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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Latest Developments in the Scott Peterson Trial
Aired September 28, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Tonight, an earthquake's not the only thing shaking up the Scott Peterson double murder trial. The defense drops another bombshell allegation suggesting to the jury that Laci's murder could have been mistaken identity. But why? Why is Peterson's lawyer going out of his way to show how many times Peterson cheated on Laci. Tonight at the courthouse, CNN's Ted Rowlands on the case from day one.
Chuck Smith, former prosecutor where Peterson is being tried. Richard Cole, veteran trial reporter for the Daily News Group. High profile defense attorney Chris Pixley. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
GRACE: Welcome to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV sitting in for Larry. Thank you for being with us tonight. Let's go straight out to the courthouse and CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands. Ted, you've been in the courtroom from day one, what went down today?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, more cross-examination of Detective Craig Grogan, this is the lead detective in the case. A very important witness, really for both sides. He started off as a very strong witness for the prosecution and he continues to be strong, but Mark Geragos is using Grogan to attack the investigation as a whole. He's taking Grogan on a lot of different avenues, down a lot of different things and is bringing a lot into in to the case in front of the jury using Grogan, because the prosecution asked Grogan about the investigation overall. and pretty much opened it up for whatever Geragos wants to talk about.
Today he talked about things they didn't do and things they did do. Again, the theme they rushed to judgment, went after Peterson and ignored other leads, brought up witness that weren't talked to until months after they called in tips because, presumably, the prosecution or the investigators were focused on Scott Peterson.
Geragos also used Grogan to bring in, also, a bombshell that Peterson had had other affairs on Laci and that she knew about them. One within the first year of their marriage. One, he talked about a woman that actually walked in on Scott and Laci in bed. Jurors were riveted during most of Grogan's cross-examination, responses, especially during the salacious moments. But Geragos today toned it down a bit. Very methodical, he's using Grogan to bring up all of the things that are wrong with the prosecution's case from the defense standpoint and jurors seem to be buying it.
One note, though, Grogan is holding his own and comes across as being credible. Geragos isn't really attacking Grogan, per se, more the police department as whole and the investigation.
GRACE: You say the jury seems to be buying it. Why do you say that?
ROWLANDS: Not buying it. What they're doing is, they're listening intently to this witness, both sides, not only during direct but also during cross. Today was a little slower because Geragos was more methodical with them. The jury is buying Grogan in the fact that he does come across as being credible and Geragos isn't attacking him like he attacked Detective Brocchini. He insinuated with Brocchini that he used dirty tactics. That's not happening with the cross- examination of Grogan. Also today there was an earthquake we should mention, that tripped things up for a bit and took a break.
GRACE: Maybe that should have been the headline, instead also, there was an earthquake. Tell me about the earthquake, Ted Rowlands.
ROWLANDS: Well, it happened before the break. When it happened, all of the jury felt it, the judge felt it. The judge took a break, cleared the courtroom. I would say about 50 percent of the folks in the courtroom felt it. I was in the courtroom, didn't feel it, was wondering what was going on. About 50 percent of the people in the courtroom did feel it. They cleared it, but it was 200 miles away and they resumed after a short break.
GRACE: Chuck Smith, when I was covering the Jayson Williams trial, voluntary manslaughter trial, the top of the courthouse literally blew off during the trial. A lot of people took that as a sign. Now in the Peterson trial, there's been an earthquake. What do you make of it?
CHUCK SMITH, FMR. SAN MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR: It's just an odd coincidence, isn't it, Nancy? The courtroom they sit in is usually the courtroom at the edge of the building in a position they most likely would feel the earthquake. It was -- here we are in northern California. This is what life is like in northern California.
GRACE: Chuck, I'm going to buy your theory, until lightning strikes the courthouse. Then I'll know, they're getting a sign from above. I've got ask you something, Chuck Smith. You've tried a lot of cases, and I just don't see how telling this jury on cross- examination, the state did not bring this in, that Scott Peterson's first affair wasn't Amber Frey. He's had a lot of affairs. How is that supposed to help the defense?
SMITH: That's a great question, Nancy, and it really is not that clear. The theory from the defense side is look, Scott Peterson having an affair was not a big deal. He did it before. His wife knew about it. So this would not have been the motive for the killing. But the other side of that coin is that here's a man who just dearly doesn't want to live the responsible life of a married man with a baby. He wants a dramatic change in his lifestyle. So a good prosecutor, and we have those on the team now, they can turn this around and take what was supposed to be a revelation to help the defense to say, hey, it's not a big deal they can turn it around I think, effectively based on what we've heard.
GRACE: And Richard Cole, everybody, Richard has been in the courtroom not just today but throughout the trial, covering the case for the Daily News Group. Richard, welcome. I'm just not getting how it's going to help the defense to parade front of the jury two other affairs in addition to Amber Frey, because we know the state doesn't have to prove motive. So I guess what their argument's going to be is Amber Frey, you're nothing special. You're one in a line of many.
RICHARD COLE, REDWOOD CITY DAILY NEWS: I think you're exactly right, but you say that the state doesn't have to prove motive, but let's remember, this is a death penalty case. That jury is going to want to see some kind of a motive, and one of the problems the prosecution has had is they kind of danced around the motive that suggested, oh, maybe it's money. Maybe it's freedom. Maybe it's -- he loved Amber Frey. They haven't really settled on one. I'm not sure that they're going to settle on one. They may make the same point you just did, that they don't have to. What the defense is trying to do is say, yes, he had affairs. Not only did he have affairs, but his wife forgave him. She brought him right back in. They also brought up, and one thing we haven't mentioned yet, is that Laci had apparently stopped having sex with Scott as she grew more pregnant. She started saying...
GRACE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Richard. What came first? The chicken or the egg? Did she stop having sex with him or did he stop having sex with her because he had Amber Frey on the side?
COLE: All we know is what she told a friend and what she told the friend was, as she became more pregnant, sex wasn't important to her and she wasn't doing it anymore.
GRACE: I thought she said that sex was not a priority anymore. Not a priority anymore.
COLE: I think she indicated she wasn't having sex anymore. Now, when that started, I don't know.
GRACE: Yes. And I'd like to know whose decision that was. Hers or his? We know he's seeing Amber Frey on the side. That's a question we'll not get an answer to. Rich, I'm coming back to you regarding the forensics around the body. I think that's going to be a turning point for both sides. I want to quickly go to Chris Pixley.
Chris, in a murder case we know the black and white letter of the law says the state does not have to prove motive. The state does not have to crawl into the mind of an accused killer and figure out what they were thinking. But here, practically speaking, does the state have to show motive to this jury?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We've talked about this before. Practically speaking, I believe they do for this simple reason. They don't have the how of this murder. We've talked about the how and why before. Jurors want the how and the why. They need at least one of them, in my opinion, to convict in a capital murder case. They don't have the how. We don't know anything about the cause of death, time of death and so forth. We need the why. We need the motive.
I think Richard and Chuck have really answered the question effectively. Not only does this testimony about the other affairs undermine the Amber motive, but it demonstrates that Laci had weathered other affairs in the past and they weren't fatal to the relationship, which really, Nancy, takes us back to the original question that riveted the country around this case and that is -- why does a man who has no prior criminal record, who, according to friends and neighbors and at one point in time, according to his own in-laws, doted on his wife and was excited about this pregnancy, why does he kill that wife? There's a reason that we're so interested in this case. That's the question, and it can't be answered when you have all of this evidence about Laci dealing with these affairs.
GRACE: Hey, Chris, I don't want to burst your bubble, your theory here, but out of many, many murder cases I have handled, they didn't have a murder in their rap sheet. People don't always have a criminal history. We covered a case the other day of a rabbi who had a hitman murder his wife. Believe me. Rabbi Newlander (ph) did not have a rap sheet, Chris Pixley. I'm going to pick this argument up with you when we get back.
And Ted Rowlands has advised us that in addition to three mistresses of Peterson's now before the jury they had an earthquake. We'll be right back with more of what went down in the Scott Peterson double murder trial. Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us. We are taking your calls. Tonight we're talking about State versus Scott Peterson. Not only did evidence of not one but three mistresses of Peterson's come into the courtroom through the defense, there was an earthquake, but that's not all.
Let's go straight out to the courthouse, standing by, CNN's Ted Rowlands. Ted, another issue that came up today was a lot of self- serving statements as we call them in the law made by Scott Peterson to his half sister, to Grogan, and to the courtroom. Now, if I'm not mistaken, that's about quadruple hearsay? How did that manage to make its way before the jury?
ROWLANDS: Well, you know, Mark Geragos is a master at using the prosecution's witnesses to put on his case, to some extent, and there were some objections throughout the day, but the fact that the prosecution went with Grogan with such a wide breadth, they opened it up. They asked him about the investigation. Said, what did you do in this investigation? Did you do this? Did you do this to set up that they worked very hard. What that did was they allowed Geragos to ask, did you do this, this and this and he's bringing in everything they didn't do and things they did do that later didn't make sense. He brought up today the fact they thought Laci Peterson may have been drugged by Scott Peterson and that would explain why there was no crime scene at the house. That to the jury emphasized again there was no crime scene at the house. And it brought up a theory that was thought about and then dropped when they couldn't prove it. Countless times Geragos has done this with Grogan and with other witnesses and it seems to be effective.
GRACE: Uh-huh. Chuck Smith, what's the legal basis for the judge allowing, it sounds to me like quadruple hearsay? I've never seen that in a law book before. I've named it that myself, but what Ann Byrd (ph) a half sister, told Grogan that Peterson told her?
SMITH: Right. You know, it's difficult to understand why this is happening because the way a trial's supposed to work is that the witness is supposed to be there live and in person, subject to cross- examination so the truth comes out. We've heard all about Ann Byrd and what she said but we're never going to see her. We've heard all about a doctor, a very preeminent pathologist from San Francisco but we won't see him.
This is wrong. The legal theory going way back in this trial is that the judge allowed Geragos pursuant to evidence code section 1250, the state of mind exception, because Geragos was going to attack the integrity of the investigation and suggest that the police had tunnel vision and focused on Scott Peterson to the exclusion of other evidence, he ruled that the officer's state of mind in terms of what they knew, what they heard from other people was relevant and admissible, but he has, Geragos has taken that little, you know, thin little keyhole and driven a truck through it and gotten so much of his defense through, it's wrong. It shouldn't be this way. Some control should be exercised. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tried to have the judge exercise control. Disappointingly, it didn't happen. You ought to ask Kimberly about this as well because Kimberly knows this area of the law very well.
GRACE: You know, Burkitt Flattiger (ph) has a lot of guts, she's not afraid to stand up and object in court even if she loses. So bottom line, Chris Pixley, it sounds to me that the judge allowed what we call self-serving statements, such as, Scott Peterson saying, I'm innocent. I had nothing to do with it without him taking the stand and subjecting himself to cross-examination under the course of conduct exception. Explain.
PIXLEY: Well, actually I'm going agree with you and Chuck. I do think this is hearsay. I do think that this should be kept out. And it does help the defense tremendously to be able to talk about what Scott Peterson may or may not have said to family members. But remember something, Nancy, it wasn't used to prove the truth of the statement here. I think that you can still...
GRACE: Oh, please! Chris...
PIXLEY: You can still argue that this is about -- my understanding is that the judge responded to the objection that was raised. GRACE: Do you think the jury cares why they heard it? They heard it! They don't know what course of conduct reception means.
PIXLEY: Absolutely not and that's what we spend all of our time during pretrial and during trial trying to keep out evidence that is detrimental our case and bringing everything else in that we can. And Mark Geragos has done that effectively here. I agree it's hearsay, should have been kept out but I think the judge himself said when this issue was raised that, look, he's challenging the scope and effectiveness of the investigation itself. I think there's a lot to be challenged there, and, you know -- I think the defense made out on this one.
GRACE: Yes. I think they did, too. Bottom line, it's in. So, Richard Cole, after we've hashed it out as to why the hearsay came in, what exactly did Detective Grogan tell the jury that Ann Byrd said that's Scott Peterson said to her?
COLE: There were two or three key items that he brought up. One was that Scott told Ann Byrd that Laci was, if I can use the word, pissed off about Amber Frey, and what that did is, it made it maybe a little bit more real for the jury. It's hard to believe that Laci was angelic about it. Now it seems maybe a little bit more real, a little more concrete. They brought out things like that Laci hated her car. There was a big issue made of the fact that Scott was selling her car a month or so after she disappeared.
GRACE: Did her family agree with that, Richard?
COLE: Yes. Actually, Sharon Rocha told police in one of the first interviews that she had told her mother that she wanted to get a new car, and in Ann's case, Scott had explained to her why she wanted to -- it didn't work very well. She hated it. She wanted to get a new one and she wanted to get one like Ann's.
GRACE: Richard, let me ask you a question. Regarding Scott Peterson trading in Laci's car, her vehicle, didn't he trade it in and get himself a new car?
COLE: Well, the police had taken his truck. And they held on to that truck for a year, and he needed the truck for his business. He's in the fertilizer sales area.
GRACE: Does that mean yes?
COLE: Absolutely, yes.
GRACE: So he traded her car for a car for him. OK. The other question, before we go break, Richard, I'm putting you on the hot spot here. He inquired about selling the house, the furniture, getting rid of Conner's nursery furniture, her car, and some of her jewelry while she's gone. Now, Richard, do you think that this would make a suggestion to a jury he did not expect her to walk through the front door anytime soon?
COLE: I think it maybe suggested, and he came out and stated it right away, he said, I don't want her coming back to this house. This house has been searched by police. It's been broken into at least two times. We've got the media camped out in the front. I don't see bringing Laci back in the front door and resuming a normal life. In addition to which we found out that she had already been making inquiries, according to a San Luis Obispo real estate agent about getting a home in San Luis Obispo and both of them had expressed the interest in going back there which is where they spent their college years together and got married.
So it doesn't seem as strange once you know that...
GRACE: Richard, you are totally correct in the sense that Mark Geragos is using the state's own witness the lead detective, Detective Grogan, to mine for defense information to argue closing arguments to this jury.
GRACE: We're headed to break. This is LARRY KING LIVE and we are going to be taking your calls. So call us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Peterson is also heard calling a realtor to inquire about selling the house only a few weeks after his wife Laci disappeared.
BRIAN: When do you want to look at doing it?
SCOTT PETERSON, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER: I mean, I would like to put it on the market right now.
PETERSON: There's no way if Laci comes back that we're going to stay there.
DORNIN: A litany of lies says some legal analyst, doesn't make Peterson a murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. This is LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
We're taking your calls. Let's go to Odessa, Texas.
You're on LARRY KING, Odessa.
CALLER: Hello, Nancy, you're the greatest. My question is for Chris. If he were defending Scott, would he want him to take the stand?
GRACE: Hmm. PIXLEY: No. Absolutely not. I don't think Scott Peterson will take the stand in this case. I think one of the reasons Scott Peterson won't take the stand is because he doesn't have to, and quite honestly, in a trial of this nature, you're only going to put your client on the stand if you absolutely must do it to get an acquittal. In this case, in my opinion, and I've express the opinion for years now, the evidence is just too ambiguous against Scott Peterson. There is certainly a piece are two of important unambiguous evidence. The bodies washing up in the bay is certainly unambiguous, and there's no way around it. You have to deal with it as a defense attorney. But aside from that, a case where there is absolutely no physical or forensic evidence against your client whatsoever. And a prosecution and state that says this woman was killed in her home sometime between December 23 and December 24, and what we've seen toward the end of the prosecution's case, we are no closer to understanding what went on in that home between December 23 and the 24th, than we were when the case began.
GRACE: So bottom line, no. You wouldn't put him on the stand?
PIXLEY: Absolutely not.
GRACE: You know, What's Interesting about that in closing argument, the state, of course, cannot comment on the fact that Peterson remained silent, or it's a reversible error. But the prosecution can argue to this jury that the defense inferred there were a lot of defense witnesses, such as the half sister Ann Byrd (ph), who spoke to Scott Peterson. The medical examiner, Boyd Stephens who had a conflicting opinion. If they don't call those, exculpatory witness, the state can argue that to the jury. We'll see if they do. To Ted Rollins, this must have been one day in court for you, because your interview that you did with Scott Peterson came into evidence.
ROWLANDS: Yes. The interview that I did, the other interviews that he did as well, were played, edited portions of those interviews were played earlier, with Grogan on the stand and that showed, especially the Diane Sawyer interview, showed Peterson lying about a specific question. And so the jury could see him lie to Diane Sawyer about telling police about Amber Frey.
And then they later heard Peterson call Grogan after the interview and apologize basicly, saying I sorry I lied to you about Amber. We both know I was lying on national television. Just wanted to call and let you now that. So it gave the jury a chance to see and hear from Peterson, maybe not in the light the defense wanted, but more so than the audiotapes, which were so scratchy and hard to hear, that when we heard him speaking with Amber Frey.
GRACE: Ted, we're showing a shot or we were showing a shot, Conner, baby Conner's nursery. And it looked like an office warehouse storage facility. Now, was that part of your interview? Did that play as part of your interview?
Did -- or -- did that come from the preliminary hearing?
ROWLANDS: He would not talk -- during our interview he didn't want to talk about Conner. I brought it up. He talked about the little clothes. Then he got emotional at that time. He said to Diane Sawyer and to others that he would not go into the nursery, because it was just too difficult for him.
GRACE: Because the door was blocked with an office chair!
ROWLANDS: The prosecution played that -- well you know, that -- it was the prosecution's point here, is that he was possibly lying about that. The reality of that, though, is that the video of the nursery that was taken wasn't taken until February 18th when the second search warrant was served at the Peterson house and there were a lot relatives -- actually the Peterson's -- his parents were staying at the house for much of that time.
So to say that Scott Peterson went in there and moved that furniture in there is a bit of a stretch, especially when he moved out of the warehouse after it was vandalize. He had a bunch of extra furniture, needed a place to put it. Someone else might have said, why don't we just throw it here and there and not...
GRACE: You know, that's a really good theory, Ted. That's a really good theory. And the defense is going to have to bring somebody on in front of the jury to tell them that. They can't just argue it willy-nilly in closing arguments, but if they've got that witness, they would make a huge score for the defense in front of the jury.
Back to Richard Cole. Richard, a lot people, including myself, think that forensics, that the bodies of Laci and little Conner, are the hardest evidence, in my mind, either for or against Scott Peterson. What say you?
COLE: You and I have absolutely agreed upon that. When you look at the evidence that there exists in this case, a lot of it that you would like to see forensics in the house, of the truck, of the boat, it's just not there.
The one thing that is there is that those bodies turned up very close where Scott Peterson said he was fishing. And I've always said, the ability of the defense to -- to throw some doubt on that is key to this case. The jury could have no other evidence, but still could look at those bodies and say, you know, that's almost impossible to explain. The thing is, now we're finding out that the prosecution's theory about the bodies isn't all it was cracked up to be.
Their theory, we understood it at least, from opening statements, was that Scott drops the body with these four concrete weights that he made in his warehouse. The bodies stay there until a storm on April 12th, that's about 3 1/2 months. And then the storm pulls them off of the bottom. The baby separates from Laci and the two bodies then wash up on shore. The problem is, all of the experts say that's not what happened. One of the problems is that the four concrete weights, according to Boyd Stephens who...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa. Wait, wait, wait. Maybe I missed something. Did Boyd Stephens take the stand?
COLE: Boyd Stephens came in that same way everybody else came in. What happened was Craig Grogan had to testify. He interviewed Boyd Stephens a few weeks before the bodies turned up, and said what should we be expecting?
GRACE: But what would Boyd Stephens know about the body if he was interviewed 11 to 12 days before they washed ashore?
COLE: Well, he was interviewed about what would happen with bodies in the bay. He is probably the greatest living expert on what would happen to a body in the bay. He's been the San Francisco medical examiner for year and he has lots of experience.
GRACE: Yes, do you think they're going to call him to the stand?
COLE: He was on the defense witness list. My bet is since they got a lot of this stuff in from Craig Grogan they won't have to.
In any case, Boyd says there is not enough weight to sink the body, one. Two, even if the body did go to the bottom, it would never have stayed in one spot for three and a half months. So then you're in this odd position of saying, well what? It floated around on the bottom and then it happened to come back to that precise spot? I don't know.
GRACE: Well, you know, I think that if the defense wants to make that argument, they are forced into the corner of calling Boyd Stephens to the stand. We'll find out.
When we get back...
COLE: We will.
GRACE: ... Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom. She's been in the courtroom today, along with Michael Cardoza will be joining us, and we'll be taking your calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Geragos disputed the suggestion that a reference to Laci in the past tense by Peterson was incriminating. Laci's mother, brother and sister, according to Geragos, did the same thing in media interviews less than a week after Laci disappeared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
Let's go straight out to the courthouse. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, Court TV anchor, was in the courtroom today. Kimberly, was what your take? How could it possibly help the defense to bring in now a total of three adulterous affairs on Scott Peterson's part?
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: It was unbelievable, because as a prosecutor, I would have loved to bring this evidence in and I don't think a judge around would let me, because, hey, it's too remote in time, it's too prejudicial. Not one affair, not two, but three. The idea is Amber Frey is nothing special. She's not the motive for the murder. Scott Peterson -- apparently we know on one occasion Laci knew about an affair. They've suggested now through his words that she knew about one other, and was fine with it. So why would he have to kill his wife if she was OK with it and he's done it before and gotten away with it?
I'll tell you what the prosecution response is, there's a change in circumstance this time around. Scott Peterson, the walls are caving in on him. He was a man with impending fatherhood coming on the way. He didn't like it. Laci wanted a new car, a new house to move, et cetera. He wasn't comfortable with the idea of fatherhood. He wasn't expecting it. The walls were closing in, and he had no choice but to get out.
GRACE: Michael Cardoza, I've talked to Larry about this a zillion times. He always says, they could have just gotten a divorce. He could have just gotten a divorce if he felt this strongly. And that's a good argument. But what disturbs me, Michael, is that I know for a fact in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" a recent study showed the number one cause of death amongst pregnant women in this country is homicide. Number two, cardiovascular problems. So the added ingredient of a child on the way, additional responsibilities, burdens, much less the possibility of a divorce and child support to boot? What say you?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That was a nice closing argument for the district attorney.
GRACE: Thank you, Michael.
CARDOZA: You're welcome. Now, let's look -- I know Kimberly's is all up in the air about it, but let's look at the adulterous evidence that came in. I thought it was...
GRACE: What do you mean by all up in the air?
CARDOZA: Well, she was pretty excited about it. Wasn't she? I mean, she seemed pretty (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
GRACE: Well, I mean, it's very rare you see the defense bringing in adulterous affairs on the part of their client!
CARDOZA: Yes -- OK. Let's think about it. What Geragos did, he knew that through voir dire, a lot of the jurors know about the case. I mean, they were coming on to this with a lot of information. They had to know about the previous affairs. Not affair, but affairs.
So why not bring it in? Because number one, it shows Laci didn't tell her mother about it. She didn't tell her mother about the second one, and she didn't tell her mother about the third one. So there goes the DA's argument in that regard.
Now, secondly, she didn't get a divorce behind that, she didn't get upset about it. So when he goes on and talks to Diane Sawyer and says, look, she didn't get upset about it. What, an eight-month pregnant woman didn't get upset about it? Now, I know that flies in the face of logic. But couple that with this. That bodes well for the defense. I mean, it at least gives them some argument. So was it wise to bring it in? Yes, I think it was very wise to bring it in.
I know DAs can't do it. There is a lot evidence we as defense attorneys can't bring in. You know, would they have liked to have brought it in as DA? Sure. But I thought Geragos made a very smart move in bringing it in. Because you know darn well some juror or all of them knew about it, and somebody might mention that back in the jury room when they're deliberating. So let's just embrace it and deal with it. And I thought he turned it to his advantage.
GRACE: Let's go to lines...
NEWSOM: Nancy, one more them...
GRACE: Go ahead, Kim.
NEWSOM: Sorry about that. This was another theme, Nancy, if you were here, you wouldn't -- you couldn't be more surprised. This was another them, poor sex starved Scotty. OK? That Scott Peterson had to go outside the marriage to have sex, because Laci Peterson said it wasn't a priority. So then we're supposed to feel sorry for this guy, like it's somehow acceptable that he had to go run around and look for Amber and anyone else who would satisfy his needs.
CARDOZA: Oh, come on, Kim, please.
NEWSOM: This to me I don't think was a good idea at all. No. I think it makes him look really bad in front of the jury. It's not a good idea. There is no excuse for it. This is a woman who was tired, having a hard time getting around, was focusing on having her baby coming. So what if she didn't feel like having sex every day? Stand by your wife. Support her. Be a mature person.
GRACE: Well, hold on. Kimberly, when we finish with a caller, I want you and Michael to address the issue I brought up earlier. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Who is it exactly that did not want to have sex within the marriage? How do we know it wasn't Peterson? How do we know Laci was not reacting to him? But we'll stew about that for a moment.
Let's go to Odenton, Maryland. Odenton, you're on LARRY KING.
CALLER: Yes, hi.
GRACE: Hi, dear.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. This call is for -- question is actually for anyone on the panel. With the known and obvious lies that Scott Peterson -- that we all have seen and heard, how could anyone give him any credibility about anything that he tells his half-sister or anybody else of what Laci knew? I just can't understand how they would even believe any of that.
GRACE: That's a good question. Ted Rowlands, you've been in the courtroom from the beginning. How is the jury responding to these comments made in the courtroom that Peterson told Ann Byrd that told Grogan that told the jury?
ROWLANDS: Well, it's hard to tell what jurors are thinking. I mean, they're paying attention and they're taking notes. You're right, they've been subjected to bald-faced lies told by Scott. Especially to Amber on those tapes. And whether or not they're just going to throw anything he says or supposedly says out, or if they're going to, you know, take his word for it in some ways and just do it on a case-by-case basis. I mean, who knows. This jury does seem like they are riveted at times and at other times, when it's really appropriate, they're not riveted, but they're a group that I think is going to come to a verdict. They get along well. They joke around together. And I think that they're just going to have to weigh this and talk this thing out.
But it's a very good question. It's going to be a huge part of their deliberations. How much of what Peterson supposedly said is true.
GRACE: Quick break, but Chuck Smith, what do you think? Will Peterson have any credibility at the end of this case?
SMITH: No. And the lies could be his undoing. As Kimberly knows and Michael knows, because they've both done what I've done, there is this powerful instruction given by a judge in a case like this, which says that if you find before this trial that the defendant made false or deliberately misleading statements upon the charge for which he is now on trial, you can consider these as showing consciousness of guilt. The prosecutor in this case has to highlight those lies. Lies to everyone, including lying to the police, lying to Grogan, lying to Diane Sawyer, lying to Ted. They're not going to carry the day by themselves, but along with the forensic evidence which we talked to Richard about and the other forensic evidence could carry the day.
GRACE: We're taking a quick break. When we get back, a word from Chris Pixley regarding how lead Detective Grogan has fared on cross-examination. This is LARRY KING LIVE and we are taking your calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLORIA GOMEZ, KOVR: Scott says he decided to speak out because he felt the focus had shifted from Laci to him. PETERSON: In hopes that people will go, you know what, if I think he had some involvement, if I don't think he some involvement, that doesn't matter, because Laci is what matters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV filling in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us. We are taking your calls.
But quickly to Chris Pixley out of Atlanta, how do you think detective Grogan, the lead detective on a case, a very common strategy, to save the best for last, such as the medical examiner, a powerful, emotional witness or your lead detective, how do you think he's doing on cross?
PIXLEY: Having reviewed the transcripts alone, Detective Grogan is one ever better witnesses for the prosecution. But remember something, this is ultimately a cross-examination like that of so many witnesses that have come before him that focuses often times on what he didn't do, what the investigators didn't do. And I think, it's been fairly effective. One things that's also came out, is the transcript of conversation that Grogan had with Peterson during the course of the investigation, were Grogan is saying, Scott, we know what happens to Laci.
We know what you did. Grogan's position as well as the position of the entire Modesto Police force was known very early in this case. In fact, as it came out in testimony this week, Detective Grogan within one month of Laci's disappearance, remember, still executing search warrants in the home two months after her disappearance, within one month of Laci's disappearance, they compiled a top 10 ten list, during this case a top 41 list of all of the reasons why Scott Peterson basicly was guilty. All the reasons the body would be found in the bay.
GRACE: Well, it was found in the bay. What's wrong with that?
PIXLEY: Nothing wrong with it. But ultimately his bias and the failures of his investigation are being laid bare. One of the things that all the prosecutors have been upset about and rightly so, is the leadway that's been given to Mark Geragos in making his case through these detectives and in presenting hearsay evidence. As you know, Nancy, one ever the most difficult things in trial is actually telling your story, and telling it through multiple witnesses and making it cohesive and coherent.
If you can tell a story the way you can have a conversation over coffee, by talking about what other people had to say, and bringing in evidence that was demonstrated or presented by someone else, then you can actually make a persuasive argument. Mark Geragos has been able to do that with this lead detective. And I think that's what's been most damaging to the prosecution's case. I also think that Mark Geragos, we're already starting to hear the rumblings of whether or not he will put on his own case, whether he'll simply rest. That, to me, addresses's the issue that you raised of the prosecution saving their best for last. I think, they're doing that and Mark Geragos is wisely going to start a whisper campaign about why he may not need to present any evidence. Why, because he knows ultimately the jurors are going to see some of the news that comes out in this case.
GRACE: Chris, let's save our breath. You know, Geragos is going to put on a case.
PIXLEY: You know it.
GRACE: He couldn't live with himself without putting on a case. So, let's just save the few deep breaths that we have. We know he's going to put on a case. We'll save our legal analysis for what we really anticipate...
PIXLEY: But that's -- while you're trying to stave off the powerful testimony that Grogan is able to give to the prosecution, what better way to do that than to send the message that the prosecution at the end of the day hasn't presented any useful evidence in this case.
GRACE: Let's go to Rye, New York. Rye, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy, I was wondering, does anybody know if there were any Christmas presents found in the house from Scott to either Laci or Amber?
GRACE: Yes. I think Ted Rowlands, wasn't there a Louis Vuitton wallet that Scott Peterson said was for Laci?
ROWLANDS: Yes. And that was at the house, there were other presents at the house as well that sat there for a considerable amount of time. Yes, Scott definitely bought his wife a Christmas present. It's a common question people want -- oh, if he didn't get a gift, that would really speak volumes. But he did get her a gift and it was there.
GRACE: Hey Ted, what did he get for Amber Frey?
ROWLANDS: Well, he got her that Star Gazer. I don't know if that was a Christmas present or just a, you know, a romantic gift.
GRACE: The calls on there, on their what, second or third date they sat in the back of the truck and pointed out stars and -- right. So he gave her the Star Gazer. Got it.
Very quickly, Ted Rowlands, I wanted to ask you about this whole theory of mistaken identity. Explain.
ROWLANDS: Well, there's a district attorney that lives in the Peterson's neighborhood who told police fairly early on that she was concerned that maybe Laci was the victim of a mistaken identity, because she was threatened, she also has a dog named McKenzie and she walk her dog and was pregnant.
So, she was concerned after here about Laci's abduction, that actually it was supposed to be her that was to be abducted, because she had been recently threatened by a felon with a violent history. So she had informed police about that and the defense brought it out, that that was one of the avenues in their mind that was not investigated very thoroughly. They didn't go after this person that had made the threat.
GRACE: If this person was prosecuted by this other lady, pregnant, that was a prosecutor, wouldn't they recognize that this is not the woman that prosecuted them?
ROWLANDS: If that person actually carried out the hit. I mean, this person to have threatened her and had one of his buddies take care of her.
GRACE: Oh, conspiracy!
ROWLANDS: And this was the concern by this district attorney.
GRACE: A conspiracy.
ROWLANDS: But the point from the defense standpoint, is it wasn't investigated very thoroughly. And whether or not that will play with this jury, who knows.
GRACE: Well, you know what Geragos is throwing in is the kitchen sink defense, he's throwing in a lot. The homeless people, the mistaken identity, quite a few defenses at work here, and seeing what may or may not stick with this jury. Can't say that's a bad strategy. We've got an all-star panel lined up to hash apart what went down in the courtroom today, and now we're taking your calls opinion stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETERSON: Let me say this about the investigation, I gave you two times earlier, 9:30 and 10:30 when the dog was returned here. Investigators on both sides, law enforcement and private, asked me not to comment anymore about times, about conversations that I had with the police, about the possible polygraph test I've taken or have not. And there are things surrounding the investigation so that it can be clear. So, I'm simply not going to comment.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. He'll be back tomorrow night. We are taking your calls. Thank you for being with us. Right now, let's go to Soledad, California. California, you're on LARRY KING LIVE. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. Thanks for taking my call.
GRACE: Yes, ma'am.
CALLER: This question is for Chris Pixley. Chris, you're the best. You're the reason I watch this show and I appreciate everything you do. My question is, I live 60 miles from where the trial's going on, so we're inundated by coverage all the time. I come home tonight, and now he's had two affairs before Amber Frey. My question is, would those people's testimony be pertinent in this trial at all?
PIXLEY: The interesting thing is, I don't believe that it is. And we've talked about this in the past, and I think Nancy and I and the prosecutors, all the defense attorneys as well, have agreed that this is so remote in time, it's very difficult to get into the evidence as a defense counsel.
Ultimately, I don't think there's a great value, either, in bringing these witnesses to the stand to talk about their relationship with Scott Peterson. What Mark Geragos has done, I think very deftly here, is make inferences, to make reference to the fact that there were other relationships and to in a way dismantle the claim that this murder, if it was a murder, and certainly from all accounts it seems to be -- we don't have a cause of death. We have certain questions of exactly what happened to Laci, but that this murder wasn't committed by Scott Peterson to be with Amber Frey.
GRACE: Chris, you're not suggesting this is not a murder, are you? I mean, you're even hedging on whether this was a murder? You don't really mean that, do you?
PIXLEY: Well, you know, the problem I have, Nancy, is that the prosecution hasn't proven than it is a murder.
GRACE: Do you really have a problem? Do you really believe this was not a murder?
PIXLEY: No, I don't.
GRACE: She jet-skied out there, what?
PIXLEY: Because she comes up with tape wrapped around her body and so forth, no. I'm not suggesting that it's not a murder.
I am suggesting, though, that there are certain problems based on the prosecution's presentation of the case. And...
GRACE: OK. I think that's more than fair, definitely.
Very quickly, to Michael Cardoza. Michael, do you see under any circumstance these women being called into the courtroom, and Michael, do you know that somewhere tonight these two women are mortified that they are going to end up on the front page of "The Enquirer," I slept with Scott Peterson? Can you imagine?
CARDOZA: Well, they were pretty careful of not bringing the names of those women into court. And remember, going back to what Chris was talking about, and I certainly agree with Chris, the district attorney's opened the door to all this evidence, because in their portion of the direct examination, they asked Grogan, "what type of investigation did you do? Did you check this lead? Did you check that lead?" That opened the door for Geragos to come right through, to get all this evidence in. And, remember, all this stuff isn't being admitted for the truth of the matter. I'm not sure the jury pick up that subtlety, but it will certainly be incumbent upon the district attorneys to argue that all this evidence doesn't come in for the truth, just circumstantially to show the type of investigation that the cops did in this particular case. And they better darn well explain it in argument, because the jury can't use this. Right?
GRACE: Kimberly, response?
NEWSOM: Well, Nancy, first of all, I want to say, I'm keeping your seat warm. I am collecting mail. You have so many fans out here, they're giving me mail for you.
But on that note, all this evidence coming in about how bad Scott Peterson -- I think the jury's had it with that. But this is what's important. He's a liar. He's a cheater. But now we know he's pathological. And someone who's pathological is someone who is capable of murder. And that does advance the DA's case. I think Detective Grogan was fantastic on the stand. He has held up well on cross-examination, and Mark Geragos, by the way, has rewritten the rules of evidence, because in this courtroom, all the evidence he wants comes in.
CARDOZA: No, he hasn't. He has not. You should know that.
NEWSOM: There's no hearsay left.
CARDOZA: You tried some cases. That's not right! The district attorney opened the door. This evidence is coming in. You've got a judge up there. How can you say that? It's not true.
NEWSOM: Because everyone else agreed, even earlier on the show, four different layers of hearsay. I mean, give me a break. There is no hearsay exception. Whatever anybody says to anyone else belongs in this courtroom.
CARDOZA: It's not offered for the truth.
NEWSOM: He's doing a great job. He's doing a great job.
CARDOZA: You don't get the subtlety of it. You don't understand. You don't get the subtlety of it.
NEWSOM: By the way, Michael, I do, but thanks.
GRACE: Now, very quickly, Richard Cole says this case will be won or lost on forensics. He's pointing to the condition of the bodies. I agree with Richard Cole. Ted Rowlands, do you anticipate any further evidence along that vein?
ROWLANDS: Well, I think that the defense, when they put on their case, which we all agree they will, will bring on an expert to talk about the bodies, most definitely, because they've pretty much alluded to it and they're going to argue that Connor was either handled outside the body, where he lived longer than the prosecution believes, so yeah.
GRACE: So, yes. Long story short, you see Geragos dwelling on that. I agree with you, Ted Rowlands. And by the way, before I sign off, two birthday boys. Ted Rowlands' birthday yesterday; Richard Cole's tomorrow, and it was celebrated with an earthquake during the Scott Peterson double murder trial. You guys really know how to party! OK? I want to be with you next year on your birthdays, guys.
I want to thank all of my guests tonight. Richard Cole, Chuck Smith, Michael Cardoza, Chris Pixley, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, and of course, Ted Rowlands at the courthouse.
Stay tuned for Aaron Brown on "NEWSNIGHT" coming up next.
Tomorrow night, Larry is back. I'm Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. Again, I want to thank you for spending your evening with us and letting us into your home. So for now, good night, friend.
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