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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Panel discusses Amber Frey's testimony
Aired August 10, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight's Scott Peterson's former lover Amber Frey, finally takes the stand at his double murder trial, detailing their relationship, including the first date, which ended with them spending an intimate night together, a month before the disappearance of his wife, Scott denied even having.
That's only the beginning of her testimony.
Here with all the details, CNN's Ted Rowlands, inside that packed courtroom today.
As was Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor.
Also with us, high profile defense attorney Chris Pixley.
And more experts who saw it all inside court today, Michael Cardoza, a leading defense attorney in the area.
And Chuck Smith, former prosecutor in San Mateo County where Scott Peterson's being tried.
Richard Cole, the veteran trial reporter for the Daily News Group, and
Gloria Allred, the attorney for Amber Frey.
And they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We'll start with three folks who were at the trial today, then a segment with Gloria Allred and then the rest of the panel.
Ted Rowlands, what happened?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as expected Amber Frey was on the stand for the entire day today. She was a bit nervous at times. Lost her place a few times. But overall came across as simply a woman telling the truth about her relationship with Scott Peterson. And she detailed that relationship, starting with their first date, which took place November 20th, on 2002, as you alluded to.
They ended up sleeping together that night. But it started with Peterson showing up with champagne and strawberries and really that was the beginning of his romancing her. Which lasted throughout their entire relationship. She talked about how at one point, he brought her three dozen roses before going to a Christmas formal the same night Laci Peterson was attending another Christmas Party by herself. Then they did play a few of those audio tapes that Frey taped of Peterson and they're conversations. At the end of court the most compelling tape, a tape that Peterson -- a tape of a conversation she had with Peterson on New Year's Eve, about an hour before the memorial in Modesto took place for Laci Peterson. Scott Peterson told Amber Frey that he was in Paris, France, and that he had enjoyed a New Year's Eve celebration watching fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. He had such details to say that American pop songs were being played by the band there.
All along, these conversations were being taped by Frey, and he was preparing to attend a vigil for his missing wife. Her testimony was long, and she was on the stand the entire day. It is expected that this will be the first of about a week's worth of testimony with hours of tapes to go, that the jury will hear.
KING: What effect did it have on the jury, in your opinion, Ted?
ROWLANDS: Well, they were riveted. By far this has been the most compelling testimony that we've heard in this trial. Everybody in the courtroom was silent throughout the entire day. The courtroom was packed, and everything she had to say seemed to really translate with the jury. The question is, of course, the defense is going to argue that this is just a girlfriend. They had four total dates. Yes, they had hundreds of phone conversations, but Peterson was trying to keep her emotionally at bay. Will the jury make that connection or not?
That because he's a liar he may have had something to do with his wife weighs murder? Nobody knows, but they sure were listening.
KING: Nancy Grace, what is the connection between lying and adultery and murder?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, the reality is, Larry, if you could have heard this testimony today, the credibility of Scott Peterson is now on the line. According to him, he's quite the world traveler. He went from Paris to New York to Boston, to Kennebunkport. He was at the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve. In fact, later on we heard where he basically switched families. One day Amber Frey came home from work, Scott Peterson was there. He had put the baby in the high chair, put food out on the high chair, he had poured two glasses of wine waiting for Amber to come home and was reheating a seafood lasagna they made the night before. All the while we know Laci is at home putting her feet up eight months pregnant. The importance, his credibility, he's lying through his teeth. A jury cannot believe anything he says.
KING: But you can be a liar if you're on adulterer.
KING: You can be a cad. What does that prove about murder?
GRACE: Very simply. Very simply, when you say I had nothing to do with my wife's disappearance, nobody's going to believe you. Because you lie through your teeth.
KING: You're presuming they won't believe him.
GRACE: Well, you asked me...
KING: You're presuming they won't believe it.
GRACE: Yes, and I'm saying the credibility issue is the big problem. I don't think anybody really cares if he had an affair.
KING: So your opinion, this case is over?
GRACE: I wouldn't say it's over, because I assume a lot of surprise verdicts. I don't even have to say, O.J. But from the tone of the courtroom today, the jury, even all the men on that jury were writing copious notes.
Michael Cardoza, from the defense standpoint, what did you see in it?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I'll tell you, it was a tough day for the defense today, Larry. Definitely a tough day. But I couldn't disagree with Nancy more. We've known this guy is a liar right from the get-go. Geragos in opening statements said he's a cad, inherent in having an affair like this is telling untruths. So, all they're doing is playing the same song again and again today, that's what they did.
The one thing that I thought was very important today, and the defense will have to respond to is, Scott says on one of the tapes, to Amber, I'm not going to be back during the month of January. I'm going to be gone. Did that imply that he was contemplating this murder and he knew he'd be busy during January? I don't know, but it's going to be interesting to see how the defense responds to that.
KING: Even though it may not, Michael, connect to murder, it certainly as Nancy says, it don't look good.
CARDOZA: Oh, no, it doesn't look good at all. He's a liar. Geragos has admitted that. Pat Harris has admitted that. He is a liar. But to take that jump, therefore he's a murderer, no. I'll tell you what the jury's going to look at with these tapes. It's more the emotion. It's more the attitude during the tape. And it's going to be the fact, why are you calling this lady after your wife goes missing, especially from the vigil. That doesn't bode well for him.
But Nancy, no, it's not that way. We know he's a liar. He's a liar, Nancy. Doesn't mean he committed murder.
KING: Ted, were both families in court?
ROWLANDS: Cameras, no, no cameras.
KING: No, families. Families. ROWLANDS: Families, yes, in force. The courtroom was packed. Both sides had full the contingents of family members. Afterwards, or during one of the breaks, one of Scott Peterson's sisters, Susan Cadleo (ph) said, you know, we knew all about this. Amber, is more of a side show here. This was a separate issue. Yes, he had an affair. We all know that he had an affair, but it had nothing to do with Laci's disappearance.
KING: And what was the reaction of Laci's family?
ROWLANDS: They didn't have anything to say outside of court today, but you could see that they were riveted on this. And it must have been difficult for them to hear some of this testimony when they looked back at what they were doing, specifically on New Year's Eve getting ready for that very emotional vigil in Modesto to hear that recorded conversation that Peterson had with Frey.
KING: And what was Scott's reaction?
ROWLANDS: He looked at Amber intently throughout, took notes, talked with Mark Geragos. But he didn't have any sort of reaction that really is reportable to say that he reacted in one way or another to her. She at one point pointed him out on the record in the courtroom, and pointed right at him. And that would really be the only time, that I saw, that the two had any sort of eye contact.
KING: Nancy, was she taping him at the behest of the prosecution or on her own?
GRACE: Yes, she was. But that's a really good question, Larry, because I think there are going to be conversations that were taped without them asking. There were a couple of answering machine messages, I think, that were early on. But it really pointed question from, Dave Harris the prosecutor was, when did you get suspicious?
And she said, during that conversation or earlier?
And he took her back. She said, she began to get suspicious of Peterson when he gave her a P.O. box to send mail -- mail to, as opposed to a regular mailbox. Because she said, in that conversation she became suspicious, because he was just flying all over the map, Larry. And you could tell.
KING: Suspicious of -- Suspicious he was married or suspicious he was a murderer?
GRACE: Well, suspicious at that juncture that he may have been married. And my point is, that if she became suspicious, she may have started looking into his background right then and there.
KING: I see.
Michael, why are you saying, no?
CARDOZA: I say, no, because what happened, Larry, right at the beginning of the case, the police -- there's a police report that said Amber had about an hour worth of tape of Scott before the police, at their behest, she started to tape. Now the police are turning around and saying, no, that police report was a mistake. On the stand today, Nancy, on the stand, in evidence, is Amber saying I didn't tape before. I only taped when the police told me.
GRACE: There were some answering machine messages.
CARDOZA: No. Answering machine, come on, that's not her taping, Nancy. Don't go there. And the other thing I thought...
GRACE: I heard them, Michael. There were answering machine messages in the courtroom. I don't know if you were in there for that.
KING: That's not her taping him. That's not her taping.
CARDOZA: Nancy, that's not her taping.
GRACE: Right, and she saved those.
CARDOZA: Don't spin that. We're talking about her taping.
GRACE: You guy are parsing words. I'm just telling you what happened in court today. There were answering machine messages. Call them whatever you want to. I don't care.
KING: No, no. But that basing, Nancy, was my question was, did she tape him. An answering machine message is not her taping him deliberately.
GRACE: Yes, right.
KING: That's all I meant.
We'll take a break and come right back. Talk with Gloria Allred and then our panel will assemble. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMBER FREY, SCOTT PETERSON'S EX-GIRLFRIEND: First of all, I met Scott Peterson November 20th, 2002. I was introduced to him. I was told he was unmarried. Scott told me he was not married. We did have a romantic relationship. When I discovered he was involved in the disappearance -- the Laci Peterson disappearance case, I immediately contacted the Modesto Police Department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're going to spend some moments now with Gloria Allred in Redwood City. She is Amber Frey's attorney. How did Amber feel after today?
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR AMBER FREY: I think she appeared a little bit tired. And I think she was happy that the day ended. But, she's going home and taking care of her baby that is going back to where she's staying here in Redwood City. And being a good mom, and tomorrow will be the next day. And she's ready for it. As long as it takes, she's going to do her civic duty. I'm really proud of her for it. Because it's a difficult time, Larry. Who would want to walk into this courtroom and trade places with Amber Frey knowing that every word is going to be reported and analyzed and scrutinized?
I think she did a great job. I think she came across as being very credible, which she is. And of course much of what she has to say, most of it, will be corroborated by the taped telephone calls with Scott Peterson that she made at the request of law enforcement, after Laci disappeared.
KING: How long is she expected to be on the stand?
ALLRED: It's difficult to say. I would expect that she'll be back next week, at least.
KING: With -- are they going to have trial -- do they meet on Friday? Or they usually suspend Thursday and go to Monday?
ALLRED: No, the court is dark on Thursday -- on Friday. But I think today was a really important day. Because I think Amber really testified about the many, many lies that Scott Peterson told, from the very beginning. She testified that he said that he was not married. That he didn't have any children. That he hadn't been near to having children. In fact, she even testified that when they were talking about birth control, that he suggested that he didn't need to have a biological child, that her little girl would be enough. And that he could raise her as his own.
And also that she testified that he was saying that they would have a future together. I think all of that was very important today. Especially also Amber's testimony that when she learned that he might be married, after having dated him, and that she -- that he was talking with her about that, she was confronting him about that, that he said he had lost his wife and these would be the first holidays without her. And Larry, that was in December, prior to Laci's ever having gone missing.
KING: As an advocate attorney, Gloria, though, you'll agree since you don't know if he's a murderer or not, and you've told us on the show in the past you're only out to protect her, you don't know what he did, wouldn't you, if you were the defense, claim that all they've proven is he's not a nice guy?
ALLRED: Well, you know, I think it goes way beyond he's not a nice guy. I mean, this isn't just about seduction. This is about numerous lies. And why was he telling them? Why would he say they have -- that he was planning a future with Amber?
KING: Well, you're guessing as to why. Maybe he just wanted to keep sleeping with her. Maybe he has (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to hold her on hold. Maybe he's one of those guys who likes possessing people. You don't know. I don't know. No one knows. ALLRED: Larry, let me ask you why, on the eve of December 31, New Year's Eve, when volunteers were out there, the family was out there for a prayer vigil at a search for Laci, pregnant Laci, would Scott, from the vigil, be placing telephone calls to Amber and be lighthearted and ebullient calling her, hi, sweetheart and I miss you?
KING: Gloria, then wouldn't a murderer, let's take this a step further, go to the vigil? Would a murderer be stupid enough not to go to the vigil?
ALLRED: Well, you know, all I can tell you is...
KING: What does that say to you?
ALLRED: All I can tell you is that he wasn't in Paris at the Eiffel Tower, Larry. He said he was...
KING: That's not the answer to the question. That's not the question. The question is, wouldn't a murderer go to the vigil?
ALLRED: You know, I can't tell you what a murderer would do or not do. I can tell you what Scott Peterson did. And I'll tell you, it was very painful, Larry, to Sharon Rocha. I was sitting right behind her today, the mother of Laci Peterson. And when that recorded telephone call was made, by Amber, brave Amber, of Scott calling her on New Year's Eve, basically from the vigil, and you know, having this lighthearted ebullient kind of man about town conversation with her as though he's a bachelor, and she's -- and he's at the vigil, I mean Sharon, she was in tears in the courtroom. My heart really went out to her. Is this appropriate conduct? Doesn't this go way far beyond just being somebody who's playing around?
KING: So then, obviously. So what does it say to you?
ALLRED: Well, it says to me that there should be substantial questions raised in the minds of the jurors about this kind of conduct. And why did he say that he would be seeing her in January, and he would have more time for her later in January? Did he know something about where -- what had happened to Laci, what would happen to Laci? Was he planning it? Was this evidence of premeditation? These are fair questions to raise, Larry.
KING: Yes, and I guess the defense might have some pretty good questions, too. Is she worried about that, by the way?
ALLRED: Well, I mean, who wouldn't be concerned about cross- examination in this high-profile case? But, you know, I think they're going to have their work cut out for them. Because after all, we have all of these numerous telephone conversations that Amber made after Laci disappeared, at the request of law enforcement.
Many of them will be played in the courtroom. We're going to hear Scott's own words. We know he's not going to testify from the witness stand, Larry, unlikely because he would have to explain away all of those lies. How could he? I think it would be practically impossible to explain the lies he told to the press, to the police, to Amber, to Laci's family. Who knows who else. And I don't think he'd be taking the witness stand.
So I think that Mark Geragos is going to have his work cut out for him. If he wants to bully Amber Frey, who came forward, did the right thing, immediately contacted law enforcement. She said today in her testimony upon learning that he was married, that his wife was missing, and then when they didn't respond, immediately called them back. If he's going to attack her for doing the right thing, just as a typical citizen should, then I think he could alienate the jury.
KING: If you were a lawyer, how would you approach her, if you were a lawyer for the defense?
ALLRED: Well, I wouldn't be a lawyer for the defense.
KING: Why not?
ALLRED: Well, I don't do criminal defense.
KING: You're a lawyer.
ALLRED: I know. But I don't do criminal defense. I represent victims and victim's rights and persons who are in a situation like Amber Frey is in. All I can tell you is that if he wants to make her pay a higher price, she's already been a victim of Scott Peterson's deception. That's without question. There's no dispute about that. If he wants to further victimize her in the courtroom, well, let him try. Because all she is, she's a single parent with two little ones, and you know, all she was trying to do was live her life, and you know, Scott Peterson not only deceived her, but had a massive set of lies. If he wants to try to revictimize her, well, he can try but she's going to sit there. She's going to tell the truth. And whether or not he likes it, that's the way it's going to be.
KING: Thanks, Gloria. We're looking forward to seeing you in the nights ahead. Gloria Allred, the victim's rights attorney who's representing Amber Frey. When we come back, Ted Rowlands, Nancy Grace and Michael Cardoza will be joined by Chris Pixley, Chuck Smith and Richard Cole. And your phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREY: I am very sorry for Laci's family. And the pain that this has caused them. I would appreciate to my friends and acquaintances, to refrain from talking about me to the media for profit or recognition. I am a single mother of a 23-month-old child. And I ask for you to respect my privacy. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Tomorrow night an exclusive hour here in Los Angeles -- rather Thursday night an exclusive hour here in Los Angeles with President George W. Bush and Laura Bush. More on the Peterson trial tomorrow night. Let's meet our whole panel. In Redwood City, Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent. Been with this case from the get-go. Nancy Grace, the Court TV anchor and host of "NANCY GRACE LIVE." Nice name for that show. Prime-time specials, and former prosecutor in court today, Michael Cardoza, the local defense attorney and former Alameda county prosecutor. Chris Pixley is the only one not on the scene. He's in Atlanta, the famed defense attorney. Chuck Smith joins us, the former San Mateo prosecutor, six years a homicide prosecutor, now in private practice. And Richard Cole, covering the case for The Daily News Group, including the "Redwood City Daily News", a veteran crime and trial reporter.
By the way, I'll start with you, Richard, what happened to that exculpatory evidence?
RICHARD COLE, THE DAILY NEWS GROUP: What happened is it's been tested over the weekend, by the defense, and the prosecution. What we know a little bit more about that evidence than we did last Thursday when we discussed this the last time. It is, indeed, this large plastic sheet that was originally used as a cover for a pallet of construction material that was being used on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge retro fit. That's a bridge in the northern part of San Francisco Bay. And interestingly, far away from where the bodies turned up.
KING: What does it mean?
COLE: Well, what happened was, no one had taken that plastic very seriously until they found out very recently that the original police officers that found it said it smelled like a dead body. Now that suddenly raised the possibility that the body had been wrapped in that plastic and it wasn't just another piece of flotsam that happened to be found near her body...
KING: What happens now?
COLE: Well, if she was wrapped in that -- as of this moment we're not sure. I'm not sure that all the tests have been completed. Some of the tests, as I understand it, may have led to other tests that now need to be done. But if she was wrapped in that plastic, and it is, indeed, from a site far north in San Francisco Bay, the question is, how could Scott Peterson have gotten hold of that? And why would he have done that? It also raises the questions about whether the body would have floated in a different way and the weights would not have been near enough to hold her down.
KING: I see. Chuck Smith, could this be relevant?
CHUCK SMITH, FMR. SAN MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR: It could be, Larry. But I think that the consensus here, and the way the participants are acting about this, no one expects this to be very much in terms of an important piece of evidence one way or the other. They're going to test it. They're going to do their due diligence on this piece of evidence. But no one is expecting much on this for the reasons Richard has said. I think his analysis is accurate.
KING: Chris Pixley, from a defense standpoint you weren't there, but what you've heard, is the defense up against it?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think everyone on the panel understands, Larry, that this is really the honeymoon period for Amber Frey. She's being cross-examined by an assistant district attorney who's known for months, if not over the past year that she is going to be the star witness in the trial of the decade, so there's been no limit to the amount of time and energy that's been put into her preparation. You add to that the unusual circumstance that she has, she, a witness, has her own counsel in Gloria Allred, and quite honestly, it would have been a surprise if she hadn't hit home runs today. I think the fact that she came across well was to be expected. We know she's told the story of all of the different lies that Scott Peterson told and the ways that he seduced her and manipulated her. The real question now is what the reckoning will be like. She will be cross-examined. I think despite Gloria's protests and despite her warnings, Mark Geragos is going to have a lot of ammunition on cross- examination.
KING: Should he be rough on her, Nancy? How should he handle this, from your perspective?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I can tell you this much, the star in the courtroom today wasn't necessarily Amber Frey. It was Scott Peterson on tape with all of his, frankly B.S., Larry, that's a highly technical legal term. Brussels, Paris, wherever he was.
KING: The question was, if you were the defense attorney...
GRACE: I would not be...
KING: You would not?
GRACE: I would not be a bully with her. I think the jury will resent him. I think he can ask the same questions, and he's a very sophisticated lawyer. He can do this without being the playground bully. He can ask the same questions without being rough on her. But I don't know if Mark Geragos can contain himself. I think he will end up getting too rough on her. He'll get reprimanded and the jury will resent him.
KING: Michael Cardoza, what is he looking for? What should the defense look for in cross-examining this potent witness?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, LEADING AREA DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I'll tell you, it's going to be tantamount to a heavyweight fight. Mark will come out in the first round and he's going to be light. It's going to be light. He's not going to ask any hard questions. He's going to see how Amber answers those questions. Then he might step it up.
I would analogize it to cross-examining a rape victim in a case. And Nancy is right, I hate to admit this, in one aspect. That you've got to be gentle with her. If she comes back at Geragos, takes him on, then he can go after her very roughly. But I'll tell you, he may not have a lot of questions for her. Because, remember, after all the tapes were done, they stopped the tapes. They went to Amber and said, look, we're not getting anything worthwhile here, we're going to stop these tapes. He could ask her, well, that one question or keep her on the stand only for a half hour. I know everybody expects three, four days. I think people are going to be surprised. He may not keep her on the stand that long.
And another thing that really struck me today with the tapes, and what struck me with all the other tapes, did Scott Peterson, on any of those tapes, ever tell Amber, I'm in love with you or I love you? He never did. That's interesting. Because then you can interpret a lot of what he said, as a man going after a woman, just for sex.
KING: All right, Chuck Smith can you...I'm sorry, Nancy. I was asking Chuck a question. Nancy, what did you want to say?
GRACE: Sorry. I just wanted to say we've all got the transcripts. They were handed out in court today. And Scott says verbatim, in my mind we could be wonderful together, I could care for you in any, every way, for the rest of our lives. Now to me, coming from a woman's point of view, for the rest of our lives, that says death do us part. They're talking marriage here. These are Scott's words.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, please.
KING: Chuck Smith, is it possible, Chuck, that this is just a guy on the make, doing everything he can, just to make it with a woman? He's a cad, he's a rotten guy? What's the hook to being a murderer? Chuck?
SMITH: You know, Larry, that's a great question. And I think where the prosecution has to take it beyond simply being a cad on the make, is they have to show the depths of the lies, the manipulative nature of the lies and the diabolical nature of the lies.
You know, some of the testimony, some of the things Gloria was talking about a few moments ago when she talked about how Scott in early December indicated he would be gone for the month of January. Well, think about that for a minute. Did he know something was going to happen? Did he know that he was not going to be able to have contact with her?
Did he know something was going to happen?
Did he know that he was not going to be able to have contact with her?
You know, a prosecutor can put this together, and argue that he knew something was going to happen, so he would no longer have that life that was burdening him. He might have to lay low and stay away from Amber, but things may turn around.
So a prosecutor has to really take it beyond simply, this was a married guy looking to get lucky, and has to show that this guy was diabolical. He was way beyond what a normal, philandering husband would be. That's what they must do. That he was odd. That he was weird. Those are the kinds of things the prosecution has to prey upon. KING: We'll take a break and come right back with the whole panel. We'll include your phone calls. Don't go away.
KING: Ted Rowlands, since no one -- we've already heard from Michael Cardoza that the cross exam may be brief, do we have any idea how long she's going to be around on the stand?
CARDOZA: Well, we don't. I think it does depend on how Mark Geragos approaches it. You know, he may just go up there and concede what she's brought to this case, and say she's telling the truth and let her go after a short cross exam. Or if he keeps her on there, to try to trip her up, then I think she'll be on the stand well into next week. But I think if the cross is short, she should be done early next week, most likely Monday or Tuesday.
KING: Nancy, since there's no reason to cross her up, she's just telling it from her viewpoint, why not just spend a little time and move on and then in summation say that his client's a cad?
GRACE: Very frankly, Larry, they don't teach us that in law school. They need a whole class in learning when to sit down and shut up. You know, Larry, when you don't know a horse, you've got to look at his track record. The reality is that Geragos routinely cross- examines everybody till the cows come home, and I do not think Amber Frey is going to be any different.
KING: Now, Michael Cardoza you disagree?
You think it might be hello, good-bye.
CARDOZA: No, Geragos is too good a trial attorney. The most difficult decision I ever made in one of the murder trials I was trying, was not to ask a psychiatrist a question because he was so confusing. And Geragos is smart enough to look at what she says, not attack her. You know, bump her a little bit and say things. I mean, what do we get out of this tape? Nothing, thank you, bye-bye. We believe from her perspective you're telling it the way you believe it. See you later and get rid of her.
KING: Richard Cole to this point, you've observed many, how is this trial going, if you were a betting man?
COLE: Well, I would tell you today is certainly the best day, I think, the prosecution has had in this case, but they still have a long way to go. One other thing we should remember is in opening statements, that Mark Geragos, said pretty much conceded that these phone conversations were pretty much as billed. That his client was a cad. What he did say is that there's nothing incriminating on those tapes. At no point, despite some of the reports that we've had, does Scott talk about whether or not he knows who killed his wife. Or he's -- or anything like that.
So, I kind of think that it's possible that Mike is right. That they'll just say, OK, fine, the tapes are now in. We've conceded that all along and, let's move along. And If i were a betting man, I'd -- I'd say that I wouldn't be betting on a -- a conviction at this point. But, we have not heard the whole case. And there may be something down the road that would change my mind, especially if the evidence on the bodies is really strong.
KING: Chuck Smith, how do you view it right to this point?
SMITH: Well, right to this point, I think that the defense is ahead. I mean the prosecution has really not done a good job of weaving to the a coherent story, and really putting compelling evidence of guilt. They haven't put the pieces of the puzzle together very well. Even today, with the testimony about the telephone calls which were ostensibly from Paris, supposedly he was in Paris, they didn't connect the dots, and show the jury that, hey, this was when the vigil was happening. Which we all knew in the audience, but the jury doesn't really know that.
So the prosecution has not put it all together like that. And I think the defense is ahead. And whether or not the defense will have to do much remains to be seen. But I think they're definitely ahead. And the prosecution has got work to do.
KING: Before I ask Nancy's thoughts on that, Chris Pixley would you question her a long time or would you be quick?
PIXLEY: I think Michael makes a good point, but I'm going to actually agree with, Nancy. I think that, Amber Frey, from the defense standpoint, may be on the stand for a good period of time. Because Amber's going to be faced with some dilemmas. She doesn't necessarily come to the court, Larry, with clean hands.
And she's going to be faced with the fact that while she had a 30-day relationship with Scott Peterson during which she was misled, it was followed by months of taped phone conversations, scripted by the police, where she misled Scott about things like their future together. About even the fact that their supposedly private conversations were anything but private. And also, spent most of her time challenging and questioning and cajoling him during that period of time.
Remember, also, there's another side to this story. Amber Frey may very well have been the pursuer in this relationship just as much as Scott Peterson was. And if she did anything that misled him, anything where the defense needs to come forward and show the extremes that she went to make this relationship with Scott Peterson work, then they're going to demonstrate it. Especially if she was seeing other people. If she's misleading him about her relationships with others, you can bet that she's going to be on the stand for awhile. And all of that is yet to be seen. So I would keep her on.
KING: Nancy, are you surprised that some of our -- hold it, hold it. Nancy, are you surprised that at this point some of our experts think the defense is ahead?
GRACE: No, because most of the experts are defense oriented. And they've been saying that since... KING: No, Richard Cole isn't. Chuck Smith isn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I'm not Nancy. I routing for the prosecution.
KING: No, Richard Cole, and Chuck Smith aren't.
GRACE: Well, frankly, Larry, I've accused Richard right to his face of being defense oriented. We've been arguing about that between, me, myself, and himself for some time now. But, no, I'm not surprised at all. I think they are laboring under the belief that the state has put up everything they've got to show, that Amber's the icing on the cake. I disagree.
I think the single most important testimony in this case will be the time line. I've said it from the beginning of the case. When the jury realizes that Scott Peterson's cell phone records are placing him in the neighborhood within 10 minutes of her disappearing. And then he places himself basically fishing on top of the disposal of her body. That cannot be a coincidence. There is no coincidence in criminal law. And I think that's the strongest evidence, not Amber Frey.
KING: Michael, what were you going to say?
CARDOZA: Nancy, what I was going to say was, Nancy, you think because he was arrested that was enough. That this trial is just like, why go through the trial? Golly gee, he was arrested. Nancy, he has a right to a fair trial. Chuck Smith is the district attorney. I mean, he's the ex-D.A. He's telling you the defense is behind in this case. But you and I both know...
CARDOZA: ... in trials, you never know what's going to happen with the verdict in the case. So...
KING: Michael, he said he thought the defense was ahead.
CARDOZA: No, I understand that. That's what I'm saying. I misspoke then. If I misspoke, yes, he is saying the defense is ahead. And Chuck is an ex-prosecutor and he really believes that Peterson is guilty in this case. So here you have someone...
SMITH: Well, power to him, Michael.
CARDOZA: You have someone on your side saying he -- they are behind, Nancy, and they are. You haven't seen the whole trial.
GRACE: I don't have any sides, Michael. Michael, I don't have any sides. Larry just asked me what I thought at this juncture.
CARDOZA: Please, yes, you do.
COLE: One thing we might remember is that Justin Falconer, the famous juror number 5, I really wasn't -- didn't feel strongly the trial was going one way or the other, although I had my private thoughts, until Justin Falconer came out and just went down, you know, point by point exactly some of the misgivings that a lot of the people in the press were having, and some of the experts who've been commenting on this.
So if we have one of the jurors, and yes he's just one juror, and he made the point, he was only speaking for himself but we had an actual juror come out and say, they haven't shown to me that he's guilty. And that a lot of the things that they're saying that, in ways that he acted guilty, don't seem guilty to me. And I know that Justin still maintains that. Obviously he's not in the courtroom every day anymore. But from what he knows, as recently as the last few days, he still maintains that he doesn't think that the prosecution has shown enough to convict him.
KING: Let me get a break. We'll come right back and get some phone calls in, too. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREY: I expect that I will be asked to testify in this case and I am prepared to do so. I don't think it's appropriate to talk about what might be contained in my testimony prior to me being called to the witness stand. Until that time I just want to live a normal life and regain my privacy. I hope that everyone will understand and respect my wishes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's include some phone calls. Little Rock, California. Hello.
CALLER: Could there still be a plea agreement and will the California taxpayer end up paying for this defense?
KING: Michael, could there be a plea bargain here?
CARDOZA: There could always be a plea bargain. But in this case, no. There will be no way. And will the taxpayers pay for the defense? No, the Petersons are paying for it. What Geragos and the defense team did about a week ago was ask that Stanislaus County come up with some money for some experts. That's all they're asking for.
KING: Forgot to ask Gloria. Nancy, who's paying Gloria, do we know?
GRACE: No. I haven't asked her about that. I'm sure the attorney/client privilege, anyway.
KING: Vancouver, British Columbia. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. My question is for Chris Pixley. What happened to the Satanic cult? And do you think they could have gotten away in a white Bronco? KING: Good call.
PIXLEY: You know, the great thing about a gag order is that we haven't heard any of that from the defense. Obviously we've heard bits and pieces. And there is this Satanic cult theory that kind of weighs like an anchor around Mark Geragos' neck. I think honestly it was a little bit taken out of context with that. I think Mark has said that he believes some transients may have been involved in this case, may have been involved in Laci's disappearance. And of course through the course of the trial now we've seen that there was a lot of criminal activity in that neighborhood. But, I think I agree with your point. We're not likely to see the Satanic cult theory come up. And I don't know that we need to see that alternate theory just yet, because the prosecution still has to make their case.
COLE: Could I mildly disagree with Chris? There is a situation in which Satanic references might come up. The defense has been working on this alternate thesis of how Laci could have been killed that involves the disappearance of her watch. A watch just like the Peroten (ph) watch that Laci had and is missing was pawned by a woman about a week after Laci disappeared. That woman, as it turned out, was related to a man who had been involved in an alleged rape in which the woman who was raped said that they were Satanists, and they had told her a couple of weeks before Laci disappeared that they were going to kill someone around Christmas and that she'd read about it in the newspapers.
Now I don't know that this alleged rape victim is a reliable source. But, this does tie together. There was perhaps a Satanic ritual and a rape. A prediction of a murder that was going to happen around Christmas. And then a relative of one of the people supposedly involved in that later pawns a watch that is similar to or identical to Laci's. So that's the Satanic part. Now I don't think that the defense is going to push the Satanic part. That was what the original complainant said about those men.
KING: Nancy, I'm told that Court TV reported today that she -- Amber may have had an affair with another married man with a pregnant wife, a man who was separated from his wife. Amber allegedly knew the situation, and became vindictive when the man left her and reconciled. Is that true? And is that going to come out if you were Geragos?
GRACE: I understand that that was reported. In fact, I read a story like that in the tabloids about five months ago. It's got to be the same thing.
KING: My notes here says Court TV reported it today.
GRACE: Yes. Right. I understand that was reported while I was in the courtroom today.
GRACE: Sure. Go ahead, Geragos. Sling a little bit of mud at Amber Frey.
KING: Is that mud if it's true?
GRACE: He's the one dating...
KING: Wait a minute, wait a minute.
GRACE: I can't confirm.
KING: Is that mud if it's true?
GRACE: Are you asking me did she date a married guy?
KING: No, no, no. I'm saying why is that mud if it's true, for the defense to bring it up?
GRACE: It's true and it is mud. And when you sling it in the courtroom don't worry, a little bit is going to get back on you. But we've got to remember tonight, everybody is having a good old time bashing Amber Frey. She's not the one that -- if I could just finish. She's not the one that was married and expecting a child, and dating around. And one big thing we haven't even touched on tonight, and that is the fact that Scott Peterson admitted on these taped phone calls, and we've got the transcripts, and Amber stated in open court today, where he voluntarily said he wanted to go get snipped. He wanted a vasectomy. He did not want children. So all this story about wanting Conner, and the nursery, is all a bunch of bunk.
KING: Unless he was just baloneying her -- Michael.
CARDOZA: I'll tell you what, Nancy, she gets to get cross- examined. You put her on the stand. You know they can get into things like that. Larry's absolutely right. If she's vindictive before, the jury should know that, to factor it in to decide whether she's telling the truth or not. The one big thing that they have are the tapes. The tapes speak for themselves. But it still goes to her credibility.
SMITH: Larry, you make the perfect point. And I have to agree with Michael on this. And as a prosecutor you must believe in the concept that a trial is a search for the truth. And if the truth is she had an affair with a different married man, and she was vindictive, that should come out. A prosecutor shouldn't be afraid of it. A prosecutor should be able to deal with it and put it into its proper context. But you make the right point, it is not mud if it's true. And a prosecutor has to deal with that. And a prosecutor cannot hide the truth.
KING: Is it mud if it's true?
SMITH: It comes in if it's true.
ROWLANDS: For the record, Larry, talking to Gloria Allred, she wants the prosecution to have a 402 hearing to limit what Geragos can ask her client specifically.
ROWLANDS: She does not want questions asked about Amber Frey's sexual history before or after. Whether or not that will happen, who knows. One other thing, according to a source familiar with the evidence, at one point after Amber Frey had come forward and she was still taping conversations with Peterson, she didn't tell investigators about one of the conversations that she had with Peterson. She didn't realize that they were also tapping his phone. If that's true, I think that is one of the things that the defense is going to bring out in cross.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments.
KING: Hold it. We'll be back with more right after these words.
KING: Before we take the next call, Chris Pixley wanted to say something -- Chris.
PIXLEY: I just wanted to comment on whether or not Amber Frey's relationships with other people are going to be admitted into this testimony at trial. They definitely are going to come in. I think if Gloria's filing a 402 motion, it's going to be unsuccessful. This is a woman who had a child by another man just three months after Scott Peterson was arrested. Now, that undermines the seriousness of this relationship. It undermines the motive. It's relevant. It's probative and it's going to come in. And quite honestly the prosecution itself today, Larry, was forced themselves to elicit testimony that showed that this is a woman who enters into relationships, serious relationships as quickly as most of us decide what we're going to wear in the morning. She had -- she stayed with Scott Peterson the first night they were together. And within a couple of weeks was entrusting her only child to him. So, all of this is going to come out, whether Gloria Allred likes it or not.
GRACE: You know what. You know what, Larry, you guys really take the cake. This is an unacceptable form of a double standard. I'm going to speak out right now. And that is, that it's, OK, for Scott Peterson to do this but when...
PIXLEY: It's an unacceptable form to talk about the star witness? That's wrong, Nancy.
GRACE: I'd like to be heard. But when Scott Peterson does it it's irrelevant, but when Amber Frey has an affair suddenly that's fodder for cross-examination...
PIXLEY: Who said it was irrelevant?
GRACE: ... That she's some kind of a sleep around. You all said... PIXLEY: Who excluded that testimony?
GRACE: You all said that his sleeping around was irrelevant.
PIXLEY: How did that testimony get excluded? I haven't said that his relationship with Amber Fray is irrelevant. I said she's the star witness. We've all talked about here being the star witness. And no judge is going to exclude her testimony.
GRACE: You have all said it proves nothing.
KING: Nancy, I think the only question is, will the judge allow her previous life to be brought up in testimony?
GRACE: Of course he will, it's perfect fodder for cross- examination.
KING: That's all the question is. Stewart, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Yes. My question is, relevant to what they were just speaking of, Amber Frey had a baby after her relationship with Scott.
What does this tell you about her as a person, and also, who is the father of this child?
KING: Let Chuck Smith take that -- Chuck.
SMITH: Well, you know, if you take the position that, you know, what we're dealing with, moral issues or character issues, well sure both Amber Frey and Scott Peterson, you know, are on the lower end of that spectrum. So if that's true, that's true. So let's have at it and let's focus instead on the real issue is, is she telling the truth regarding her testimony about Scott Peterson. And if she is, does it amount to enough evidence to convict him of a crime for which he could go and lose his life? That's the issue. So you know, we could argue all we want about the moral character of these people.
KING: Only got, 30 seconds. Who wanted to say something.
I did Larry, Michael. The testimony -- well it won't be testimony, Amber having the baby after -- that's not going to come into evidence. It's not allowable. I know Judge Dellucchi. He's going to put Geragos on a very short leash in what he can ask about Amber's past, and her relationships. And it better be right on all fours or Judge Dellucci won't let it in. So Nancy should be a little happy.
KING: See you all tomorrow night. Ted Rowlands, Nancy Grace, Michael Cardoza, Chris Pixley, Chuck Smith and Richard Cole. And I'll be back in a couple minutes and tell you about tomorrow night and Thursday, and Friday.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Tomorrow Amber Frey continues to testify. We'll cover it tomorrow night. Thursday night President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, an exclusive hour.
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