Scott Peterson denied new trial for murder of his pregnant wife Laci in 2002

Scott Peterson denied new trial for murder of his pregnant wife Laci in 2002

Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murder in the 2002 death of his pregnant wife, has been denied a new trial.

The ruling came on Tuesday, more than a year after the California Supreme Court ordered Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo to review if juror misconduct lead to Peterson getting an unfair trial.

His legal team argued that juror seven, a woman called Richelle Nice, had not been telling the truth and had concealed information regarding her private life which they claimed was conflicting.

Ms Nice faced an accusation of “prejudicial misconduct” after she didn’t share that she was a domestic violence victim and had applied for a restraining order in 2000 because she was afraid that her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend would injure her unborn child.

According to NBC Bay Area, court documents from Tuesday’s ruling revealed that the court found that Ms Nice’s responses to a questionnaire handed to jurors had been “false in certain respects,” but added that the answers had not been “motivated by pre-existing or improper bias” towards Peterson.

The responses “were the result of a combination of good faith misunderstanding of the questions and sloppiness in answering,” the judge wrote.

Ms Nice wrote a book along with other jurors about the case and she has rejected the notion that she was affected by events in her personal life while serving on the jury, NBC News reported.

Scott Peterson listens during a a hearing to determine whether he gets a new trial for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife (AP)
Scott Peterson listens during a a hearing to determine whether he gets a new trial for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife (AP)

In 2004, Peterson was convicted of murder, and he was sentenced to death in 2005. The sentence was overturned in 2020 by the California Supreme Court.

He was resentenced last year to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Laci Peterson was 27 years old and eight months pregnant at the time of her death in December 2002. She and Peterson had been married for five years.

According to prosecutors, Peterson dumped his wife’s body in the Berkeley Marina on Christmas Eve of that year and attempted to make it seem as if she had gone missing, court records state.

After her body later washed ashore, Peterson’s lawyers argued that she was murdered after she came upon a burglary.