, I'll tell you this, that it's not clear that the prosecution actually looked at all the evidence. We know that Laci had four hairs on her body. The duct tape on her body had eight hairs. That's 12. Now, 10 of those 12 hairs were animal hairs. And we know Laci and Scott had the dog, Mackenzie (ph). Did the prosecution test those hairs? No. We haven't heard anything about that.
So, it isn't clear that they're sitting on this evidence involving the duct tape and they have some information that they felt all of a sudden compelled to turn over.
GRACE: And Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, even if this is true, it's got to be connected back to the body in some way, back to, for instance, the duct tape on this plastic's got to match the duct tape on her body, or does it?
NEWSOM: I think you make a great point. But keep in mind, this is a very large area of water. And the defense is going to be hard- pressed to make a direct connection to Laci's body or for that matter to Conner's body if they're trying to say this was from someone else, eliminate Scott Peterson as the person, as the suspect. And say someone else could have done it.
It's got to be pretty compelling evidence. Because so far there hasn't been some direct suggestion of evidence that the prosecution has said in this case.
GRACE: Hold on. Let's break it down. If somebody else's fingerprint is on this duct tape. There's somebody else whose fingerprint is on this duct tape. If it's unrelated to the duct tape on Laci and Conner, what's the diff?
NEWSOM: Right, that's the point. And so I don't see how this is necessarily going to make or break this case.
What I am more troubled by is the fact that the judge is categorizing this as potentially exculpatory. I think he's being generous in his terms by saying we don't know what it's going to come out. So there's some testing: DNA, or fingerprint or otherwise.
What bothers me is this reminds me of the O.J. Simpson case where yet again another problem with the Modesto Police Department. As a former prosecutor, you and I both know, Nancy, you're responsible, you're the team leader being the prosecutor, you've got to make sure everything is lined up. They shouldn't be having these kind of problems in this kind of case when you're asking this jury to put this man to death, to find him guilty and put him away. This shouldn't be happening.
GRACE: When we come back, we'll get a response from defense attorney Chris Pixley standing by, as you know. A bombshell in the Scott Peterson case today. The evidence put on the skids. It's all on ice until Monday. Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us. Today, Judge Alfred Dellucci put the skids on the evidence and testimony in the Scott Peterson double murder trial.
Mark Geragos went behind closed doors. And when he emerged, it was announced that testimony has halted until Tuesday. Geragos has announced he has newly discovered evidence that could exonerate Scott Peterson.
Let's go straight back out to Richard Cole, who's been in the courthouse from the beginning. You spoke with Scott Peterson's parents today.
COLE: Yes, I did. They, of course, can't talk about the evidence, because they're both potential witnesses, defense witnesses. But I did talk to them about their feelings and what was going on. They do not -- my impression from them is that they don't believe that this is going to stop the trial. They seem to believe that they're in for the long haul, that there's still a long way to go in this trial.
So, if even his parents don't believe that this is -- this is the smoking gun for the defense, then I think that's an indication that we're all correct in thinking this might hurt the prosecution, but it's not going to stop it.
GRACE: Chris Pixley, agree or disagree?
PIXLEY: Well, I don't disagree with the panel. And I wouldn't disagree with Richard on this. It may turn out at this evidence is nonsubstantial.
But in a situation where the judge has decided to continue the trial, as you've said, in the midst of other testimony, in a situation where you're dealing with a highly experienced judge who, for without explanation, has said this is potential exculpatory evidence, I think there's something behind it.
And remember, also, this may be newly discovered evidence for the prosecution, but this is coming on the heels of a major sanction, and on the heels, also, of some serious discovery abuses. And that's where you tend to see new evidence come out.
I agree with Chuck Smith. It does happen potentially in every trial. It happens in many trials, things happen. But where you have a pattern of discovery abuses, that's when it's not unusual to see new evidence uncovered. And that's why it's so important to protect the defendant's fair trial rights. It's also why there's more case law citing to Brady v. Maryland than just about any other decision on the books from the U.S. Supreme Court.
GRACE: Chuck Smith...
PIXLEY: So this is not an insubstantial event.
GRACE; ...he's really got a good point, Chuck. And my question to you is, are we making a mountain out of a molehill? Or is Dellucci bending over backwards to protect what we call, the record. In other words, if there's a conviction down the road he's got to cover his bases. Which do you think it is, Chuck?
SMITH: He might be bending over backwards. But the points that the last couple speakers made, especially Kimberly, this hurts the prosecution. Even if this does not turn out to be substantial evidence, this hurts the prosecution. Because the message it sends among others to the jury is, even the parties don't really know what happened here. They're still trying to figure it out. And that shouldn't happen.
And the prosecution, especially prosecution based upon circumstantial evidence, the D.A. should convey to the jury from day one, we know what happened. We know where we're going. We have our case together. Here it is, folks, he's guilty.
This defeats this. So even if nothing ever comes of this the prosecution has been hurt once again.
GRACE: You know, Chuck, I think you're reading way too much into it. Because very often, newly discovered evidence does arise in a case, and that reflects on neither the defense nor the prosecution.
SMITH: That's true, Nancy. But I think in this case on the heels of what Chris talked about, and for the reasons that Kimberly talked about with the police bungling a few things already, the impression in this whole trial is not going to be that this is just one of those typical things that might happen. The impression is going to be, well, here we go again, something's messed up with the prosecution's case.
GRACE: But the reality is -- let me throw this to you, Kimberly, the reality is, doesn't it all depend on what we learn from the darn piece of plastic? If that even is what it is. If it shows nothing, then to me it's a wash. If it shows something, then we'll figure that out when we get there.
NEWSOM: Exactly. This is much ado about nothing. I think it's obviously we're speculating about it because we don't know more than that. We're pretty specific in terms of it's probably some kind of tape or plastic that's involved. If it was that big of a deal, let me tell you something, this case would be over today. The judge would have mistried this case, granted a mistrial if there was some kind of misconduct by the prosecution, the police department, et cetera.
He's bending over backwards like you said. He's protecting the record. Come Tuesday, Nancy, he won't even be talking about this. We'll be talking about Amber. This case will be going forward.
GRACE: Wait a minute. So, you're saying this is just like Donny and the dope dealers and the brown van with the ketchup stain?
NEWSOM: The Satanic cult, the burglaries in the area.
GRACE: Got your drift. And very quickly, Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, what is the worst case scenario? You know, we're explaining this away saying maybe it's nothing. Maybe it's a mountain -- a mole hill instead of a mountain. But the reality is, what's the worst case scenario for the state?
KOBILINSKY: There is a worst case scenario. Let's assume that the duct tape on the plastic bag has a strange fingerprint or strange DNA. And if that duct tape matches the duct tape on the body of Laci, that would argue for Scott's innocence. I think Mr. Geragos would have a ball by indicating it's somebody else. There's a direct link to the body, there's a strange fingerprint. That's tightly associated. My client's innocent.
GRACE: And very quickly to Ted Rowlands. Ted, is there any type of a construction facility or a construction site near Peterson's warehouse?
ROWLANDS: No. In fact, the prosecution looked into this right away. The piece of plastic has a name brand on it. And they have been able to determine that there's no connection between Modesto and this. This was used in a retro fit project up in the bay area. The bottom line is this, Nancy. That there is a test being done that will be done by Monday, and either X or Y is going to be the result of that test on this piece of whatever it is. If it is X, it may be exculpatory in the words of Dellucci. So there is something to it in that it was presented to the judge, we want to test this and it's pretty simple. It's either going to be this or this and Dellucci said yes, that's enough to stop this trial for now.
GRACE: Hey, Ted, I like that scientific -- that scientific terminology. This test on this piece of whatever it is. But the reality is, that's all we know tonight. But we do know it's important enough, this time at least, for Judge Dellucci to go along with stopping the trial.
You're tuned in to LARRY KING LIVE. And we are taking your calls. Everybody wants in. We'll be right back. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Can you tell us exactly what he said just to reiterate what he said so we have it clear?
GERAGOS: Judge Dellucci, recessed until Tuesday specifically so that this new potentially exculpatory evidence could be examined.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight.
Man, what a day in a Redwood City courtroom. Of course, we're talking about the Scott Peterson double murder trial. The defense attorney Mark Geragos, along with the prosecutor, went behind closed doors. When they emerged in open court, Judge Dellucci announced court was in recess. That's right, no more testimony, no more evidence, no more jury.
Everybody packed up and went home. Why, because there could be new evidence. Mark Geragos says it could exonerate his client. Tests are being done as we speak. We are taking your calls. But before we do that, take a listen to what Mark Geragos had to say coming out of the courthouse today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Is this new information something that could exonerate Scott?
GERAGOS: I -- I can't comment on anything. All I can tell you is it obviously, as the judge indicated, we need to -- we need to follow up on it and that's what we're going to do. That's all I can say.
QUESTION: How do you feel about this (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
GERAGOS: I can't comment at all on that. Any thing I say.
QUESTION: Mrs. Peterson do you feel this is a positive thing?
QUESTION: Mark can you tell us what this is about?
GERAGOS: No, I can't unfortunately. Everything is -- everything's been ordered sealed.
QUESTION: What do you mean by exculpatory?
But it's significant?
GERAGOS: I just can't comment.
QUESTION: It's safe to assume a judge wouldn't halt the trial of this magnitude and this high profile unless there was something serious involved here, because of the evidence you found?
QUESTION: Mark isn't there any way you could have gone forward wit (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
Are you guys going to have a busy weekend?
GERAGOS: That's a safe bet.
QUESTION: Has the same evidence been turned over to the prosecution?
GERAGOS: I really can't comment on anything, that has to do with the proceedings. I'm sorry.
QUESTION: But do they have the same crack at the evidence that you do?
GERAGOS: I really can't comment on anything because of the -- all I can do is refer you to what the judge said in court.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Michael Cardoza, correct me if I'm wrong, but Mark Geragos seemed totally out of context. Because normally he is screaming to high heavens, I've got exonerating evidence. My client's innocent. This is going to prove it. Remember the sandal, the mysterious shoe? Remember the Satanic cult, the lovesick neighbor?
We heard all about it. But now he's suddenly low-key. What happened?
CARDOZA: Well, what happened is, Nancy it's outside of court. It's not in the courtroom. Mark, screamed about that in the courtroom. Not outside of the courtroom. Once that gag order went into place, Mark Geragos and Pat Harris have abided by that gag order. So when you say he was mellow walking out of the court, certainly he was. He was following Judge Dellucci's orders. Which again leads me back to he's not upset at Distaso or Harris, the two prosecutors in this case. Which again, leads me then, somebody else out there, another agency is involved with this and he's waiting to see.
NEWSOM: Michael, you make a great argument. I almost just believed it and bought it hook, line and sinker. Let me tell you something, you know Mark Geragos, Nancy Grace, we know Mark. Mark Geragos, would be grinning from ear to ear. Mark Geragos' favorite word in this trial has been mistrial. Because every time he wants a mistrial he's furious at the prosecution. If he had something substantial here that would exonerate his client, let me tell you, we would know about it.
CARDOZA: Look, you're not going to hear about it from him outside of that courtroom. You may hear about it in the courtroom.
NEWSOM: I'm not talking about the gag order. Look at his demeanor. Look at his body language. There's nothing there that he didn't already know.
CARDOZA: No way. I'm sorry for talking while you're interrupting. Let me just be quiet.
GRACE: OK, you know what, I will take it straight to Ted Rowlands right now. You know, what really struck me as they were coming out of the courthouse, we don't know what this evidence is, we don't know what the test is going to reveal, we only know it was important enough for Judge Dellucci to stop the trial. What we do know, the families look exhausted. All of them. Laci's family, Scott's family, maybe they do need a break.
ROWLANDS: Yes, I actually talked to Sharon Rocha a bit today. She said it's been a tough road, you know. She didn't know anything about this new evidence, by the way. I think that it's disrespectful to Judge Dellucci to say that this is absolutely nothing, and you're making a mountain out of a molehill here. Because he went in, he listened to this argument and he decided he's not going to listen to some crazy cult theory from Geragos or he's not going to have the wool pulled over his eyes. He heard it, he listened, and he said, yes, let's stop it. Let's give them a chance to test it. I do agree with Kimberly on one point. I think that on Tuesday night, we'll be talking about Amber Frey.
GRACE: Ted, I think you're right about that. And I've got to tell you this much, Ted, when you and I were out there in the courtroom together, there's something about Judge Dellucci. You walk into that courtroom, you know he's the boss. This guy means business. And he is no stranger to a death penalty trial. We both know he's a trial veteran. We are taking your calls.
Lets go to, Pleasanton, California. Pleasanton, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
CALLER: Yes, hello. My question is for any one on the panel. I would like to know once Amber Frey takes the witness stand next Tuesday, about how many days will she be on the stand for?
GRACE: Man, that's a loaded question.
What about it, Richard Cole?
COLE: I think that the judge mentioned her going on the stand -- he didn't mention her by name, but we all understood that that's what he was referring to. Mentioned her going on the stand Tuesday and he was talking about into the following week. I think that's a pretty safe bet.
GRACE: Man. You know, I agree with you. I think we're looking at two weeks, Richard.
What do you think, Chris Pixley, two weeks?
PIXLEY: I don't know. I think that the trial watchers that are there in Redwood City know and certainly are spending a lot of time and have been spending time for months trying to determine just exactly what Amber's going to say and how long she's going to be on the stand.
GRACE: What's your best bet, Chris, a week, two weeks, a month, a day?
PIXLEY: Well, she shouldn't be on the stand for more than a day, Nancy because we didn't know about the relationship before Laci went missing. Anything that she knows from Scott Peterson short of a confession is after the fact, unless he was talking to her about violence in the relationship. Unless he had something relevant to say that ties it back to Laci's disappearance. Really it's just pillow talk. And I think ultimately that's what we're going to find. We know that these were taped conversations. We know she was working for the police very early on. So there's very little that's going to come out that won't be attacked by the defense as being part of a larger scheme, a larger project that the police were putting on at the time through Amber Frey. I don't think ultimately, although, I think it will be very interesting for the media, that it's going to be necessarily the smoking gun, the kind of evidence to close your case with.
GRACE: All that together you say it should be short testimony. OK, let's go to Fresno.
Fresno, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. You're talking to your greatest fan. GRACE: Thank you.
CALLER: Any ways, can I ask you questions?
CALLER: OK. Because you were talking about, you know, the evidence that has washed up or you know, whatever.
How can they prove that that is connected to Laci and Conner?
GRACE: Good question.
CALLER: It could be just garbage.
CALLER: OK, don't move for us. What about it, doctor?
KOBLINSKY: Well, precisely I think that's what has to be done in testing. The commonality there is duct tape. As I mentioned earlier, examination of the adhesives or the fabric of the tape could link the two items. The body of Laci Peterson, and this tarp or plastic bag that has the duct tape. If there's a linkage, then you've got to look at what is on that duct tape.
Is it a fingerprint, is it hair, is it DNA?
It could be very critical or it could be the red herring of San Francisco Bay.
GRACE: Hey Fresno, don't move. We've got to go to break. You are tuned in to LARRY KING LIVE. Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight.
Thank you for being with us. Let's go straight back to the calls.
Fresno, I know you're on the line but I want to ask Ted Rowlands something very quickly.
Ted, we're all talking about duct tape, we're talking about plastic, could it be something else?
ROWLANDS: Oh, easily, yes. The only reason that we really brought that up is, because we've been told by a source that's familiar with the case that it's something that was retrieved with the remains of Laci. And we know that this piece of plastic was one of the items that was confiscated and it was in evidence and there's duct tape on that. It could be anything. We just don't know.
GRACE: OK, all speculation right now. Let's go to, Fresno. Fresno, You still there? CALLER: I am. The other thing was, in the very beginning of the investigation, when they were, you know, doing his house, you know, investigating the house, he walked out and somebody asked him a question and he looked at the microphone and I swear to God that's at the time when I had no decision made whatsoever, none of us did, and he looked at that microphone and he says let 'em go ahead and look. And it was the way he said it. Let 'em go ahead and look, they're not going to find anything.
GRACE: And your question is?
Did that affect his credibility?
CALLER: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, more of a comment, because I haven't heard anyone mention that besides me. And you know, I thought it was so chilling, and you know, there's been so many things that have been mentioned about his character and whatever. But that was directly, you know, towards his outlook, and what he thought they wouldn't find. And this is while she was still, you know, missing.
GRACE: Missing. What about that, Chuck?
SMITH: Well, you know, I was listening to the question. Richard, knows the evidence, as well as anyone. I know this might be a good question for him. I know that there's going to be a good deal of evidence still to come about statements he made to various people, phone recorded conversations to Amber Frey and statements to other people. So much of this case has been about impressions and how he acted. And was it appropriate, that if they do have that evidence that the Fresno caller talks about, I imagine we're going to hear it.
GRACE: Danville, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy.
GRACE: Go ahead, dear.
CALLER: My question is for Chris Pixley. What I want to know is, should this evidence exonerate Scott Peterson, can he do anything against the Modesto Police Department, file suit or anything for damage to his character, loss of wages and things of that nature?
PIXLEY: No. I think that he might certainly have an argument against the press in this case. Ultimately no, he's not going to have a case against the state. There certainly has been probable cause here. I think the real question in my mind of late has been whether or not his sixth amendment rights have been violated. Whether Scott Peterson is, in fact, receiving a fair trial. I think it's appropriate for Judge Dellucci to do what he's done here today and to continue the trial. While there is an investigation of new evidence. But ultimately there won't be any civil suit against Modesto or Stanislaus County or any other county in this case. GRACE: Olympia, Washington, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
CALLER: Yes, my question is, that everyone has been talking about the evidence being linked to, Laci.
Do you think that the evidence could be linked to baby Conner, instead, and showing that he could have been born?
Because wasn't he born like with, like a cut or something, you know, that may be linked to the duct tape or plastic?
GRACE: Wasn't he born like what?
CALLER: You know, how he had the cut. Didn't he have something on his neck?
GRACE: Oh, the cut. The cut. Go ahead, doctor.
KOBLINSKY: The issue with Conner is that there was some tape found around the neck, looped around the neck. The question or the issue was whether or not that could have been picked up in the flotsam and jetsam or was it tied tight enough so that there was no way that tape would end up around the neck unless it was physically tied. The reality is, is that you have to look at all of the information about Conner. Conner's age appears to be approximately 8 months, despite what Mr. Geragos has indicated, that Conner is older. For a lot of different reasons. And everything points to the fact that Conner was not born -- Laci's cervix was not dilated. Conner was born as a result of coffin birth, deterioration of the uterus at the very top. It's all very consistent with the prosecution's theory that both died simultaneously.
GRACE: Well, you know what, And I would be willing to bet that Michael Cardoza and Chris Pixley disagree with you.
Stay with us. We'll all be right back taking your calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, your honor. I guess the thing I talked to Mr. Geragos about...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. He'll be back tomorrow night. Thank you for being with us.
As you know, a bombshell dropped in the Scott Peterson case. Testimony came to a halt. And Mark Geragos announced there could be evidence that may exonerate his client, Scott Peterson.
You know, another issue, Ted Rowlands, we've all been closely following the Lori Hacking case. And that search goes on, as we know, has this jury -- has the Peterson jury been instructed not to listen to evidence in that case or news accounts? The cases are eerily similar, Ted.
ROWLANDS: Yes. No, the judge has not told the jury to stay away from any Hacking coverage. There was some speculation that that might happen in the first few days. But, you know, to be quite honest I don't know that the defense would want that instruction to be made, because it would almost validate some sort of similarity between the two cases.
And that case, of course, is pretty much wrapped up in terms of where guilt is lying. Where this one is still up in the air. So, no, that hasn't been the case.
GRACE: Richard Cole, agree or disagree?
COLE: No, that's exactly the case. I think probably neither side wants to draw this to the attention of the jury. And actually, to try to get them away from the Hacking case and away from the Peterson case, basically you might as well sequester them, because it's pretty difficult to pick up a newspaper, turn on the television, listen on the radio without one of those two cases coming up.
GRACE: You know, Michael Cardoza, it's my experience jury's hate sequestration. You tell them to bring their toothbrush to the courthouse, forget it. They'll start dropping off like flies.
CARDOZA: Oh, they will, absolutely. These -- these jurors are not sequestered. They may be sequestered during deliberation, but I seriously doubt it. That's not judge Dellucci's style. There's been nothing that has hurt this jury at all. The one juror left way back when. I don't see anything like that happening at all.
COLE: The judge has promised us they will not be sequestered.
GRACE: Chuck Smith question, right when the state was getting in a groove, all this evidence of hard-core porn, 24/7, the statements that Peterson had made, they were really, really on a roll, all of a sudden, skids when Geragos announces he has this evidence. Is it the real deal or just a ploy to throw off the state?
SMITH: Oh, I don't think this is a ploy by Mark Geragos. I think he's got more integrity than that. I mean, he's conducted himself very professionally. It's not a ploy.
You know, I will disagree with Richard on the last point. I think the Lori Hacking case hovers over this trial, because the sad truth is, as Dr. Robi Ludwig brought out with you the other night, generally in these kinds of cases, it is the husband.
We had the Charles Stewart case in Boston several years ago, driving around, a supposed carjacking and he actually shot his pregnant wife. That was the truth. This hovers over this trial. And when they go back to deliberate, they will think about cases like Lori Hacking and her husband. It's generally the husband. GRACE: You know, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, they brought up a good point, and that is, it would be hard to believe that whether we disagree with Mark Geragos or not, that he would trump this whole thing up just to throw the state off its course. And also, you've got to take into account that Dellucci agreed with him. Or could he just be protecting an appellate record? Explain.
NEWSOM: I think he's definitely protecting the appellate record. He should. I don't think Mark Geragos would ever just make something out of nothing. I think there's a little bit of relaxation on him, because I think he doesn't think he has something that explosive. Otherwise we would really know it. The bottom line is, he's doing a good job. He's got to follow all the details, all the leads. The prosecution should be doing the same.
GRACE: Right. Your though?
KOBILINSKY: I think Mark Geragos is doing a splendid did job dissecting everything point by point, raising arguments about every little issue. But remember, you got to look at the whole case, because that's what the jury's going to look at. The whole case, not each little item with faults here or there.
GRACE: And last word very quickly, Ted Rowlands, the reality to me is we've known about this evidence for a long time. I'm kind of surprised that neither side has tested it till today. We're at witness 101.
ROWLANDS: I think I can explain that, Nancy.
GRACE: Go ahead, Ted. Ted, quickly.
ROWLANDS: Well, you know, quite frankly yes, we were not quite sure what is being dealt with here. So we're really speculating about it. But the evidence should have been there, and we don't know what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The new evidence...
GRACE: I've got to cut you off. The story goes on in the Peterson courtroom. I want to thank everyone for being with us tonight, and especially to you for letting us into your home this evening.
Stay tuned for Aaron Brown's "NEWSNIGHT." Good night.
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