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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Latest Develoments in Scott Peterson Trial
Aired November 5, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, still no verdict in Scott Peterson's double murder trial. After 3 days of deliberations by his jury, what could that mean for each side? We'll ask CNN's Ted Rowlands, on top of this story from the word go, renowned jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius who helped picked the defense part of the court jury, and Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor, and high profile defense attorneys Chris Pixley and Trent Copeland, he was in court for closing arguments.
Plus, Brian Skoloff, covering the trial for the Associated Press, Howard Brinski, jury consultant who worked with the prosecution in the trial, Chuck Smith, former prosecutor in the county where the trial was held, and Richard Cole, veteran reporter covering the trial for the Daily News Group. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
In our first segment, Rowlands, Dimitrius, Grace, Copeland and Skoloff will be with us. And we'll start with Ted Rowlands in Redwood City. Our CNN correspondent, who we understand has a bit of news.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Late this afternoon, Larry, the judge called both attorneys, both sides into the courtroom and took them into chambers and talked to them for a considerable amount of time. And CNN has learned that there is a problem with the jury. And the problem was revolved around deliberations. There wasn't a health issue, or a scheduling problem, it was a deliberative problem.
And that could be a major problem in the process. It was such a problem that the judge had to be notified. Both sides and the judge worked the problem out in the short term today. The jury then went back to deliberated for about another hour and a half before they broke for the weekend.
However, according to the source which is very close to the case, it could be a problem that lingers into next week, it could be a problem for this jury as they try to come to a verdict in this very, very difficult case.
Also we did understand that they did ask for more exhibits during their deliberation today. They'll be off for the weekend. They are not to deliberate during the weekend. They are sequestered, so they're jammed in this hotel with each other. And depending on what this problem is and how serious it is, it could be difficult for some of these jurors come next week to see if it lingers over.
KING: Nancy Grace, what's your reaction? And do you know something else?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Yes. We heard there was an issue, not necessarily a problem with the jury this afternoon. But Larry, Court TV has learned and, of course reported tonight on courttv.com, that one of the requests the jury has made, and we have confirmed this with two sources, the jury wants to see, not a photo, not a read back, they want to see the boat, Larry, the boat, the 14-foot aluminum gamefisher that became a source of controversy during the trial.
We heard a lot about it. We never saw a demonstration. Court TV understands the boat will be brought to the courthouse on Monday for this jury to look at. And believe me, Larry, if one thing I know about jurors, they will be in the boat, on the boat, around the boat and under the boat trying to come up with their own theory regarding these facts.
KING: Jo-Ellan, what does that say to you?
JO-ELLAN DIMITRIUS, JURY CONSULTANT: Well, certainly I would agree with Nancy that clearly this jury wants to take a look at that boat for themselves. I'm assuming that they're going to want to see how easy it may be to tip over a boat like that. But they may choose someone of their size that they think is close to Scott's size, put them in the boat and see how easy it is to rock.
But again, it would be an unusual situation. Because, obviously, it's not in the water. So they're going to be speculating just based on having it sitting there in the jury room, I'm assuming.
KING: What does it say to you?
TRENT COPELAND, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There are a couple things that come to mind, Larry. First of which is there's a standard jury instruction called 2.12, the California jury instructions. And that instruction requires that jurors deliberate.
And you know, the first thing that comes to my mind when I heard this report, Larry, is the Tyco case. You remember, there was a juror in the Tyco case that failed to deliberate. He didn't want to talk about it. He refused to participate in the conversations with the other jurors. And that resulted, frankly in a mistrial of that case. I'm concerned that might happen here.
With respect to the boat analysis, Larry, that's equally a concern of mine, too. Because as Mark Geragos pointed out in his closing, I think he did a pretty doggone good job of this, the prosecution never conducted an examination of that boat, never conducted an opportunity for the jurors to go there and to see whether or not the boat would tip over.
KING: That would concern you why?
COPELAND: I'm concerned, because the jurors now want to undertake their own examination. Look, they saw the boat. Nancy is correct about that. But what they didn't do, was the prosecution never, ever, Larry, undertook, what they probably should have done, I think they're very concerned about that, and that was an example as to whether or not the boat would have tipped with someone of Laci's size. And they just didn't do that.
KING; Brian Skoloff, what's your read on these developments?
BRIAN SKOLOFF, AP REPORTER: Well, what we're seeing the types of evidence they're asking to see, Larry, it appears as if they're trying to piece this thing together. We haven't heard anything, any questions about the age of the fetus, which is a major point of contention in this case.
It seems that they're looking at a story here, they're trying to piece it together. Can this boat tip? They're asking for transcripts of phone calls and things. They're really looking to piece this story together, and not necessarily go at it from the angle of the very detailed pieces of evidence such as the age of the fetus.
KING: Nancy, are you concerned that Ted Rowlands points out there's a deliberative question?
GRACE: At first when I heard there was a jury issue, I thought one of the jurors were falling off. But then I heard -- and it was confirmed -- that that issue has been resolved. So I think that if we were about to lose a juror, which simply means another juror would come back in, I would be very, very concerned.
I'm wondering if this doesn't go back to juror number 11, the female accountant. Larry, she's front and center on row one who has an elective operation. She's put it off twice. It's going to come up, I've been told, in the teens of October. It could be about that.
But regarding this boat, when defense attorney Trent Copeland says the state never conducted an experiment, hold on, buddy. Neither did the defense. And if they had thought that that experiment would work to their benefit, believe you me, Trent Copeland, they would have done the experiment. So stop calling the kettle black.
ROWLANDS: The defense did do a...
KING: Hold on, who is talking? I don't know who is talking. Ted, go ahead.
ROWLANDS: The defense did do an experiment with the boat and they videotaped it and tried to get it introduced into court. And it was not allowed. So, they did do an experiment.
GRACE: Under the wrong conditions.
KING: Well, Nancy you did say they didn't do one.
COPELAND: The irony is, not only, Larry, did the defense conduct an experiment, they wanted to get that aboard. And the judge refused to allow it into evidence. But also, you know, there are other people. Even on Court TV, Court TV had someone, had a private detective who conducted an experiment. And that was shown. So listen...
KING: Shown what?
COPELAND: It was shown...
KING: What does the experiment show?
COPELAND: That you can't dump a 150 pound body with concrete anchor weights connected to it over a 14-foot aluminum boat. You simply can't do it.
And the prosecution didn't do it, Nancy. And the reason they didn't do it, is because they weren't certain whether or not it would work. And unlike the prosecution in the O.J. Simpson case, they didn't want to have any of this come back to haunt them. And they didn't want to conduct the experiment that they knew would fail.
KING: Jo-Ellan, how can you do without water?
DIMITRIUS: You can't do it without water. That's the problem that's inherent in this jury trying to figure out. I do agree with -- and I forget whom it was that said this, that what's happening is that these jurors have heard the story from the prosecution, they've heard the defense story, now they're trying to create their own story. And it may be very different than anything else that has been presented so far.
KING: By the way, that is their prerogative, right Nancy, if they want to look, they can look?
GRACE: Definitely. And as far as the defense experiment that was disallowed into evidence, that was not conducted under circumstances even close to what happened on the Bay. So in my mind, the defense never conducted a legitimate experiment that they really thought they could get into evidence, something that they could show to this jury. So I don't buy into that at all.
And as far as did the boat tip over? Let me remind everybody that Peterson himself said he was soaking wet when he got home from fishing. Now, last I looked, he wasn't snorkeling or diving. So why was he wet? Did the boat tip over?
KING: Jo-Ellan why are you shaking your head?
DIMITRIUS: Anybody has been on a boat in San Francisco Harbor that time of year knows that there's a lot of moisture in the air, for goodness sakes. And you don't have to be anywhere near the water. You can just be standing at the edge of a dock and be wet.
GRACE: I was there. I was there, I didn't get wet.
COPELAND: Just as a matter of law, the jury can go and look at the boat. The jury cannot go and conduct its own experiments on the boat.
KING: We'll get a break. And we'll come right back. And we'll be Howard Brzinski, who helped select the jury on behalf of the prosecution. And the rest of the palen will remain with us in this segment as well. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: ...hope and optimism.
SCOTT PETERSON, DEFENDENT: It's the thing we have.
MARK GERAGOS, SCOTT PETERSON DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Obviously, it's our position that the actual perpetrator is still out there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just try to take it a day at a time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now for this segment is Howard Varinsky, jury consultant who worked with the prosecution in the Peterson case. He's in Redwood City, president of Varinsky Associates. Howard, a prosecutor told us today that he's surprised that a lawyer is on this jury. The prosecutors usually never want lawyers on juries. How do you explain that?
HOWARD VARINSKY, JURY CONSULTANT: Prosecutors are afraid that lawyers will be too picky. However, it really depends on what kind of law the lawyer practices. I think a prosecutor might not want a criminal defense lawyer on their jury, but somebody who is in the corporate world might be different. There's a lot of mythology that attaches itself to how lawyers think about jurors that people like Jo- Ellan and myself that we have blown holes through over the years.
KING: What are your expectations? How do you feel overall about this jury now that the trial's over?
VARINSKY: I don't think that there's a lawyer, a jury consultant alive that would say I feel great about the jury. I think Jo-Ellan's experience in O.J. was probably the only situation where one could walk away from jury selection clicking their heels and saying, case closed. There are always situations where you walk away from juries, thinking, I'm worried about this one or I'm worried about that one. And I walked away from this jury feeling the same way. I'm not overly ecstatic. But I felt that we had a good, fair jury, logical people who had a lot of common sense. And that was important to me in picking this jury.
KING: What's your reaction to the boat inspection?
VARINSKY: The boat inspection. I was listening to that conversation. Jurors have to see for themselves. They have to reconstruct it for themselves. I think what this jury wants to see is, one, will it tip over and, two, can you take a body and can you roll it over the side, can you get the weight, the anchors over the side and then roll the rest of the body. I think they have to kind of configure that for themselves to see if it can be done. They also have to see that indeed it was a flat bottom boat. And it is not a boat that's going to tip over easily.
KING: Brian Skoloff, does this boat thing favor either side?
SKOLOFF: You know, Larry, it is hard to say. A lot's been said about the re-enactment of the boat issue here. But basically, the fact of the matter is you can't re-enact the exact circumstances. You can't bring it back to the exact time and date. We don't have an actual body to use. So there's no way to really re-enact the entire thing. It is up to the jurors to take a look at the boat and use their own judgment. Maybe there's some fishermen on the jury. Maybe they'll know from their own experience. There's no way to re-enact the exact circumstances.
KING: Is there a little Perry Mason to this, do you think, Trent?
COPELAND: Most jurors like to believe that they can really figure this whole puzzle out a little better than the lawyers can. The irony is that, frankly, with a lawyer on the jury, he probably thinks he could have tried this case better. And no matter what kind of lawyer it is...
COPELAND: But he's a civil litigator. He's been a doctor, and I think he probably knows his way around the courtroom some.
KING: Nancy, does any of these developments, as someone who has leaned for the prosecution's side, concern you?
GRACE: No. None of them so far. And as far as this jury trying to figure out what happened, maybe they can do it better than the lawyers. You know, jurors are pretty sharp. They're coming from all these different walks of life. And lawyers, speaking as one who is guilty of that, tend to look at things in an evidentiary manner. What does this prove? And if it doesn't fit into your case, sometimes you discard it. The jurors look at the whole picture. Maybe they can put together a scenario better than either side did. I'm not underestimating them at all.
KING: Ted Rowlands, what's your read on all that?
ROWLANDS: Who knows who it helps, what their mind-set on all this. They've asked for a number of things during the last 2 1/2 days, whether they're just going chronologically through the case looking at bits of evidence that they think need deliberation around. Or if they're leaning one way or another. They want to try to prove these different things. I think obviously with the boat, they want to take a look at it and see if indeed it's possible just looking at it to comprehend what the prosecution is saying. That is that Scott Peterson threw Laci overboard. I don't think they'll be able to do that just looking at the boat. Because it isn't in water. It may help them in the short term. I think they'll come away with not a lot of answers. Because it is really impossible to figure that out.
KING: Three days, did you expect it to go much longer? DIMITRIUS: I do think that it is going to go longer. I would not be surprised if it goes into the middle of next week.
KING: So it would be over by maybe Wednesday or Thursday.
DIMITRIUS: I think at the very earliest, Larry, that that's probably when it would be over.
KING: Howard, what's your read?
VARINSKY: I thought there might have been a chance it would be over today. This jury has been there a long time. I don't think it would go beyond next week. I think next week means another weekend in sequestration. And I think this case boils down, whichever way a juror is going to go, I think it boils down to some simple concepts. Do you -- is there reasonable doubt or isn't there reasonable doubt in different parts of the story?
KING: Brian, what do you think?
SKOLOFF: Larry, it is really hard to say. A jury could go either way. They could be an evidentiary hearing -- jury where they want to look at all the bits of evidence. If that's the case, we could be here for weeks. That's not unheard of. If they just want to put the story together, maybe they are talking about the story, they want to see transcripts, they want to look at the boat, they want to piece this story together, not necessarily look at all of the more than 250 pieces of evidence we've seen over the past five months. Maybe they just want to do the story. Is it really hard to say what's going on inside that jury room. The consultants obviously could tell you more about that. But it's anybody's guess what they want to do.
VARINSKY: This is Howard here. I'll tell you what. One thing they're presenting is this jury is going to look at this in a methodical kind of way. That's what they're doing. They're being very methodical in what we see so far about how they're going over the evidence. So what we're seeing is this jury's probably going to be very conscientious and methodical about looking at things.
KING: Isn't that what you would want, Nancy? Wouldn't you want that?
GRACE: Absolutely. I'd want them to go through every bit of evidence. When it boils down to it as far as estimating when the jury will come back, take into account the sequestration. They're headed into a weekend with no news, no TV. They can only rent DVDs or watch movies. They are not going to be around friend or families. Hey, I don't even know if they've got a mini bar in their rooms. Let me just say come Monday morning they're going to want to buckle down and get to business. They've been out about 19 hours. We got this boat request at the end of the day. I don't care how many pieces of evidence they look at, Larry, there's one thing nobody can get away with. Somebody on this panel tonight, is there any other reasonable explanation as to why her body is where he was fishing? OK. That's what they've got to come back to.
KING: Of course, then, Nancy, they should have come back in an hour.
GRACE: Yes, Larry, I don't understand it. I thought they'd be back by now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're being methodical about it.
GRACE: Yes, they are.
KING: Brian, thank you. Howard, thank you. Thank you very much, Howard Varinsky and Brian Skoloff and Ted Rowlands as well.
When we come back, Jo-Ellan will remain with us, so will Trent Copeland. Chris Pixley will join us. Nancy Grace remains. We'll also be joined by Chuck Smith and Richard Cole and in a while we'll take your phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Motive is not an element of a crime charge and need not be shown. However you may consider motive for a lack of motive as a circumstance in this case. Presence of motive may tend to establish the defendant is guilty. Absence of motive may tend to show the defendant is not guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's meet the entire panel now who will be with us the rest of the way. Your phone calls in a little while. Here in Los Angeles Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, the renowned jury consultant worked with the Peterson defense team and president, Dimitrius & Associates. In Redwood City, Nancy Grace, Court TV anchor, former prosecutor who attended some of this trial. Here in Los Angeles, Trent Copeland, defense attorney, was in court for closing arguments. In Atlanta, Chris Pixley, defense attorney who has followed this very closely. Joining us from Redwood City, Chuck Smith, former San Mateo county prosecutor, including six years as a homicide prosecutor now in private practice. He was in court for much of the trial. Richard Cole has been covering the Peterson case for the Daily News Group including the "Redwood City Daily News." Veteran trial and crime reporter.
Chuck Smith, what's your thoughts on the inspection of the boat?
CHUCK SMITH, FMR. SAN MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Trent correctly pointed out that the jury may not conduct any experiments. They can't touch the boat. They can't try to determine its stability. They can't get in the boat. They can look at the boat. I'm not sure that's going to answer much of what they want to answer. This does highlight the fact that Mark Geragos in his closing argument made a major point about the fact that the prosecution talked about doing an experiment but did not. And he chastised them. He said that they were afraid to do it because they knew it would fail. And they had doubts about it. If they have doubt, you have doubt. I'm not so sure this is a good point for the prosecution. This might hurt them when the jury learns that they can't really do the kind of experiments that they might be thinking of.
KING: Richard Cole, is there anything else that you have learned?
RICHARD COLE, DAILY NEWS GROUP: Yes, one of the things that the jury asked for today, and it seems to be fitting into a theme was the transcript of a telephone call between Scott and his mother-in-law, Laci's mother Sharon Rocha. The significance of it is the entire telephone call, which was taped at the request of police, was about what Laci did the night of the 23rd and what she did the morning of the 24th. This fits in exactly to what we were talking about last night. The pictures of the hamper suggesting that she changed clothes the night of the 23rd.
The jury or at least the people who are asking this particular question seem to have focused in on this. And I would be very uncomfortable if I were the prosecution, because one of the things that Scott said in this interview with Sharon Rocha was, oh, Laci was going to make french toast. She was getting ready, getting all her stuff together because of the next morning, on the 25th, on Christmas morning, she was going to make french toast.
The prosecution -- sorry, the defense entered into evidence recipes for french toast that were found in the Peterson kitchen by the police during their search. Now, that's just one more thing that tends to support their theory that she was alive well into the morning of the 24th and Mark Geragos hammered away on that. He said, if you think she was alive on the morning of the 24th that's reasonable doubt right there. Case closed. You have to acquit him. Another thing that we seem to be overlooking is what the jurors are not looking at. They're not asking about the Amber Frey tapes. They're not asking about pictures of Scott, whether he was crying or whether he was smiling at the vigil. They're not asking for any of this attitude, any of this demeanor testimony that was so essential and was the single largest part of the prosecution's case.
KING: All right.
COLE: What they're looking at is the specific evidence.
KING: Chris Pixley, what's your read? Then we'll get everybody in on it.
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think Richard makes some interesting points. It is interesting earlier Howard said, look, they're going through the evidence methodically. They certainly have leaped forward quite a bit in time. They are now -- first, we were talking about what was going on in the morning. Now we're looking at the boat. There are certainly all of these intervening facts that the prosecution brought into the case. The other issue is what are they doing looking at the boat and should they be doing that? By the same token should the prosecution have tried to demonstrate this. We're talking about sea trials. They're notoriously unreliable. The prosecution didn't do it. The defense didn't do one that was admissible. And that's not at all unusual. Last case I can think of in California where one was admitted, at least a high profile case, was a man accused of throwing his wife overboard. It just doesn't happen very often and I don't think the jury will get much out of looking at the boat on land.
KING: Nancy, is one of the reasons that the mistress hasn't been asked for is that she had no information about the killing, just about his character? And they know that, right?
GRACE: Well, as they always say, Larry, it ain't over till it's over. So far they've made several requests. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't request some of those tapes. So I can't rule that out. But as far as Laci's recipe -- and let me clarify for you -- it was for creme brulee french toast. And let me point out that Laci had already gone to the grocery store and gotten all OF the ingredients. So there's not a lot of prep work left to be done for that. Let me also point out that if I were the defense, I would be none too happy about hearing the victim's mother on the phone quizzing Scott Peterson. OK. I don't know how you're construing that as good for the defense, but have at it.
COPELAND: Larry, I'm equally interested in the fact that the jury wants to take a look at this boat. Obviously that has implications because the prosecution -- I think Mark geragos pointed out very very well in his closing -- the prosecution just didn't conduct this experiment. And if they felt very strongly about it, I think they would have. Rick Distaso is a seasoned prosecutor.
KING: What are they learn just looking at the boat?
COPELAND: I don't think they're going to learn much. Obviously, they're a tactile jury. They'll probably want to look at the boat, see how long it is, 14-foot aluminum boat. They'll look at the sides, see whether or not there was something that could have been concealed under that boat. But I'm equally concerned and I think the prosecution should be concerned about this, and that is they're also looking at this blouse that was in the hamper. They started out looking in this bedroom. That was the first piece of evidence that they asked for. It's like in the presidential elections. If Ohio was a battleground state, in this case that bedroom is the battleground. That's bad news for this prosecution.
KING: Are you encouraged, Jo-Ellan, by what you see so far as a representative of the defense?
DIMITRIUS: I am encouraged. I'll use Mark Geragos' comments yesterday, guardedly optimistic. I think, to focus on something Trent said earlier, the fact that our foreperson came in dressed today in sweats to me indicates, number one, there's some sort of contentious argument going on in that jury room. This is a guy that was very fashion conscious during the trial. That he clearly is not coming to deliberations dressed up for a verdict. So I think that's number one. The fact that we know that they have now fast forwarded to looking at the boat, I think what's happening is that factions have started to arise with the jurors.
KING: There's a dispute, you think?
DIMITRIUS: I do think so and...
KING: We'll get the panel's thoughts. We'll take a break, come back, include your phone calls as well. We're only halfway through. Don't go away.
KING: Let's start to include your phone calls. Naples, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: Nancy, you always look like a million bucks, and we just love you down here. My question is, Scott left a message for Laci on their home answering machine, at least I'm assuming it was their home, pertaining to his whereabouts on Christmas Eve day. I think it was "honey, I'm coming home from Berkeley." When then did he tell neighbors that he was golfing?
GRACE: Did he tell neighbors? Yes, he told Amy Krigbaum, a neighbor, as well as one of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
KING: She said when did he do that?
GRACE: Apparently, he couldn't keep his story straight. That very day, Larry, as soon as he got back.
KING: Oh, OK.
GRACE: He got home and started walking around the neighborhood, and he walked over to Amy Krigbaum's house, which is directly across the street. That's one of the first people he told, I was golfing. He also told the cops that.
KING: Chuck Smith, from the way it appears...
COPELAND: That's not true.
KING: Chuck, why isn't this a slam dunk?
SMITH: This thing never was a slam dunk. When the attorney general came out and said...
SMITH: It was never a slam dunk. Anyone who looked at this -- and I talked to a lot of my friends who are current homicide prosecutors -- none of them believes this is a slam dunk, nor do I.
Larry, what I'd love to be asking Jo-Ellan, if we may...
KING: Sure. SMITH: I don't know if Jo-Ellan can tell us where was this foreperson on the defense list? Was he high on their list as someone they wanted? Was he in the middle, was he low on their list? And can she tell us overall, was this an A jury for the defense, was it a B jury? Where was this jury overall? She better than anybody else here knows these people.
DIMITRIUS: Sure, Chuck. I think I would echo what Howard said earlier, and that is any time you have a jury selection, particularly when you face opposition such as Howard, who is wonderful at what he does, you walk away and you do wonder, is this a situation where...
KING: So are you happy with this foreman?
DIMITRIUS: I am very happy with this foreman. And actually, when he was selected, he was an individual that certainly has the authoritarian personality, much less the education that we talked about last night, to take on that role. And I predicted to our team that in fact, he would take on that responsibility, because as you looked at the other positions and the types of personalities we're talking about. It's not just what they do for a living, necessarily. But it's the personalities of the people.
KING: Chris Pixley, it's all moot now. They have selected. They're in there. Nobody can do anything about it. Right? So as an attorney or a prosecutor, I guess all you do now is just wait.
PIXLEY: Oh, absolutely. But it's interesting. Jo-Ellan talks about this juror number five and whether or not he was somebody that the defense wanted. Ultimately, his background isn't necessarily what they wanted. It has got to be the things that Jo-Ellan saw, it has to be the interaction between the attorneys, the interview and the question-and-answer that went on. And only Jo-Ellan knows somewhere in the reaches of her mind what it was she actually liked about him.
And I'll tell you the problem with having a lawyer, and the reason that it bucks the conventional wisdom to have a lawyer on the jury, when you have juries -- when you have a jury trial versus a bench trial, you're playing the odds. In California, you have to have a 12-man jury and you have to have a unanimous verdict in a capital case. You are playing the odds that you will get a couple of jurors.
You don't want people that are going to give away their vote to someone else because they trust in him or because they think that he knows more about the law than they do. So this juror had to be someone that Jo-Ellan and the defense team were very comfortable with to let him on. Otherwise, just like the prosecution, they would be very leery that they might be turning over 12 votes or seven or 10 to one person, as opposed to having a chance of getting everybody individually.
KING: True? Everyone would agree with that?
COPELAND: You know, I would agree with that, Larry. You know, I think Chris makes a very good point. But I just want to quickly correct the record. Nancy intimated to the caller from Naples -- and I want to tell that caller from Naples that Nancy looks even better in person, she is always just like a million bucks -- but the truth of the matter is that Nancy, the fact is Scott Peterson never indicated to the police that he was golfing. He always said to them that he was fishing. He was consistent with that story.
GRACE: Yes he did. When he first came over...
KING: Who is speaking?
GRACE: Not in his formal...
COLE: This is Richard Cole, Larry.
KING: Yeah, Richard. Go ahead, Richard. Clear it up.
COLE: It's just not correct that he ever told police that he was golfing. There are only two people, three if you count Amy Krigbaum's partner, that he mentioned golfing to according to the testimony. He told police when they first met, and they did not meet at the house, they met initially down at the park where Scott and his mother-in-law and the rest of their friends and family were starting to search for Laci.
One of the first questions police asked him is, where were you, Scott? And he said, I was fishing out at the Berkeley Marina. The only other person to whom he supposedly mentioned golfing was Harvey Kemple, several hours later after he had already told the police he was fishing. Mr. Kemple didn't remember that for six months and had some credibility issues of his own.
COLE: He would never tell police he was golfing.
GRACE: Yes. In his formal interviews and at the park, he told police that he was fishing and he stuck with that story. He first told Amy Krigbaum that he'd been golfing, and it's my understanding he told another witness while an investigator was there that he had been golfing. That did not come into evidence.
COLE: There was never any testimony about anything like that.
KING: Auburn, California. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. It is my understanding that the prosecution feels that she was killed the evening of the 23rd. If that's the case, then who was on the computer in that household on the morning of the 24th looking for umbrellas with a sunflower pattern?
SMITH: Can I answer that, Larry?
SMITH: First of all, Rick Distaso in his closing argument made it very clear that it's the prosecution's theory that she was killed either on the evening of the 23rd or the morning of the 24th. And indeed, the judge gave an instruction, which follows California law, which states that it is not necessary that the precise date be proven. And Rick Distaso's argument was it was on either of them. And Rick Distaso did a nice job in his rebuttal argument showing that it wasn't Laci that was on the computer about sunflowers. It was all part of a computer search that was being done by Scott Peterson when he was e- mailing people, and there was not evidence that Laci accessed the computer that morning.
KING: Go ahead, Trent, and then Nancy.
GRACE: Hey, Larry?
KING: No, hold on. Then you, Nancy. Trent first.
COPELAND: Yeah, that's right. And Chuck's right. And that's exactly what Rick Distaso pointed out in his closing. But the problem with that theory is this -- if you believe that, then you must believe that Scott Peterson was either in the process of killing his wife, had killed his wife, was about to kill his wife, and decided that he would go online and he would search for sunflower umbrella stands, that he would search for other items on the Internet. And you just simply can't believe that.
The fact of the matter is, it seems more likely, Larry, that he probably would have not been on the computer and it is more likely that it was Laci who would have been on the computer. Because remember, Laci also has a tattoo of a sunflower on her. And so it seems far more likely. And so I think the prosecution stuck with that theory, and it's a theory that they really can't -- they can't work their way out of.
KING: Nancy, you were going to say?
GRACE: Yes, if Trent had been there for the evidence and the closing argument, fortunately this was explained. It would probably be so much clearer. To get on the site where Peterson...
COPELAND: I was there, Nancy.
GRACE: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- well, maybe you'll remember this then. He signed on with a password. And that password would have allowed Laci to read his e-mail where he was writing Shawn Sibley describing himself as "a horny bastard," trying to get dates and go out with women. The Web site, the shopping spree you were referring to was a single page. And on that page happened to be an umbrella stand that had a sunflower on it, and a lady's scarf.
I would also like to point out that what does Scott Peterson give Amber Frey for her birthday, a necklace made of Amber and sunflower seeds. Hello, 2 and 2 equals 4. Do you think Laci would log on with his password that morning where she could read his e-mail about being a horny bastard trying to get dates? I don't think so. KING: One other jury question I'll ask of Jo-Ellen, and then we'll go back -- take a break and more calls, Edward Williams, probably the greatest lawyer I ever knew, and one of the giants of American jurisprudence, told me once in an interview that he believed you could open up the door to the street, take the first 12 people that go by, put them on a jury and if you could explain the case well to them, you'll get the same verdict as with every jury consultant that ever lived. I know this blasts your whole firm, but he believes he could take any 12 people. If you explain it to him either right or wrong, any 12 would come up with a verdict.
DIMITRIUS: I absolutely disagree with that. I certainly respect his opinion and certainly his notoriety. But I disagree with that. We are so bombarded every day by electronic information and our life experiences direct us as to what information we pick up on. And we saw that during voir dire.
Don't forget that during this jury selection process, we were up in Redwood City for 2 1/2 months going through literally hundreds of jurors that had already made up their mind.
KING: The only question you would ask is, do you know anything about this case. And then they wouldn't get on. But if you didn't know anything, his contention was, if you had 12 people, that didn't know, this could have been a murder case or a suit over a lawnmower. Anyway, I don't know what point I made, but I'll be -- it's been a long week. I'll be right back after these words. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMBER FREY, FRM. LOVER OF SCOTT PETERSON: I was not married. We did have a romantic relationship.
PETERSON: Question my morals and my poor decision making, that's fine. But don't stop looking for Laci.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person responsible for her disappearance will receive the ultimate punishment.
SHARON ROCHA, LACI PETERSON'S MOM: Please bring our daughter home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: Love ya. Listen, this is for anybody on the panel. I thought I heard yesterday that Lisa Bloom said that when Scott was arrested, he had Viagra on him, but the jurors were not allowed to know that. Does anybody know why or if that's true. PIXLEY: That's correct, yes.
KING: And then what was the point of it, Richard?
COLE: There was Viagra. Apparently a dozen tablets or so when they arrested Scott. The judge addressed this during the media hearing yesterday when we were trying to get access to the in chambers hearings that seemed to go on forever and ever every single day.
And the judge said there were a number of issues that I just simply didn't feel should come out. One was the Viagra tablets. He said, that had to do with Scott and Laci's sex life. He said, I didn't think that was a matter for the public. And I'm just not going to let it out. Now, what that told us that in terms of evidence, I don't know. But there were Viagra tablets.
KING: Trent, you want to say something in.
COPELAND: Just very quickly, Larry. There's an evidence code provision in California that's called 352 which says if the predjudicial effect of something is outweighed by its inflammatory value, if it's too inflammatory, people would likely pay too much attention to it, then the judge can exclude it. And I think that's really what happened.
KING: Chuck Smith, what did it mean?
SMITH: You hit the nail on the head. It was simply irrelevant to the charges. The judge made the right decision. Exclude it. It has got nothing to do with the evidence in this case. And he made the right call.
GRACE: I disagree.
KING: Nancy, would you agree with that or not?
GRACE: I absolutely disagree. No offense Judge Dellucci, but the reality is that Viagra had nothing to do with Scott and Laci's love life. Laci was dead. OK? That had to do with Scott's future love life. He had a 12-pack of Viagra...
KING: But what if -- Nancy, hold on. What if he didn't kill her. If he didn't kill her and it was about his love life, why can't he have Viagra?
GRACE: I don't have a problem with anybody, including Bob Dole, having Viagra. Please, everybody, rush out and get some.
KING: No, no, no.
GRACE: What I'm telling you is it had to do with motive. Just like Scott Peterson ordering ecstasy and ten hardcore porn within the weeks after his wife's disappearance. And then when the police are searching his house, he goes outside and says, oh, hello, cable, cancel the hardcore porn, I'm leaving the country. You know, just hold that thought. Your wife is missing, hundreds of volunteers are looking for her and you're kicked back on the sofa watching the Ecstasy Channel with your Viagra. You know what? It goes to motive.
PIXLEY: But Larry, we're making a lot of assumptions here as well. What Nancy doesn't know if those Viagra tablets had a prescription date on it that preceded Laci's disappearance. There's so many things we don't know about. And the judge, when he made his ruling, I agree, made it on the basis that Trent is pointing out, it is irrelevant. And unless we knew more about them, we really can't opine as to whether or not there's reason why it would be admissible.
I think there's a lot of evidence that he allowed in for this state. This entire circumstantial case, Scott's behavior and his comings and goings, everything with Amber, so much of it I thought was irrelevant and inadmissible and highly prejudicial. It was allowed in. This is one of the small items that wasn't.
KING: Jo-Ellen his behavior, though, does lend to credibility with the jury, right?
DIMITRIUS: Of course it does.
KING: He's got 2 strikes if he's a creep, doesn't he?
DIMITRIUS: I think that's safe to say. But Mark dealt with that directly in his closing arguments that, listen, you basically don't have to like my client. He's not going to be nominated for husband of the year. He addressed it head on. But that doesn't necessarily mean he's a murderer.
KING: Phoenix, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Jo-Ellen, where are the surprises that you promised that we would see out of the defense? And who died and made Nancy Grace God?
KING: Boy, critique of both sides here. The guy was named Phil Birnbaum, passed away a couple of years ago. I'm only kidding. A little joke there, Nancy. This is a caller critical of both sides. He said they were going to prove everything and clear him. He didn't.
DIMITRIUS: That's right. Well, and that's one of the things that is always a danger in any sort of opening statement that any lawyer makes. Whether or not that's something that's being considered by the jury at this point is only speculation on our part.
KING: You consider everything, right, Nancy?
GRACE: Yes. Yes. And you know, Geragos at that time was -- you can always make a big impact in opening statements. And yes, he overpromised. But believe it or not, I'm going to actually defend Geragos for a moment. He did overpromise, he didn't deliver, that's bad. But if you can snag one juror with your theory in the opening statement you've got a head start. And I think that's what he was trying to do. .
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Find that before this trial the defendant may willfully (UNINTELLIGIBLE) deliberately misleading statements concerning the crimes for which he is now being tried. You may consider these statements as a circumstance tending to prove a consciousness of guilt. However that conduct is not sufficient by itself to prove guilt and its weight and sufficiency or significance if any hard for you to decide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Augusta, Kentucky. Hello.
CALLER: How did -- I was wondering how Scott paid cash for the boat two weeks before Christmas when Laci couldn't buy gifts for everyone in the family. And his father said he didn't know that he had the boat. So could his mother have given him the money without her husband knowing?
PIXLEY: It's certainly possible. Obviously the prosecution made an argument about his financial situation. I don't think that it was a very successful argument, but there's a lot of disagreement over that. At the end of the day he didn't make very much...
KING: How much was the boat?
PIXLEY: Compared to what the cost of the boat was. He was making gross $60,000 a year. The boat cost a couple thousand dollars. It's a significant purchase. I agree.
COLE: Actually, the boat cost about $1,400 or $1,500. He paid cash for it. But it wasn't his idea to pay cash. He went over to buy it from a man named Bruce Peterson, no relation to Scott or his family on a Sunday. And he apparently had his checkbook with him. Bruce Peterson said, hey no, way, I want cash. Scott had to go back and cash a check the next day and come back with the cash.
GRACE: You know what, Larry?
KING: Nancy, go ahead.
GRACE: The reality is that Laci said she did not have enough money to buy Christmas presents for everybody. The reality is she's out pawning jewelry and he's paying cash for a boat and keeping it a secret. That's the evidence.
KING: There are nicer people. Miami, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. I've got a question. Has it been determined from anyone in the Rocha family or a close friend of Laci's or Laci's doctor whether baby Conner was planned or conceived accidentally?
KING: Do we know, Jo-Ellan?
SMITH: We know that for sure. They were trying hard to get pregnant.
KING: They were trying.
COPELAND: That's one of the problems for prosecution. This theory all along has been that he didn't want to have a child, he didn't want to stay with Laci, didn't want to have a family. The fact of the matter is -- and look, this came into evidence. They had a routine where Scott would come home from work during the times that they thought that it was most likely she was fertile. And he would come home and he'd plan this. That's a difficult and that's a very good call for the caller.
KING: How long is it going to last, Nancy? When is this trial over? Just a guess.
GRACE: Larry, I'm going out on a limb. I would say midweek next week.
KING: Midweek next week. Jo-Ellan?
DIMITRIUS: Late Tuesday.
KING: That's close to Nancy.
COPELAND: Concur with Nancy. Midweek.
KING: You are! Oh, my god. Chris Pixley?
PIXLEY: Predicting what jury's are going to do is like trying to predict the path of the tornado. I make no prediction. I have no idea. It will be less than a month.
KING: Chuck Smith.
SMITH: I think the end of next week, Larry. And thanks for mentioning Edward Bennett Williams. He's one of my great heroes. It's such an honor to talk to somebody who knew him.
KING: I knew him very well. He was a dear dear friend. I was with him just a week before he died. No lawyer like him.
SMITH: The man's a saint.
KING: Richard Cole, what do you think? When is this going to end?
COLE: Juror number 11 is, I believe her last day is going to be Tuesday, because she's going in for surgery. They've left her on the panel. They could have knocked her off at an earlier date. I'm thinking that if she's gone through this many days, that jury would like to get a verdict in by Tuesday. Otherwise she has the frustration of not being able to decide it. And they've just wasted five days because they've got to start over again if an alternate juror comes in. So I think maybe late Tuesday.
KING: Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, Nancy Grace, Trent Copeland, Chris Pixley, Chuck Smith, Richard Cole. I'll be back in a couple of minutes to tell you about the weekend on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night we'll repeat an interview with the first lady, Laura Bush. Celine Dion on Sunday night. And Monday night when we're back live, Jerry Lewis. A new rejuvenated Jerry Lewis will join us. Speaking of rejuvenated. The man was rejuvenated when he was born, he's been rejuvenating ever since. He's our man, he's the host of "NEWSNIGHT." It's the end of another week. Just another casual week in American history. I like the color of the jacket.
AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": Thank you. I like the color of the shirt.
KING: Aaron Brown is next. Stay tuned.
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