Return to Transcripts main page
Peterson Appeals Conviction
Aired July 21, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: She went missing on Christmas eve. Her body washed ashore Easter weekend, along with that of her unborn baby boy. After a sensational trial, Scott Peterson convicted of murder one and now sitting on San Quentin`s death row. But it`s not over yet, with appeals raging, money claims and marriage proposals. Tonight, we are live at San Quentin and inside Peterson`s home with its new owner, who -- guess what? - - wants to sell it ASAP. Tonight, the rest of the Scott Peterson story. And tonight, we are taking your calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scott came in with a great big smile on his face, laughing. He`s on his way home, Scott figures. Well, guess what, Scotty?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: San Quentin`s your new home!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it`s illegal to kill your wife and child in California.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: You are seeing a live shot of the inside of Scott and Laci`s home. We all know by now we are referring to Scott and Laci Peterson, a home which police list as the murder site of Laci Peterson and her unborn child, baby Conner. We`re walking through right now. Believe it or not, the home has already changed hands and is up for sale again ASAP. You may remember that as the baby`s nursery. With the same nautical motif, it is now an office.
So much has changed, yet so much remains the same inside Laci Peterson`s home. To look at it now, you would never know it was the scene of a murder. Throughout tonight`s show, we`ll be taking you through Laci`s home.
But right now, Rosie (ph), let`s go out to Vernell Crittendon, standing by at San Quentin. Vernell, thank you for being with us. He is the PIO there at San Quentin prison. It`s good to see you again on the air, friend. What would Scott Peterson on...
VERNELL CRITTENDON, PIO, SAN QUENTIN PRISON: Hi.
GRACE: Hi. What would Scott Peterson be doing right now on death row?
CRITTENDON: Well, right now, our death row inmates, they`ve just completed eating their evening meal that has been served to them, and probably in the next 20 minutes or so, the staff will be picking up those evening trays and finishing up with the evening meal.
GRACE: Vernell, explain to me, do they eat in their cells on San Quentin death row, or do they eat in a cafeteria? How does that work?
CRITTENDON: Well, all of our death row inmates, they eat in their cells alone. The cells, they are a single cell. They`re about 42 square foot of space inside of their cells.
GRACE: You mean they get room service, Vernell?
CRITTENDON: That`s it, door-to-door service. We bring meals to them.
GRACE: Wow! So Vernell, what`s on the menu tonight at San Quentin?
CRITTENDON: This evening, the men here at San Quentin are going to be having a broiled chicken on the bone with some rice, a garden salad, a roll, and they`re going to get a small cup of ice cream for dessert.
GRACE: OK, wait a minute. Scott Peterson is having ice cream for dessert? Did I just hear that?
CRITTENDON: They get a balanced meal here at the Department of Corrections.
GRACE: Can`t they just get a calcium supplement? Do they have to have a bowl of ice cream?
CRITTENDON: Well, they get those little ice cream cups that you can get at the local stores.
GRACE: Vernell, a couple more questions right off the top about Scott Peterson`s life, or any death row inmate`s life there on San Quentin. Does it actually look out over the bay?
CRITTENDON: No cells at San Quentin actually has a window view. All of the cells, what we refer to as center block in the housing units built in the middle of the large building, and their cell walls are not exposed to any exterior walls.
GRACE: So that he doesn`t have a bay view. When they go out to exercise, how often is that, Vernell?
CRITTENDON: Death row inmates are allowed to exercise daily. We`ll let them out for exercise at about 7:00 AM and they`ll be out until about 12:00 noon. Now, we have them in groups that we have identified as compatible groups. It will range anywhere between 65 to 85 inmates in a particular group.
GRACE: Did you say 7:00 AM?
CRITTENDON: Correct. They go out about 7:00 in the morning, and then we bring them back in about 12:00 noon.
GRACE: OK. So so far, they have room service. They get outdoor exercise from 7:00 AM until 12:00, if they choose. Do they go out with the entire death row population at the same time? Couldn`t that be dangerous, Vernell?
CRITTENDON: Well, that would be, in fact, Nancy, very dangerous. So we have what we call compatible groups. Any time a death row inmate is moved from his cell environment, he`s placed in mechanical restraints, handcuffs or waist chains. Prior to that move, he is subject to a thorough unclothed body search to ensure that he has no dangerous weapons in his possession before he`s moved or released from that cell and taken to the exercise yard area.
GRACE: So Vernell, you just mentioned that people go exercise with people with whom they`re compatible. Who would be compatible with Scott Peterson? Are the Menendez brothers there?
CRITTENDON: No, they are not. But we do have a number of death row inmates that we have been able to identify that are, in fact, compatible. Actually, many of the death row inmates get along rather well, even if they`re not in the same yard groups, because they live in a housing unit that has 521 cells inside of it.
CRITTENDON: And they`re open-face cells, so they have cell bars in the front, which afford them the ability to see and to talk with one another. And many of our death row inmates actually get along rather well.
GRACE: Vernell Crittendon is with us, the PIO there at San Quentin. Vernell, is it true that death row inmates can have a TV inside their cell?
CRITTENDON: We do allow death row inmates, providing they have not proven to be a threat to staff safety since their incarceration, to be allowed to have personal property. And we`ll allow them to have things such as a television, a radio. Many of the items that they`re authorized to have would be those things that you would find on your bedroom dresser or in your bathroom cabinet, personal hygiene items, items like alarm clocks, things of that nature.
GRACE: Vernell, what kind of TV is it?
CRITTENDON: Well, the cells are only 42 square feet of space, Nancy, so we don`t want anyone to have a big screen plasma, but they are allowed to have those 13-inch screens, is the maximum they can get, and they`ll be having those -- generally speaking, death row inmates usually have those. They can have loved ones or family members sending them the money to purchase those items.
GRACE: Are they flat screens?
CRITTENDON: No, there are no flat screens here, either. Actually...
GRACE: Are they HDTV?
CRITTENDON: That is correct.
GRACE: They are HD, high def?
CRITTENDON: Oh, high def? No, not high def.
GRACE: I don`t even have that.
CRITTENDON: I don`t, either.
GRACE: OK, TV in the room, room service, tonight, chicken on the bone with ice cream, outdoor exercise, 7:00 to 12:00 in the morning with compatible friends. Vernell, it sounds like a pretty cushy life.
CRITTENDON: You`re hearing something different than I am. No, I would not think it would be a cushy life to live on death row.
GRACE: I take it back, Vernell. I`m just torturing you. OK, Vernell Crittendon, buckle your seatbelt. We`re opening the lines. Let`s go to Jane in South Carolina. Hi, Jane.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
GRACE: How are you, dear? What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. I don`t understand how he`s got the lap of luxury.
GRACE: You know what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, he`s doing -- he`s getting ice cream. I don`t get ice cream every night. And he is getting to go outside, if he wants to. Why don`t he go out during the day, when it`s 105 degrees?
GRACE: You know what? Let`s throw that to Michael Cardoza. Rosie, do we have Michael yet? Michael Cardoza...
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, PREPPED SCOTT PETERSON FOR CROSS- EXAMINATION: I`m here.
GRACE: Hi, friend, even though we`re often an two sides of the fence. Michael Cardoza actually prepped Scott Peterson for cross-examination. He`s a veteran trial lawyer, a defense attorney out of the California jurisdiction. What about it, Michael? You know, when you send somebody to death row at San Quentin, you really don`t expect them to get served in their room chicken on the bone and an ice cream cup.
CARDOZA: I got to tell you Nancy, I`m sitting here with Vernell and I`m listening to him and thinking what a horrible life, and other people are interpreting it as, Oh, that`s pretty cushy for these guys in jail. Come on! He`s on death row, number one. He`ll be executed in 18 or 20 years, so you give him a little ice cream.
I`ll tell you what. I`ve got to think that the thinking is if they don`t treat them a little bit like human beings, they`d have a riot in there. I mean, these guys wouldn`t be getting along with each other. At any second, they could take a guard out. No. I mean, we have to treat them with human dignity, it sounds like that`s exactly what they`re doing. Otherwise, our society and the guards in there become exactly what those prisoners are, and we don`t want that. So treat them with a little dignity. Because he`s -- because he`s getting ice cream, we`re saying he`s getting treated kindly, because he has the television? Come on!
GRACE: Yes. Hey, Michael Cardoza...
CARDOZA: Come on, Nance!
GRACE: You prepped him for cross-examination at his trial. Why didn`t he take the stand?
CARDOZA: I did. Got to ask Mark Geragos and Pat Harris that. I have no idea. When I went in to talk -- listen, when I went to in to talk with him, I went in, I introduced myself. I sat down. I began to cross-examine him. I did it for about three hours. When that was over, I got up and I left. All decisions were up to Harris and Geragos after listening to that cross. You should ask them that question. I really wasn`t privy to anything but my questions and his answers.
GRACE: Everyone, thank you for being with us tonight. We are live in California, live at San Quentin for the rest of the Scott Peterson story. What has happened? Well, quite a lot, but it all started right here with the announcement of the verdict. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State of California versus Scott Peterson. We the jury in the above entitled cause find the defendant, Scott Lee Peterson guilty of the crime of murder of Laci Debeese (ph) Peterson. We the jury in the above entitled cause find the defendant, Scott Lee Peterson, guilty of the crime of murder of baby Conner Peterson.
GRACE: Does it mean there will be a death penalty in this case? Absolutely not. But for today, for this moment, there is justice for Laci and Conner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Well if you thought the story was over when that jury came back with a guilty verdict, you were very wrong, and so was I. Here in the studio with me. Court TV`s Beth Karas. She was the case from the very beginning. You know, Beth, in this month alone, a lot of updates. Bring us up to date. What`s happened just this week in the case?
BETH KARAS, COURT TV: Well, the latest is that in the wrongful death lawsuit that Laci`s parents have filed, there`s a new trial date now. It is not September 12 any longer, it`s going to be early January, 2007. And Scott has been deposed in preparation for that. His original deposition was supposed to be the first week of January this year, and he refused to be videotaped. A judge had to order it, and he has now been deposed.
GRACE: Now, back to Michael Cardoza, defense attorney that prepped Peterson for cross-examination, very closely entwined with the defense in this case. Michael, why, with a legal basis, did Scott Peterson refuse to be videotaped in his civil deposition?
CARDOZA: You know, I don`t know why he would refuse to be videotaped. I know when -- and I do do civil work. You know, videotapes show an awful lot, and as a plaintiff`s attorney, I often want a videotape. Why he didn`t do it, I have no idea.
GRACE: Well, you know, Beth Karas, sources are telling us he was concerned, that he believed that the videotaped deposition would leak to the media. True or false?
KARAS: Well, I don`t know that that was his concern, but I can tell you it`s not going to leak to the media. It is not going to be in the public domain until there`s a trial, and I don`t know that we`ll ever see it unless there`s a camera in that courtroom. And we, of course, hope there will be.
GRACE: Back to Vernell Crittendon, PIO at San Quentin. Vernell, how do you do a videotaped deposition inside San Quentin death row?
CRITTENDON: What we do is we actually have a boardroom that we have set up to carry out those kinds of efforts. And we have done videotaped depositions here in the past, non-death row inmates, as well as interviews in the past of death row inmates. And we set them up in that location called our boardroom.
GRACE: Joining us now, a face you know very well, Gloria Allred. This is the civil rights attorney who represented Amber Frey, who many people credit with cracking the case and bringing home a guilty verdict -- as you all know by now, Amber Frey, Scott Peterson`s mistress during Laci Peterson`s pregnancy. Welcome, Gloria. Gloria, why...
GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY`S ATTORNEY: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: Why didn`t Scott Peterson want to be deposed on video?
ALLRED: Good question. By the way, of course, Amber doesn`t like to be described as the mistress of Scott Peterson because she didn`t know he was married. She was having a relationship with him. She was not a mistress. Why doesn`t he want to be deposed...
GRACE: What would you say, girlfriend?
ALLRED: Yes, girlfriend would be great with Amber. And why doesn`t he want to be videotaped being deposed? I don`t know. Maybe that smirk is going to still be on his face, Nancy, the one we saw often in the trial. Maybe he thinks it would be taken out of context, if excerpts from the videotape were seen on television. That may be a concern of his.
In any event, he really doesn`t have a choice. He didn`t have a choice because it became a court order for him to be videotaped. And I do hope also that you have an opportunity to get it televised during the trial that`s coming up, the civil wrongful death case.
GRACE: And the way that works, Dean Johnson -- Dean is a former California prosecutor who attended the trial every day. Much like the O.J. Simpson trial, in a criminal case, you can`t force the defendant to take the stand. In a civil trial, however, you can. Highly doubtful Scott Peterson is going to be transported to his civil trial. That`s why there`s a video deposition. Agree or disagree?
DEAN E. JOHNSON, FORMER CALIFORNIA PROSECUTOR: Yes, I think that`s why there was a video deposition. And I also know why Scott Peterson doesn`t want to testify on videotape, because Scott Peterson to this day sincerely thinks he`s going to get a reversal on appeal and a retrial, and that evidence is going to hurt him.
Remember that most dramatic moment in the closing arguments in this case, when prosecutor Distaso stood up, and in fact, played a videotape of an interview with, I believe it was, Diane Sawyer, showing scratches on Scott Peterson`s hands, and in effect, told that jury, Look, the murder weapons that killed Laci Peterson are right here in this courtroom. They`re Scott Peterson`s hands. He doesn`t want that kind of thing on the record for a civil trial or for what he thinks is going to be a future criminal trial.
GRACE: And very quickly, Michael Cardoza, as we were just showing Scott Peterson in court, I saw his mom behind him, Jackie. She had on that oxygen thing. Later, there were videos of her outside the home without it. So what`s with the oxygen tank? Was it for real?
CARDOZA: You know, yes, it was for real. It was absolutely for real. Every time I saw her...
GRACE: In court...
CARDOZA: ... at the trial, she had the -- it wasn`t a prop, if that`s what you`re saying. The lady was suffering. She was sick. So it wasn`t something that Geragos thought up to, Let`s make the mom look sympathetic. Absolutely not. She was sick and she needed it.
The one thing I`d like to respond to is the smirk on Scott Peterson`s face. I am telling you, Nancy, the reason Scott got convicted in this case was because of his attitude. He was the guy that America loved to hate. You know, I`d love to blame it on the media. I`d love to blame you for this. But I got to tell you, everybody went after Scott because of his attitude, right at the time his wife went missing to...
GRACE: You don`t think it had anything to do with his wife`s body washing up from the body of water where he was fishing?
GRACE: You don`t think that had a little something to do with it, Michael?
CARDOZA: Yes, it had a little something to do with it, Nancy. But I`m telling you, they bring back a person, they bring back death, and that`s where the attitude and the smirk came in. Every time, every day I saw that trial, he walked into court with that smirk. It was wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: When you think of Scott Peterson tonight, what do you think of?
AMBER FREY, SCOTT PETERSON`S FORMER LOVER: You know, I think of somebody that I didn`t really know. I mean, I think of, you know, a wolf in sheep`s clothing, is what I think of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON ROCHA, LACI PETERSON`S MOTHER: I love my daughter so much. I miss her every minute of every day. Someone has taken all of this away from me and everyone else who loves her. I miss seeing her. I miss our talks together. I miss listening to the excitement in her voice when she talks to me about her baby. I miss sharing our thoughts and our lives together. I miss her smile and her laughter and her sense of humor. My whole world collapsed around me!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: These are a few of Scott Peterson`s fellow inmates we were talking about, who would be compatible for him to go exercise in the yard with -- Alejandro Avila, convicted in the death of 5-year-old Samantha Runyon, Richard Allen Davis, convicted many years ago in the kidnap and death of Polly Klaas, the daughter of Mark Klaas, of course, David Westerfield, rounding it out. He was convicted in the kidnap of a little girl, his next-door neighbor, Danielle Van Dam.
Vernell Crittendon, would one of them be compatible with Peterson? Do they chum around together?
CRITTENDON: Well, actually, Scott Peterson spends a lot of his time out in the visiting room. He spends a lot of his time in his cell. So he doesn`t spend a great deal of time in the exercise yard. But he does, in fact, go out to the exercise yard, Nancy. So he spends some time out, getting some fresh air and socializing with those death row inmates that we`ve identified as compatible.
GRACE: Let`s go out back to 523 Covena. Tonight, we are showing you the latest regarding Laci`s home that she kept so beautifully. One of her heroes was Martha Stewart. Rosie, can you take me out to 523 Covena?
Hi. There`s Gerry Roberts, the current owner of the Peterson home, now for sale. Welcome, Gerry. Gerry, you haven`t even been there a whole year. I don`t think. Why do you have it for sale?
GERRY ROBERTS, CURRENT OWNER OF PETERSON HOME: Well, you know, Nancy, this has been a dream home of mine since I bought it a year ago. I first walked in these doors over here, and when I did, I -- I knew about the case and all. You know, I was in real estate, and my office was even handling the sale of this particular property. And I was looking for a home at the time, and this just happened to be one of the most beautiful areas in Modesto there is. And when I walked in the doors, right away, even though the home had not been lived in for about three years, which made it pretty much a fixer-upper, it was pretty run down and stuff, I saw in it something that really appealed to me. It had nothing to do with the history of the case because I wasn`t really aware of the case, so...
GRACE: This is a shot -- we`re showing the viewers a shot, Gerry, of the kitchen in earlier times.
GRACE: You may call it San Quentin, but Scott Peterson calls it home sweet home. It didn`t all end with the verdict. It`s not over yet, with appeals flying, marriage proposals, money claims, cross-claims. This case is still in courtrooms, a case of the state versus Scott Peterson.
Let me see a shot of the kitchen again, please, Rosie.
Out to Anne Bird. This is Scott Peterson`s half-sister. Anne, what about the kitchen alerted you that something was very, very wrong?
ANNE BIRD, SCOTT PETERSON`S HALF-SISTER: Well, actually, one of the things that alerted me was the fact that the ding room was not set for Christmas dinner, and that is just not Laci whatsoever. In fact, it looked strange.
GRACE: Like what?
PETERSON: I think there weren`t any glasses, linens, utensils. I think there was a fork at each station, if I`m remembering correctly, and some kind of strange candles with rocks and that kind of thing. But it just -- I saw that, and I just thought that`s not Laci at all.
GRACE: Long story short -- and I`m looking at your book -- you said one of her idols was Martha Stewart, and all that was on the Christmas table were some crackers.
When we come back, we`re going to take a look at Laci and Scott`s bedroom, where police believe the murder occurred.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON ROCHA, MOTHER OF LACI PETERSON: I love my daughter so much. I miss her every minute of every day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scott has not been forthcoming with information regarding my sister`s disappearance, and I`m only left to question what else he may be hiding.
ROCHA: On April 13, 2003, Conner`s little body was discovered. On April 14, 2003, the body of his mother, my daughter, Laci, was discovered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our family`s going to make it. We`re stronger because of this, and Scott got what he deserved.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scott came in with a great, big smile on his face, laughing. Well, guess what, Scottie?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: San Quentin`s your new home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. We are live at San Quentin, Scott Peterson`s new home, as he`s trying to get his murder conviction reversed, as well as his old home, 523 Covena, where police put in their report was the scene of the murder, of not only Laci Peterson, but her baby boy, unborn Conner.
Let`s go out to the house. Standing by at the house with our producer, Steph, is Gerry Roberts, the current owner of the Peterson house. And he is standing in what was once Scott and Laci`s master bedroom.
Now, Gerry, again, why do you want to sell the house so soon?
ROBERTS: Well you know, Nancy, I really don`t want to have to sell the home, but unfortunately I`ve ran across some financial burdens since I`ve purchased the home, just a lot of tough times.
GRACE: Well, you told our producer you`ve had nothing but bad luck since you bought the home.
ROBERTS: Well, that`s probably about the best way to express it. You know, there`s been a number of different things that have taken place, and I`ve put a lot of money into the home, and it`s just one of those times I guess in life, Nance, and the only way to deal with it is to start over.
GRACE: Do people still come by to look at the home, rubber-neckers, voyeurs?
ROBERTS: Oh, yes, yes, every day, every day. And I was ready to deal with that, though. But, yes, I have a lot of driver-bys all the time.
GRACE: You know, Gerry, when I was there at Laci`s home, standing in the front yard, the breeze was blowing, and I could hear a wind chime behind that fence right there. And it just seemed so peaceful and lovely. It`s hard to imagine that police believe this was the scene of a murder.
What special precautions, if any, are you taking against voyeurs coming in to look at where many people believe Laci was killed?
ROBERTS: What precautions am I taking against people coming in to want to purchase my home?
ROBERTS: Well, I`ve taken probably about the same precautions that was used before. Number one, I have a screening process that all of the potential buyers have to be pre-approved through a lender. And also, I don`t allow any cell phones or any cameras into the house at any time.
GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines, Rosie, Jonathan in Alabama. What`s your question, dear?
CALLER: Yes, ma`am. I was wondering, was Scott allowed any outside contact with anyone other than his family?
GRACE: Good question. Let`s go to Vernell Crittendon, PIO at San Quentin Prison. I assume he`s got a pretty long visitor list. I know that he has had a lot of fan mail, including a lot of mail from the ladies.
CRITTENDON: Well, you know, actually, he`s correct that Scott Peterson does in fact have a number of visitors, Nancy, but that`s the rights that all inmates have, that they can have friends and loved ones, associates that go through a screening process, and they submit an application in. We then do a security clearance on those individuals.
If they do clear our security clearance, then we do allow them to be placed on the inmate`s visiting card. And so Scott Peterson does in fact have individuals that are not part of his legal team and are not part of his immediate family that visit him.
CRITTENDON: Well, you know, I think Scott (INAUDIBLE) like many of the death row inmates. We have some inmates that have almost dozens, if not hundreds, of people that will be coming in. Primarily, they`re all females that are seeking out this population.
GRACE: So Scott Peterson has female visitors that are not his family or legal team?
CRITTENDON: Oh, most certainly. He had females that were supporting him when he was in San Mateo County Jail that were not family...
CRITTENDON: ... or part of the legal team.
GRACE: Vernell, this sounds like he`s dating.
CRITTENDON: Well, I wouldn`t say dating, but they do, in fact, come up. And they visit inside of a little security cage that we have designed, and they get locked inside with the inmate under the direct supervision of our correctional staff. So that is what occurs.
GRACE: Vernell, do you guys have conjugal visits on death row?
CRITTENDON: The state of California does not offer any type of conjugal visits to any inmates other than our minimum-custody inmates, and no death row inmates meet that classification.
GRACE: Gloria Allred, do you believe you would live to see the day -- and you know how I love Vernell Crittendon -- but did you think you`d live to see the day when Scott Peterson got room service, three meals. Tonight he had on-the-bone chicken and ice cream, a salad and a roll, and rice pilaf.
GRACE: He gets room service and gets to go exercise outside from 7:00 to 12:00. I`m at work by that time, as I know you are, with two cell phones to your head. He`s got a TV in his room. He has compatible friends to work out with, and he`s loving the ladies.
ALLRED: Yes, but the bad news is he doesn`t get cable so he can`t see you, Nancy. That is real deprivation, if he can`t get NANCY GRACE...
GRACE: I never thought I`d see the day.
ALLRED: ... but having said that -- in all honesty, the man is deprived of his liberty. Not one of us would want to trade places, really, honestly, with Scott Peterson, and be in that cell, and be in San Quentin, and be under those circumstances.
GRACE: Well, I can`t help it, Gloria.
ALLRED: And one day, I`m convinced he will get the death penalty. I just think it`s extremely unlikely it will be reversed on appeal.
GRACE: Gloria, when I hear about this -- and I know what Cardoza is about to say -- but all I can think about is the cell that Laci`s remains are in, it`s a coffin, holding her baby, OK?
Let`s go out very quickly -- before I go back to Cardoza for a response -- I want to go to Gerry Roberts, the new owner of Laci and Scott`s home. He is there in the master bedroom.
And, Steph, see if you can get Gerry or just back in the master bedroom, because I want to go -- OK, you`re in the baby`s room. Let me see if I can get you to the -- you`re in the baby`s room, OK, hold on.
To Beth Karas, Beth, I want to find out why police believed that the murder occurred in the bedroom.
KARAS: Well, no one knows for sure, but it`s reasonable to think that it did occur in the bedroom because, when Laci was found 3 1/2 months after she disappeared, she was partially clothed and she was wearing the clothes her sister had last seen her in a couple of hours before, about 8:30 in the evening that her mother last spoke to her. And also the jewelry she was seen wearing was on the dresser in her room. So it`s believed that she was probably undressing, and he attacked her while she was undressing.
GRACE: And she was found, I believe, in the maternity bra and the pants she had been wearing the day before at the salon.
KARAS: Yes, and the shirt she was wearing was in a hamper, and we saw photos of that at the trial.
GRACE: And I definitely recall police took all the bed sheets from the bedroom. Do we have that shot yet, Rose? OK, let`s see that.
The bedroom where Laci and Scott Peterson lived, there`s the current owner, Gerry Roberts. Gerry, is it ever hard for you to put your head on the pillow when you know that police suspect Laci was killed in that room by her husband?
ROBERTS: Well, you know, that`s a pretty fair question. It never did -- the house has never bothered me. I have had some -- it`s bothered my dog more than it`s bothered me. For the longest time, my dog wouldn`t even come in my master bedroom here, so I never did quite understand that, you know, but it has never bothered me. I`m not one who`s into stuff like that.
GRACE: Do you ever think about it? I`d have a hard time putting my head on the pillow.
ROBERTS: I guess I`d probably be a liar if I said it never crossed my mind, but I don`t dwell on it or nothing. Like I said, the only person it`s bothered the most has been my dog, so -- and he just doesn`t like coming in here, so...
GRACE: Let`s go out to Anne Bremner, a veteran defense attorney out of the Seattle jurisdiction, high-profile lawyer that covered this case, Anne, what do you think the appeals grounds are going to be?
ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Well, I think -- you know, Nancy, I sat with you, and Michael, and Beth, and Gloria, all shoulder-to-shoulder during this trial, and remember that moment when Geragos got up and said in the penalty phase that he wasn`t prepared.
He didn`t think that his client would be convicted; therefore, he wasn`t preparing a defense in the penalty phase. And I think that, in my mind, is the best ground for appeal.
There`s a saying that in America we`ll try anything once, except for criminals, because we have so many re-trials. That can be a reality in a case like this. And, Nancy, you know, in a death case, all of the I`s have to be dotted and all of the T`s crossed, and so there could very likely be a re-trial in this case.
GRACE: Well, you know what? I don`t see it. Not only was there Mark Geragos, who`s a veteran trial lawyer. And he had Cardoza backing him up. Look at this. He`s walking in with a fleet, with his entourage.
Thank you for showing him with the sunglasses, Rosie. He did, I would like to report, take those off for court.
Robi Ludwig, why? Scott Peterson had so many options.
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: He had so many options, but in his own head at that moment in time he really didn`t feel that he had any options. I believe that there was a confrontation that went down on that evening, where Laci knew he was having an affair and put her foot down, and said, "Listen, Scott you need to step up to the plate. You`re going to be a father. You need to be a good, decent husband."
And he just couldn`t tolerate the noes in life, and so he just lost it. At that moment in time, I think he felt that he was in danger, so he let loose.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t foresee him to become a Ted Bundy or anybody like that, that will sit down and give an in-depth interview on exactly what did happen. I think he`ll go to his grave with his mouth tightly sealed, just like he has all along.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROCHA: I had just stepped out onto the porch and just locked the door, and I heard the phone ring. And I thought, "Oh, gee, that might be Laci. I haven`t talked to her for awhile."
And I went back in, and I got all the way to the phone and picked it up before I realized, "Of course it`s not Laci. I`m never going to be speaking to Laci again on the phone." Several times I wake up during the night, or I`ll be driving down the street, or just doing anything, and not really thinking about Laci, and then all of a sudden it literally will take my breath away when I realize that she`s gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Well, in case you`re wondering, nothing comes for free: $4.13 million dollar cost to the taxpayers to try Scott Peterson. Sources state, including the "Modesto Bee," that his family took out mortgages on their homes to pay a $1 million fee to Geragos. But even so, the taxpayers ended up paying the bill.
Now, as we have our producer, Steph Watts, go through the home, I found on a Web site a $250,000 reward, Beth Karas, that the Peterson family wants to give for information in this case.
Steph, you tell me when you`re ready.
Now, if they have $250,000, Beth, shouldn`t they be paying that back to us, the taxpayers, Beth?
KARAS: Well, that`s an interesting point, because Scott Peterson did declare indigency in the middle of the trial, and his attorney, Mark Geragos, Pat Harris, went to Modesto in the middle of the trial to seek funds to pay their defense experts. And about $200,000 was given to the defense for those experts, so I guess you could argue that they should pay that back, at least.
GRACE: Let`s go out to Steph Watts. Tell us what you`re seeing there in the home. I can tell a lot of work`s been done on it.
STEPH WATTS, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Yes, they did a great job, Nancy. This house has been a center of a lot of mystery. We`ve all wanted to see what it`s look -- what`s it like inside? This is a first time exclusive look inside. It`s the only time we`re going to ever cameras in here, because Gerry said, after us, that`s it. No one else is coming in the house to shoot.
He`s done a great job. This is the bedroom where they believe the murder happened, Nancy. They`re not 100 percent sure, but this is where they think it happened. And Gerry said his dog`s scared. His dog won`t come in this bedroom, so we don`t want happened in here, but maybe the dog knows the answer to that.
Behind us is Conner`s room. It`s still painted the same color, the color that Laci and Scott painted it. And Gerry`s left it with the motif of the boats and the seashore, which is what they planned to do for Conner. And it`s kind of -- it`s reminiscent of a young boy`s room, and you can`t help but stand here and think what would have happened in this room.
GRACE: You know what? You know what? Hold on, Steph. I want to go out to Anne Bird, Scott`s half-sister. Reports were that it was not lost on the jury the nautical motif in baby Conner`s room, and then he washed up at San Francisco Bay.
BIRD: Right, right. I know, it`s horrifying. You know, both Laci and Conner, their bodies washed up within two miles of my home in Berkley. And it was just a horrific view to have for so long, while all this was going on. And I`m much happier in San Francisco, although now my view is San Quentin.
GRACE: Let`s go back to Steph. Steph, we`re looking now at Conner`s nursery. I remember at the beginning it was still set up with a baby bed. And within just a week or so, it was turned into a storage unit, right?
WATTS: Yes, remember that, Nancy? And you and I were both shocked, because we covered the trial together, how quickly Scott had turned this room from, you know, a baby`s room into a storage room. If you`re waiting for your son to come home, why would you do that? That was something that always struck me always as very, very odd. And I don`t believe the jury ever heard that. I always found that one of the strangest things about this case.
GRACE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, though. Hold on. Beth is shaking her head, "Yes."
Let`s go out to Michael Cardoza, who actually did some work on the defense of Scott Peterson, a veteran trial in California. You were talking about his demeanor in court. But, Michael, remember the day that those photos came in and the date was at the bottom of the photo, and Conner`s room that Peterson said, "I never can open the door," and then it was a storage room?
GRACE: That didn`t help.
CARDOZA: Right. You know, that didn`t help. A lot that Scott Peterson did after that certainly didn`t help him. I mean, it may have served the defense well to bring a psychiatrist in to explain his very bizarre behavior after the wife and baby went missing, but nobody did, because, Nancy, a lot of people act differently in very bad situations.
I know he`s convicted. I know he`s on death row. I know a jury said he did it, but notwithstanding that, I mean, look at human beings. Somebody slips and fall, and we laugh if they get hurt. So we as human beings react strangely.
I think they would have been better off, number one, bringing someone in to explain that strange behavior, number two, adjusting his attitude when he walked into that courtroom. And you saw it when you were there, that silly smirk on his face.
And the other thing, quite honesty, that I didn`t like, I don`t think Mark helped himself by sticking that cell phone in his ear and wearing sunglasses when he walked out of the courtroom. Come on. It wasn`t a Hollywood production.
I think they should have gone on the down low, had everybody at least have Scott look a little bit remorseful in front of that jury. I`m telling you, that jury hated Scott Peterson. Remember what Strawberry Shortcake said at the end? I`ll tell you later what she said.
GRACE: And to Beth Karas, yes, no, the baby`s room that he couldn`t bear to open the door to was a storage unit February 2003, I believe you were just telling us?
KARAS: Yes, the police found it, and the jury heard about it when they executed the search warrant in February. And Scott went out on the front lawn and called cable to have the pornography turned off his television so the police wouldn`t see it.
GRACE: Oh, yes, I forgot about the porn. Out to Nancy in Utah, hi, dear. What`s your question?
CALLER: Hi, I have a quick question.
CALLER: Your gentleman that was just speaking was talking about Scott Peterson being treated like a human being.
GRACE: Right. Question?
CALLER: The ice cream, the cake, and all of that other stuff, because of the concern for the safety of the sheriff`s deputies. But was Scott Peterson thinking for one second about the dignity and the safety of his wife and unborn child?
And also, real quickly, if his family does sue, who`s going to pay the money if they win a civil monetary judgment?
GRACE: We`ll get to that the moment we get back.
GRACE: To Nancy in Utah`s question, there was a $25 million lawsuit filed by Laci`s family. It`s got a trial date of 2007. It just garners future wages of Scott Peterson.
And very quickly, everybody, Burkitt Flattiger (ph), the D.A., who`s now the elected D.A., Dave Harris is the chief assistant D.A. Rick Distaso, the D.A., is now a judge. Mark Geragos is representing the trainer for Barry Bonds. Michael Cardoza, who helped out with the defense, is representing the childhood friend of Barry Bonds.
Let`s go to Steph, Rosie, if I`ve got enough time. Steph, are there in the -- you remember, that was where Laci`s Christmas tree was, remember?
WATTS: Yes, Nancy. And it`s just strange to be here, because you just -- it`s a Christmas that never happened. And we all share it in the memories of the pictures of the Christmas tree, and it`s strange to be in here to see where it actually was.
GRACE: And the big question then was, there a present under the tree for Laci? The answer was no.
Before we sign off, back to Vernell Crittendon there at San Quentin prison. Vernell, I`ve read reports that Peterson keeps up photos of Laci Peterson on his cell wall. Is that true?
CRITTENDON: I`ve been up to his cell a few times. And when I went up, he has had a photo of Laci on the wall. It hasn`t been the same photo, but I`ve seen different photos that he has been put up on the wall since his arrival here on St. Paddy`s Day, March 17th.
GRACE: Vernell Crittendon joining us outside San Quentin, Scott Peterson`s new home. Laci Peterson, rest in peace.
Tonight, we remember Army Sergeant Steve Sakoda, 29, killed, Iraq, from Waikiki, Hawaii, a black belt in karate. He loved to dance, surf and fish, leaves behind a loving family, a sister and a widow. Steve Sakoda, American hero.
Thank you to all of our guests. Our biggest thank you, to you for being with us, inviting us into your home. Nancy Grace signing off again for this week. See you here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.