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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Prosecution Rests In Peterson Trial
Aired October 6, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight, after 174 witnesses and five months of intense emotional testimony, the state has rested its case in state vs. Scott Peterson. But did it prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt, the case that Peterson murder his wife Laci and their unborn son, Conner. And what's to be expected when Peterson's defense kicks off on Tuesday.
Tonight, Taina Hernadez, ABC News correspondent, inside the courtroom since the get go.
Court TV's Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, the former prosecutor.
Defense attorney Chris Pixley.
Michael Cardoza, Defense attorney in the California jurisdiction.
Chuck Smith, former prosecutor where Peterson is on trial for his life.
And Richard Cole, veteran trial reporter with the "Daily News Group."
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
GRACE: Welcome to Larry King. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry King. Thank you for being with us.
Lets go straight out the courthouse. Standing by, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom.
Kimberly, we've been in this for five long months, did the state prove its case?
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, COURT TV: I think absolutely. This is a case of logic and persuasion, of common sense. At the end of the day, who could have and who would have killed Laci Peterson and then framed Scott Peterson?
I think the case really turned around for the prosecution, Nancy, with the testimony of Amber Frey. Strong testimony, as well, from the lead detective, Craig Grogan. I think the forensic medical evidence is going to be difficult for the defense to overcome.
GRACE: Hmm. Hmm. Interesting thought. Michael Cordoza, did the state prove its case and what do you expect from Geragos?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: First of all, what Mark will do in the case is put on a very short case in my opinion. He'll use scientific evidence. He might call some of the police officers back on the stand just to go over some of their fopars (ph) again. The big question will be, will he put Peterson on the stand.
Now, conventional wisdom, right now, says absolutely not. But I've seen Mark Geragos, I've watched him in court and he is anything but conventional. So, I've got to think, he is still pondering whether to put Peterson on the stand. I mean, you've got to know, a lot of people don't like Scott Peterson. It might come to they hate Scott Peterson, so what are you going to lose if you put him on the stand. That's what Geragos is thinking about. There are some things only Scott can clear up. So, I know he's tempted to do that. But again, I've got to think when push comes to shove, he won't do it.
GRACE: Well, interesting theory. Chuck Smith, for instance, Detective Bueller just came off the stand. So, why is it that Geragos, Mark Geragos the defense attorney, is bringing Bueller and other cops, traditionly state's witnesses on the stand as defense witness. Now, under the rules of evidence, he cannot cross-examine them.
CHUCK SMITH, FORMER PROSECUTOR: No, he can cross-examine them.
GRACE: If they're hostile?
SMITH: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) section -- sure 776. By definition they're hostile. And the judge will be very liberal in allowing him to call these witnesses as adverse witness and cross-examine them. I tell you why he's doing it, because he's going to build on his theme, which has been his theme from the start, that the police improperly focused on his client. They did not follow logical leads. And he will continue that theme and try to put the police on trial by showing they didn't do this, they didn't do that. It's a dangerous tactic, but I believe that's what he will do.
GRACE: Why do you say it's a dangerous tactic.
SMITH: It's a dangerous tactic because it can backfire on him. I've been in this jurisdiction for 27 years. San Mateo County jurors like police officers. And Mark Geragos can come across as engaging in extreme Monday morning quartering, picking apart the hard work of these detectives over all this time, like any clever lawyer might, given the time he has. And it give the police officers the opportunity to say, you know what, Mr. Geragos, I didn't follow that because all the evidence kept coming right back to your client that way. And coming right back at him that way. So, it's dangerous. When ever you call adverse witnesses they can hurt you, and he faces that risk.
GRACE: Man, you're not kidding about that.
Richard Cole, you've been in the courtroom from the beginning. When the state rested it's case, what was the tone in that courtroom? How did the jury react?
RICHARD COLE, "REDWOOD CITY DAILY NEWS": It was a little bit of anti-climax, frankly. Actually, the state never did rest its case. The judge had to ask them. The state basicly said, OK, we want to dismiss Detective Bueller. And the judge said, so are you resting your case once all the evidence is in? And Rick Distaso said, yes sir. And that was it. We were all expecting something a little more dramatic than that. It did seem to go out with a little bit of whimper instead of a bang. But of course, this is a accumulative case. There was never going to be a smoking gun in the case. And now, it's a question whether they can connect the dots.
GRACE: Taina Hernadez, ABC news correspondent, it's a little hard for me to get my arms around the theory, that it was whimper to end with a detective on the stand. They have just heard the evidence regarding Scott Peterson's alleged flight toward the Mexican border, including a car packed with nearly $15,000 cash, a letter from Amber Frey, map guides, a fillet knife, fire starter, a water purifier, 12 pack of Viagra and direction to Amber Frey's workplace. Now I don't see that as going out on a whimper, Taina.
TAINA HERNADEZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I do think the jury was very engaged when they heard this testimony. The only problem was they heard some of it before. It wasn't a new bombshell for the prosecution. But certainly, they listen very carefully. They were very much aware this was the last witness, the judge had told them so. And they paid a little extra attention because of that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy.
GRACE: Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, why no Viagra? Didn't have a 12 pack of Viagra in the car? Why can't the jury hear the whole thing. What was the guy who just lost his wife and his baby, they've just washed up on a shore somewhere, what he's doing with a 12 pack of Viagra. Can...
NEWSOM: Yes, looking for Latina hotties in Mexico, because he also had Mexico currency on him at the time. This evidence was sealed. Unfortunately, the jury will not hear about it. And what's interesting, we did hear all the evidence about the porno channel ordering. He ordered the Playboy Channel and four days later canceled and ordered some more hardcore porno. So, this clearly shows a man who's not the perfect husband, the grieving man. A man who thinks his wife's coming back. He's up to mischief and it appears he's headed south for the border.
GRACE: Well, I don't know about -- I agree with most of that, Kimberly. But Michael Cardoza, if you're going to judge a man on whether he's looked at porn before about 75 percent of America would be behind bars. But it does concern me, that while other people -- while people -- other people are out searching for his wife, as Kimberly just pointed out, this guy's ordering hardcore porn and even managed to park vial of Viagra with him, when he was headed for the Mexican border. CARDOZA: You know what your doing here, you're pushing everybody's emotional button in this case. And that's why this case is going to be so difficult for the defense, because people are intuitive about it. I mean, you talk to people on the street, and they say, I know Scott did it. He did it. My gut tells me that. When you look at the evidence in this case and get off the Viagra, which by the way the judge did not allow into evidence. The jury did not hear that.
When you get of all the emotional stuff, like he was running to the border, he was 60 miles from the border. He was not running to the border. There's really no evidence of that, other than people speculate as to that. So, once we get away from the emotion and look at the logic of this, I think a logical juror would have a difficult time convicting Scott Peterson. And yes, our jury system is working even though they may not convict him. Because what the jury will do, they will weigh this evidence and come to a rational conclusion.
GRACE: Michael, I think you're right about the emotionality of the case.
Let go to Chris Pixley.
Chris, Michael Cardoza has a point, that so many people have a gut feeling one way or the other. So, if he wasn't headed towards the Mexican border, do you think the defense will feel, even under our system they have no burden to prove anything, do you think Geragos will have a burden, practically speaking of explaining what Peterson was doing with Mexican currency, with map guides to that area of the country, to survival gear, a fillet knife, a fire starter.
Do you really think he was going to play golf?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't think he was going to play golf. The idea he was going to play golf is belied by the fact he took the police on this 160 mile chase. But obviously, Scott Peterson was under the constant attention of media and being followed by the police. He knew it at all times he was being followed either by the media or the police. I think, when it comes to contents of the car, I don't expect Mark Geragos to spent spend a lot of time on it, because it's not really helpful to his case.
And there's so much the state has failed to do. The state has failed to make out all the requisite elements of the crime. I think, Mark Geragos is going to point to that. He's going to point to the problem of premeditation in this case. If Scott Peterson purchased this boat two weeks before his wife's disappearance with premeditated murder in mind, how is it he really has the audacity to invite his sister-in-law over for pizza dinner the night he supposedly planned her murder. I mean, there are just so many issues that the prosecution didn't get their arms around. This is one though that is difficult for Scott.
GRACE: Now wait a minute, Chris Pixley, what does a pizza party have to do with elements of murder? PIXLEY: Again, you've got to show premeditation here. On the same night he's inviting his sister-in-law over for dinner, we're expected to believe that he premeditated and carried out the murder of his wife. This is a guy that wouldn't even give a straight answer to Amber Frey. I don't think the jury is going to accept that. I think if Mark Geragos is going to address issues head on it will be these kind of issues.
GRACE: Chris, was it supposed to be a pizza pajama party? Wouldn't Amy Rocha have had to go home at some point?
PIXLEY: Absolutely. But then you've got to explain things like what he was doing the next day at his warehouse surfing the Internet, it is just not the actions of somebody that is either planning to carry out imminently a cold-blooded brutal murder, the kind he hasn't committed in the past. This isn't a professional killer and not the acts of somebody with his dead wife in to in the truck or in the boat the next morning. These are the issues that will matter. I think it's a problem for Mark if he wants to spend time on what Scott was doing with all the paraphernalia in this car. He can say he bought the car a few days before he was arrested, he's living nomadically between San Diego and Modesto. All of that works until you get to the fact that he has Mexican currency and $15,000 in cash. All of those are problems and I don't think Mark will touch that.
GRACE: I agree with you, Chris. I think he will steer clear of that and focus instead on what he perceives as the state's failure to prove the case. I hear Michael Cardoza trying to get in. Hold on, Michael, I have to go to break. I will come straight back to you. Well, it's time for the defense to kick off its case in state versus Scott Peterson. Has the state proven guilt? Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace in for Larry King tonight. I want to thank you for inviting into your homes. State vs. Scott Peterson. The state has rested its case in chief. It doesn't mean they may not come back with a second swing in rebuttal.
Let's go straight back out to Michael Cardoza. Michael, you were saying?
CARDOZA: I think Chris brought up really good points. One thing that matches what Chris is saying, he changes his identity, sells his truck to buy a Mercedes because he's going camping. That doesn't square. What Geragos has in his arsenal, are 35 to 50 death threat letters where there are some pretty graphic death threats against Peterson and I would imagine that Geragos is going to try to get that in to explain why he changed his identity, why he had the cash, why he may be going camping, why he may be trying to get away. So there may be some another reasonable explanation other than gee, maybe he was running to Mexico.
GRACE: Kimberly, response? GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: Why do you need a hammock? Why do you need a snorkeling kit and fishing pole and the Mexican money. Oh, and he was going golfing at Torrey Pines Golf Club. He forgot his golf clubs or golf shoes but he remembered the Viagra. This makes no sense. Why change his appearance if...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Viagra did not come into evidence.
GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: I already stated that before. It's unfortunate because I think it really portrays an accurate picture of how this guy is.
I looked at the rest of the evidence which is compelling in this case. This man was not going golfing. That's why he had a fake ID of his brother's to get a discount at the golf course? It makes no sense.
And he's driving 170 miles to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in a circle to avoid police and they can't find him for two days. This is after both bodies wash up and he doesn't make one inquiry to see if that is his wife or his unborn child.
GRACE: Michael, my question is regarding this list of things he had with him. You're giving us the theory maybe he was trying to escape death threats or media scrutiny.
CARDOZA: I'm telling you that's what Geragos might do.
GRACE: The logic of that, where does the water purifier and fire starter and fillet knife, where does all of that fit in?
CARDOZA: Am I missing something here? Let's take your theory he's going to run and hide in Mexico, so he's going camping, that's what you're saying. What we're talking about this is the reason he's going to do these things. So the same equipment could be used for either reason. What's the difference what he has. If he's running from would-be killers he would have the same equipment. Whether you believe that or not, I'm not saying that will sell to the jury. That is an explanation. You can talk about that equipment all you want.
GRACE: Michael, do you think -- yes, I understand your reasoning, that is some explanation. Do you think Mark Geragos will put Peterson on the stand to say that?
CARDOZA: I have to say no. Conventional wisdom tells me no. But in murder cases I've tried it's right up until the day before I'm going to put them on the stand or think I'm going to do it that I make my final decision. You have to think they're preparing him to testify. They've got to have either attorneys in their office or other attorneys meeting with him, cross-examining him, preparing him in case he has to testify. You never know how that defense case will go in. You don't.
GRACE: Could you summarize for us what many people believe to be the icing on the cake for the state's case, that is Ralph Chang (ph), the expert that testified regarding the ties and the currents where Laci was disposed?
HERNANDEZ: Yes. This was the state's most crucial evidence tying Scott Peterson's location the day his wife went missing to where the bodies washed ashore. In court that day the testimony may not have come out as powerful as the prosecution had hoped but certainly the facts were clear that Conner Peterson's body was placed in the water right where Scott Peterson placed himself the day his wife disappeared.
GRACE: Richard Cole, you have always said, and I agree with you on this, it's make or break which jury theory the jury believes regarding the forensics, what did you think of Chang's testimony?
COLE: I have to agree it was a little bit underwhelming. We expected because of the opening statements when the prosecution put up this diagram, two arrows, one veering towards Laci's body and one veering towards Conner's and both originating in the same spot, we assumed that that's what Dr. Chang was going to testify to. But what he said was my theory makes sense for Conner's body because that's the direction that the wind was going in. But Laci's body was almost at a 90-degree angle and he couldn't explain it. So you're wondering why they put him on the stand.
GRACE: Richard, hold on, if he is sure about where Conner came from doesn't that necessarily include where Laci was since she was carrying the child?
COLE: The theory was that Conner had broken loose from Laci on an April 12 -- his body showed up April 13 , Laci's April 14 of 2003. The theory was there was a storm on April 12 , that her body was pulled from the bottom of the bay and then the baby emerged from her deteriorating body at that point and they went in separate directions. The question was why did Laci's body wind up where it did. He said I can't explain that. I can only explain Conner.
GRACE: Can you reconcile it, Kimberly?
GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: I thought Dr. Chang's testimony was helpful to the prosecution, not as powerful as I thought it would be. However what's important is he said that those bodies come from in between the Berkeley Marina and Brooks Island. He believes that is the point of origin which is helpful to the prosecution. It's only about a day or two before Conner's body is separated from his mother's body. I think that is compelling evidence for the prosecution.
PIXLEY: His credibility was called into question terribly by the fact this is not somebody that studies the flow of bodies within the ocean. He said my job is to look at the flow of contaminants in the ocean. I have never tested how a human body would act in the water, tides, currents. He made that clear. He is one of the key witnesses outlined in the prosecution's opening statement...
GRACE: We have to go to break. You're saying his credibility was destroyed because his experiments had not been done with human bodies? OK. I'd like to know how he's going to do experiments with dead bodies, where he's going to get the bodies and how that's going to take place. I will give you the commercial break to figure that out. We'll be right back.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV and I want to thank you for being with us. As you know, the state has rested its case of State vs. Scott Peterson. He's on trial for double murder in the death and disappearance of his wife, Laci and their unborn baby boy Conner. Let me go to Chuck Smith. He's a former San Mateo county prosecutor. Chuck, bottom line, we've been hashing through the evidence. Did the state prove its case or not?
CHUCK SMITH, FMR. SAN MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR: That can be answered in this way, Nancy. Again, I've been around here for a lot of years and I've seen all kinds of murder cases. I've been involved in all kinds of murder cases. Some very very strong...
GRACE: Is that a yes or no, Chuck. I feel you're hedging.
SMITH: I'm not hedging, Nancy. On the other end of the spectrum are cases in which a conviction is sustained, but in some ways almost by the skin of their teeth. This is that kind of case. It is not an overwhelmingly powerful case but the evidence is there to sustain a conviction if argued properly. The concept of reasonable doubt is such a human concept and we put so much power into the hands and minds of those 12 people. What their values are, what their thoughts are...
GRACE: Yes or no. Did they prove the case? That's all I'm asking you. Did they prove the case?
SMITH: It could be reasonably argued yes.
GRACE: You hedged to the very end, if I'm ever charged with double murder, I'm going to hire you. Let me go to Michael Cardoza. Did they prove the case?
CARDOZA: No. And here's why. When those people go back into the jury room, you will have two sets of jurors back there. You're going to have the intuitive ones that will be emotional, that will respond to the pushing of the emotional buttons, the camping type stuff, the letters, the cheating. On the other side, you will have people that want to approach it with stone-cold logic. They're going to say take the emotion out of it. Now, let's talk.
GRACE: Michael, speaking of logic, we know that Scott Peterson was fishing between Brooks Island and the Point -- Isabel Point where the body's washed up.
CARDOZA: No question.
GRACE: On the day Laci went missing. Logically speaking, if someone else committed this crime are you suggesting they wanted to frame Scott Peterson and went out to the bay when they knew that the divers were searching for the body, that the media was there 24/7 and risk their own arrest to frame Scott Peterson?
CARDOZA: They weren't there 24/7. What you have to ask yourself...
GRACE: No, I'm asking you. Do you think somebody framed Scott Peterson? Is that what you're saying?
CARDOZA: You know that's not the burden in this case, the burden is did they prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
GRACE: I'm asking you. You're not in court.
CARDOZA: The answer is I don't know. I don't know what happened any more than you do. I don't know. Have they proved it beyond a reasonable doubt, no.
GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: I think the prosecution did prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. I tell you something else. I think the onus is on Mark Geragos. He doesn't have the burden of proof. He said in opening statement the evidence would show this was live birth and therefore Scott Peterson couldn't commit the crime. It has also been the defense theory throughout that someone else was responsible for the abduction and then that same person or persons then framed Scott Peterson. Who is it, the lovesick neighbor? The burglary crew? The rampant sex offenders running around Modesto? Apparently Modesto is the most dangerous place in the world? None of this makes sense. How could Laci Peterson vanish in thin air between 10:08, the last time Scott Peterson is tracked in that area by cell phone and 10:18 when Mackenzie comes up with the leash. How many pregnant women do you know that go walking on Christmas Eve with no shoes on, no top on, in a bra and no jacket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not true. You're spinning it.
GRACE: Hold on. A lot of us lawyers have a dog in the fight and think we can interpret the evidence one way or another. Let's go to Taina Hernandez, she is a correspondent from ABC, she's been in the courtroom from the beginning. Taina, if we're looking to determine whether the state has proven its case, what were the highlights of the state's case?
HERNANDEZ: The timeline is very crucial here. The prosecution basically said Laci had to have been kidnapped within the span of 10 minutes of leaving her home and that may be difficult for some people to believe that could possibly have happened. This is the prosecution saying it couldn't have happened. This is something the defense is looking to attack in its case.
GRACE: SO you say timeline. What else?
HERNANDEZ: I think also Scott Peterson was the best witness for the prosecution in this case. Certainly his behavior had a big impact on this jury and it may have helped the jury look at the evidence in a different way.
GRACE: So timeline and Peterson's own behavioral evidence. Interesting. Everybody, we're taking your calls here at LARRY KING as soon as we get back from this break. 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.
Has the state proved its case against Scott Peterson? Mark Geragos is set to start the case Tuesday morning 09:00. Let's go to Richard Cole, for the Daily News Group. Richard, the condition of the bodies, the impact of the salt water, the suggestion of fresh water, the barnacles, what does it mean?
COLE: Well, you have to look at the bodies not just from what the defense is stuck with trying to prove, i.e., you're exactly right. Someone had to plant those bodies there, if it wasn't Scott. But you have to look at the prosecution's problems, too. Their theory, as we understood it, was that the bodies were dropped with anchors and stayed there for 3 1/2 months until an April 12 storm and then were blown by the wind and tides to the shoreline.
Their own witnesses raised some very fundamental questions about that. Laci's body for example had what they called mineralization on it, little nodules of minerals. The only way that could have been formed, is if the body was -- according to Dr. Peterson who was the coroner on it, no relation to Scott's family by the way -- according to Dr. Peterson that was most likely formed by long exposure to sun and air. That raises the possibility that the body was some place else, or it was floating around in the bay for a long period of time, which is hard to believe considering how extensive search was made of the area.
In addition, the defense has been raising over and over again, this issue of fresh water. They asked all the experts including Dr. Chang, is there substantial fresh water in that area beside Brooks Island? They all said no, especially at the time of year when the bodies were presumably dropped. Then they asked were they fresh water barnacles or salt water barnacles. Laci had a few barnacles on part of her skeleton. And they said, well, we never tested it, we never thought to test it.
It certainly raises the possibility the defense will say those bodies lay some place, maybe in fresh water, maybe partly exposed for some time until somebody moved them and dropped them in the bay, someplace where they knew Scott Peterson had been fishing, maybe to get Scott in trouble but probably more likely to deflect attention from themselves.
I'm not saying that I think the jury will accept it, but it's a theses that the defense could come up with.
GRACE: Chris Pixley, how difficult will it be to prove Laci was hidden somewhere else in fresh water, because the state didn't test some barnacles. Wouldn't that demand the defense had tested the barnacles?
PIXLEY: It would, Nancy. And of course, it raises one of the issues you've highlighted here tonight. And that's the fact that, if you're arguing Laci's body has traveled this great distance in someone else's care, you have to come out at some point. You really are going to be forced to make that argument.
If the theory is the body was placed in fresh water, at some later point in time transported to the San Francisco Bay, you're jumping through a lot of hoops, and potentially causing the jury to start scratching their head and saying, as so many people in the public did, when we heard initial theories about a Satanic cult, this is just too much.
I don't think, necessarily, we'll hear evidence about it. Mark is famous for floating a lot of different idea out there that he will never come back to. And I think that this maybe one he doesn't. But Richard is certainly on top of it. I think if he could prove it, it would be wonderful.
One of the things he will be able to prove, one of the things his experts are going to testifying about, aside from gestational age of Connor, whether born alive, how difficult it is to sanitize the home, the warehouse, the boat in the limited time Scott Peterson had. There's not a stitch of forensic evidence in the case and that amounts to something.
I think Scott Peterson's council, Mark Geragos is going to stand up with his expert and point out just how nearly impossible it is to clean up a crime scene this way. And again, if you want to say -- the prosecution has nothing to say to that, because they have no evidence to say she was strangled or drugged or murdered in any other fashion.
GRACE: Chris, Chris, Chris, I agree with you on a strong piece of evidence. Yes, Richard Cole is right in the sense that Geragos has many, many times brought up the theory of fresh water somehow being involved. But when you think about the practicality of the real killer killing Laci, submerging her body some where in fresh water and then taking it upon themselves, without the body having been detected get the body, to go back to that location, get the body, transport it to the bay and somehow plant it to frame Scott Peterson, ludicrous.
Let's quickly go to the lines. Rochester, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
CALLER: I wanted to ask the panel's thoughts if there was any specific evidence that shows that it was spontaneous or premeditated, like did she get murdered during an argument? And whatever their thoughts were, how do they think that will affect the trial?
GRACE: Anything on that point Taina.
HERNANDEZ: Well, here's part of the problem, there is no evidence how Laci or Connor Peterson died. And you would think if it were some spontaneous action, there would be more evidence. And frankly, we've learned through the prosecutions own case that detectives had gone through just about everything in his home and warehouse and really came up with nothing. And this is something Mark Geragos repeated, throughout his opening statement the zip, zero, nada defense, they found no evidence.
GRACE: Well, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, if you can't prove it was spontaneous, as the caller mentioned, or for instance an argument, a heated, passionate argument, a fight ensued and Peterson killed Laci. OK, so you can't prove that. Can you prove premeditation?
NEWSOM: You betcha. Let's start out with December 6, and Sean Sibley when she confronts Scott Peterson. Then, what do we know, on the 8th, he's looking for boats on the Internet. The next day, he purchases a boat for $1400 on December 9. And tells Amber Frey, Amber I lost my wife, this is my first holidays without her. He then later tells Amber, also, he wanted to have a vasectomy. He didn't want any kids of his own, that her daughter was enough for him.
Clearly, this was a guy, with all the impending pressures, he wanted out of that marriage. It wasn't the perfect the marriage. And that's why I think this evidence is so important.
And what we know is, he bought a fishing license on December 20. And then, of course, 3 weeks after he says he apparently talked to the Psychic Friend's Network, and knows his wife is going to be gone for the holidays, she ends up missing, and is ultimately found dead.
All these things combined together to show the premeditation in this case. And if Scott Peterson is an innocent man, where are those 4 missing anchors.
There is a lot of evidence to work with. This is a case of common sense. And at the end of the day, it is improbable, illogical and unreasonable under the law to that assume anyone else other than Scott Peterson committed this crime.
GRACE: We'll get a responsible from Michael Cardoza, defense attorney when we get back. Big question looming, how big of a role did Scott Peterson's mistress Amber Frey play in the prosecution's case? Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PETERSON: Yeah, you did not have an understanding of me or, you know, the situation because I lied to you.
AMBER FREY: But I'm saying, now, was Laci aware of the situation about me?
FREY: She was?
FREY: Really. How'd she respond about it?
FREY: An 8-month woman fine about another woman?
PETERSON: You don't know all the facts. Amber, you don't know all the facts.
FREY: Oh. She was OK with it, but you -- you continued to lied to me and couldn't be with me at the holidays, but she was OK, she was fine with knowing about me? Unbelievable!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
As you know, the state has rested its case in State vs. Scott Peterson. We are taking your calls.
Let's go to Kansas city, Missouri. Kansas City, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
Nancy, if I were a victim of a crime, I would want you as my prosecutor. And Chris Pixley, if I were guilty -- I'm sorry, Nancy, if I were a victim of a crime, I would want you and Chris if I were guilty, I would want you. You guys are great.
GRACE: That's a great compliment. Thank you.
CALLER: I'm curious. Have there been other murders similar to Laci's in the Modesto area? It seems to me that if there is someone this sick who could perpetrate this crime, why would it stop, you know what I mean, after one person, just like with O.J. Simpson? You know, no one was ever killed in that manner again and these seem like very sick people.
GRACE: You know, Chris Pixley, she's got an excellent point. Now at the very beginning, when Laci first went missing, you and I talked about that, there had been other murders in the area. But as it turned out, I don't think that that was true.
PIXLEY: No. And I think Evelyn Hernandez is the case is the closest case that we could find. Of course, her body washed up in the San Francisco Bay, she, of course, was 8 months pregnant, like Laci Peterson was, her body came in nearly the same condition. And of course, we also know, based on FBI records, there are over 300 serial killers running loose in the United States at any one time.
GRACE: Wait, wait, wait. Please, don't drag in every serial killers in the entire 50 states, OK, the caller asked about Modesto. And let's not forgot to mention Elaine Hernandez's wallet was found near her boyfriend's apartment, all right. So, he is the chief suspect in that case.
PIXLEY: Interestingly, that case didn't receive any media attention. And despite the evidence against the boyfriend, that case wasn't prosecuted. I think the evidence against the boyfriend is probably similar to the evidence against Scott Peterson. In other words, it's nonexistent. There isn't physical evidence just as Scott Peterson.
And I have said from the beginning, and you and I have argued about it, it is not a case that would have been prosecuted. Ultimately, it's a case, if anything, that would have been plead if it had been pursued.
GRACE: Why do you say it wouldn't have been prosecuted. It is being prosecuted, Chris.
PIXLEY: This is a case that wouldn't have been tried, Nancy, excuse me.
GRACE: Under what circumstances would a double murder not be tried?
PIXLEY: When you don't have physical evidence, when you don't evidence to show how, when and or even where the crime was committed, when you have no evidence to show how the defendant profited from the crime, when you can't even show why the defendant would be motivated to commit such an unthinkable act, then you are asking a jury to do something unreasonable to take that person's life. Most good prosecutors know that, like you, Nancy, they protect their record, it means something to them. They don't like losing cases. And they don't bring these cases to trial.
GRACE: My cases were not about protecting a record, as you are implying.
PIXLEY: That's not what I'm implying.
GRACE: My cases were about seeking a verdict that speaks the truth.
Now, Chris, hold on just a moment, talking about circumstantial murder cases where there is no direct evidence as to the cause of death or any motive, those are prosecuted every day in courtrooms across the country.
PIXLEY: And they're prosecuted successfully in courts across the country. And, of course, that doesn't mean that this case is one that should have been prosecuted.
What we're hearing from either side of the aisle, Nancy, if the prosecution is successful in this case, it is by, as Chuck put it, the skin of their teeth. They don't have anything here.
Now, you have to take each case on a case by case basis. I can't believe, Nancy, that you would feel so strongly about this case you would have suggested it be tried if it were up to you. They were under the pressure of the media glare.
GRACE: I'm going to throw that to Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, a former prosecutor. Kimberly, would you have prosecuted this case.
NEWSOM: Absolutely. Let me tell you something, I think Nancy, you would leave Court TV and so would I to come back and try this case if they weren't successful the first time around.
I'm surprised at Chris. I think this is a compelling case, this is one they had to go forward on, because this woman was murdered, and the prime suspect, for a good reason, is Scott Peterson. He puts himself there. Either Scott Peterson, 41 reason why is he's the unluckiest guy in the world, or he killed his wife.
PIXLEY: Why did Mark Geragos and detective Grogan, and his 41 reasons on the stand for seven days. He kept him on stand, because all of the evidence that Detective Grogan had on his reports pointed away from Scott Peterson.
GRACE; Chris -- somebody wants to talk to you on the phone, Chris, is Waterbury, Connecticut, if I can put the water hose on you 2 for a moment. Let's go to Connecticut, you're on LARRY KING LIVE. Please hurry, jump in!
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. My question is if Laci's blouse or her shoes were found at this time, would it be admissible now during the trial.
GRACE: Well, hold on just a moment, Waterbury. I think her blouse, the blouse she was wearing when she was last seen has been found. Is that the blouse you're referring to?
CALLER: Yes. Somebody just mentioned it before, that her blouse or her shoes, she was not found with her blouse or shoes.
GRACE: Blouse somewhere else. In fact, I'm going to go to Taina Hernandez. Taina, remember the peasant blouse that was found?
HERNANDEZ: Yes. That was found in the Peterson home. And has for shoes, certainly, those weren't found, because parts of Laci Peterson were missing as well. She was not found with a blouse, she was found with a maternity bra, but the blouse she was wearing on December 23 was in the home.
GRACE: The caller is correct, no blouse, no shoes. The blouse was in the hamper, the dirty clothes hamper, the first time police came. The second time they came, they found that same blouse balled up and put in the back of a drawer. May not mean anything, but the jury will certainly consider it. You're tuned in to LARRY KING LIVE. Please stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry.
Lets go around the panel and find out just how long the defense is going to last.
Chuck Smith, how powerful was Amber Frey's involvement in this case and how long do you think the defense will last.
SMITH: Amber Frey's testimony really turned this case around, and not so much her testimony substantively but the tapes. It was through Amber Frey, that we got to see and hear from Scott Peterson who portrayed himself as the philanderer, as the liar, as the uncaring cold narcissistic person that he was. That is why that was so powerful. Now how long the defense is going to last, Judge Delucchi has told the jury after consulting with counsel that they will get the case by the end of this month. So that mean, Geragos has about two to three weeks to put on his case.
GRACE: OK, I'm going to hold you to that.
Taina Hernandez, with ABC, you've already told me you think the timeline and Peterson's behavioral evidence was the strongest -- the strongest evidence for the state. How long do you think the defense is going to last?
HERNANDEZ: The defense has asked for six court days for its case, that doesn't include cross-examination. So, I would agree two to three weeks for their entire case.
GRACE: Chris Pixley.
PIXLEY: I think you have to go with what the judge is telling the jury, and I'm not surprised. I would agree with what Michael stated at the outset of the show, I think Mark Geragos is going to move through this very quickly. And of course, as we've seen throughout the case, he has really used the state's case in chief as his own. He's been able to get the state's witness not only to acquiesce to much of what he believes is the evidence, but also introduced his own evidence through state's witnesses and I think that makes it far more manageable.
GRACE: Chris, very quickly, what do you think will be the defense's strongest evidence, the experts?
PIXLEY: The state's strongest evidence right now...
GRACE: Defense. Defense.
PIXLEY: I'm sorry. The defense's strongest evidence is going to be experts and potentially any credible witnesses that saw Laci Peterson walking her dog on the 24th.
GRACE: Now, hold on. Chris your not talking about the
PIXLEY: If Mark can prove she was alive that day...
GRACE ...the guy with the glass eye, are you?
PIXLEY: I'm not talking about necessarily about the guy with the glass eye. But Mark, remember, told us that were going to hear from two to three witnesses in his own statement that can place Laci walking the dog on the 24th .
GRACE: Kimberly, what was the states strongest evidence and how long for the defense?
NEWSOM: I told you, I loved Amber Frey. And now we know that Scott Peterson was cheating, devious, and pathological. And someone who's pathological is capable of murder. I love the timeline evidence. I like the way they finished strong with lead detective, Craig Grogan. I think the defense will take seven days. They better call a forensic expert. Remember they retained Dr. Cyril Wecht, but he doesn't agree with their theory. So, he won't be testifying. We do know that we'll hear from the famed criminalist, Dr. Henry Lee. I think he will definitely be a crowd pleaser and definitely will have an impact on the jury.
GRACE: Richard Cole, what was the strongest piece of evidence for the state and how long will Geragos take?
COLE: Well, the strongest piece of evidence for the state has always been where the bodies were found. That's the most difficult thing to explain. You have to say, as you said, basically somebody had to frame him if he didn't drop those bodies there. And I agree with everyone, I think it will be about two weeks. I think Geragos is going to get his witnesses on quickly and get them off. He doesn't want a long extended cross-examination. I think, he's done -- presented a lot of his case on cross-examination. He's also in effect had Scott testify through the tapes and through comments made by other people saying what Scott said. So, I don't think he needs a lot of time. And I think he wants to wave the flag for his client by putting on a defense. But I think probably feels he's done most of his work already.
GRACE: Michael Cardoza, is he shooting for a mistrial or an outright acquittal.
CARDOZA: I've got think, the way they picked the jury at the outset, they were shooting for a hung jury. Because, I can look at some jurors and they look prosecution minded. Right now, I think they're going for a not guilty verdict. And I'm sure they're very sorry they left a couple of jurors on. But let me go back a step. Everybody keeps pounding that time line and saying, you know, he left at 10:08, the dog was found at 10:18 by Karen Service (ph). Scott Peterson said, well, she was going to the park.
Well, what if she finished mopping the floor, she walks out the front of her house, a van pulls up and kidnaps her right there?
Would that fit in the timeline. Do you think the defense may go there. That would answer the timeline question, wouldn't it.
GRACE: You know what, Michael. That's very astute. And I think Geragos will not have to come up with just not a theory in closing arguments, some type of evidence to support that. And that could very well be, someone in the neighborhood, something to work on the timeline.
You're right. So, how long do you think Geragos will take and the defense?
CARDOZA: Eight to 10 court days.
GRACE: Eight to ten court days. Will there be a rebuttal case. Also, I'm not going to let you off the hook.
What do you think is going to be the strongest piece of the defense case, Michael?
CARDOZA: The strongest piece, as Richard said and everybody else has said, it will be their experts. I will the district attorney do a rebuttal case, I laugh, because the way I think, they've approached this case is, they've taken every bit of evidence they have and they've thrown it at the jury hoping some of it sticks. So, I'm not sure what they have left to bring back. But knowing these guys, they'll think of something, bring somebody back.
But more seriously, they should bring somebody back just to remind them of their strongest evidence. So like, where the bodies were found, bring somebody back to talk about that, to leave the jurors with that evidence just as they're about to go out to deliberate, if they're smart.
GRACE: You know, Michael, in agreeing with you on this one thing, I think the strongest thing for the defense is going to be whatever expert they put up and the state will have rebuttal to do exactly what you just said.
NEWSOM: Dr. Lloyd Stevens.
GRACE: Yes. Yes, exactly, Kimberly.
GRACE: I want to thank all my guests, Tiana Hernadez, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, Chris Pixley, Michael Cardoza, Chuck Smith, and Richard Cole, but most of all, thank you for being with us tonight. Larry is back tomorrow night. I'm Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. But again, thank you for inviting us into your homes. Thank you, stay tuned for Aaron on "NEWSNIGHT."
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