Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Day One: "DNA 101"
KGO TV ^ | Oct 29 2003

Posted on 10/30/2003 5:29:43 AM PST by runningbear

Day One: "DNA 101"

Day One: "DNA 101"
Peterson Hearing Resumes Thursday


Oct. 29 (AP) — A hair found in a pair of pliers on the boat Scott Peterson took fishing the day his wife disappeared matched a genetic sample from Laci Peterson's mother, an FBI expert testified Wednesday, as prosecutors sought to have him tried in the murder of his wife and unborn son.

Major Players
Amber Frey's Impact
Laci, Conner Buried
Hearing To Remain Open
Satanic Evidence?
Talk About This Story
Full Coverage

For much of the day inside a packed courtroom, FBI lab supervisor Constance Fisher testified about the disputed method of DNA analysis she specializes in that can show a genetic match between a mother and child.

She testified that a one-inch strand of hair found on pliers in the boat did not match Scott Peterson, but did match a swab of DNA taken from the mouth of his mother-in-law, Sharon Rocha.

Defense lawyer Mark Geragos is challenging the admissibility of the testimony, saying the analysis was the subject of a "raging debate" in the scientific community and suggesting that the hair sample may have been contaminated or tampered with by law enforcement.

The technique has not been widely accepted in courts, and it was only ruled admissible once in a California state court, in the case of an accused murderer in San Diego.

With the exception of a brief mention of Laci Peterson's family at the start of the hearing, the 27-year-old substitute teacher's name was never uttered again during the daylong hearing in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

The hearing is expected to last into next week, after which Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami will decide if Peterson is tried on two counts of murder that could lead to the death penalty. ..........


Peterson evidence set to be revealed

Peterson evidence set to be revealed
The public will hear at least some at the preliminary hearing.

By John Cote -- Modesto Bee

Published 2:15 a.m. PST Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Get weekday updates of Sacramento Bee headlines and breaking news. Sign up here.

MODESTO -- The public's first real look at evidence against double-murder suspect Scott Peterson is expected Wednesday, when prosecutors begin laying out a legal case that has been under wraps for 10 months. "Everything will be a revelation to us," said Ruth Jones, a criminal law professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento and a former prosecutor. "This case is unique in that sense."

Peterson's preliminary hearing, which likely will last five days, could demonstrate the strength of the prosecution's case and outline the possible trial. The hearing that begins Wednesday is to determine whether there is enough evidence to try Peterson in the deaths of his 27-year-old wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

It's unclear how much evidence the prosecution will unveil at the hearing, because it's relatively easy to have a defendant held for trial. For that reason, the defense rarely calls witnesses, protecting them from cross-examination.

But this case is different, legal observers said, pointing to widespread public scrutiny that has influenced legal tactics and might affect the trial.

"There are two battles going on here," said San Francisco Deputy District Attorney James Hammer. "The legal battle and the PR battle."

In the legal battle, attorneys are poised to spar over an array of evidence the defense wants kept out of court, including information from wiretaps, electronic tracking devices, DNA testing and scent-tracking dogs.

The judge also is to hear a defense argument that a potentially key piece of evidence -- a single hair found attached to a pair of needle-nose pliers in Peterson's boat -- likely was "altered" while in police possession.

Prosecutors contend that the hair simply broke inside an evidence bag.

The hair could be a critical piece of physical evidence linking Laci Peterson to the boat her husband said he took fishing on Christmas Eve, the day she was reported missing.

The defense's challenge of the evidence signals a wider tactic of trying to show that investigators acted improperly, echoing the O.J. Simpson murder trial, legal observers said. A jury acquitted the former football star in 1995 of killing his ex-wife and her friend.

"It's a very important strategy," said Professor George Bisharat, a criminal procedure specialist at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. "You really saw the potential impact in the sense that there was law enforcement wrongdoing in the O.J. Simpson case."

Like the Simpson case, the disappearance of Laci Peterson, a pretty substitute teacher with deep dimples and a captivating smile, has become staple fare for cable television, supermarket tabloids and newspapers on both coasts.

For months, hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement personnel scoured fields, reservoirs and waterways from the Sierra foothills to San Francisco Bay for Laci Peterson.

In April, passers-by discovered Laci Peterson's decomposed body and that of her son about a mile apart along the eastern shore of the bay, several miles from where Peterson said he had gone fishing.

He was arrested days later outside the ...........


Timeline: Key Dates in the Laci Peterson Case

Timeline: Key Dates in the Laci Peterson Case

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Key dates in the murder case of Laci Peterson:

Dec. 24, 2002: Laci Peterson, 8 months pregnant, is reported missing from her Modesto, Calif. home by husband, Scott Peterson. He says he came home from a fishing trip to Berkeley Marina and his wife was nowhere to be found.

Dec. 28: Authorities search water near Berkeley Marina for first time.

Dec. 31: Modesto police shift their focus in case to foul play. "We have not ruled out other possibilities," homicide detective Jon Buehler says.

Jan. 3, 2003: Modesto police ask public for help verifying whereabouts of Scott Peterson in days before Christmas. In Berkeley, police spend hours combing waters near marina.

Jan. 9: Sonar search in water near marina reveals object authorities think is a body. It turns out to be an anchor.

Jan. 14: Authorities and friends expand search to Southern California.

Jan. 17: Laci Peterson's family and friends hold news conference to demand Scott Peterson tell authorities everything he knows about the case.

Jan. 18: As suspicion of Scott Peterson grows, authorities investigate his whereabouts in connection with the disappearance of a San Luis Obispo woman in 1996, when Scott and Laci Peterson lived there. Authorities later determine he had nothing to do with the second missing woman.

Jan. 19: Scott Peterson brings search for missing wife to Los Angeles, where he and his family distribute fliers to volunteers at a hotel.

Jan. 23: Laci Peterson's family says Scott Peterson told authorities he had been involved with another woman.

Jan. 24: Amber Frey, a massage therapist from Fresno, comes forward and confirms she had an intimate romantic relationship with Scott Peterson.

Jan. 28: In a televised interview, Scott Peterson admits he had a relationship with Frey and says he told his wife about it. "It wasn't anything that would break us apart," he says.

Feb. 5:Laci Peterson's family steps up their criticism of Scott Peterson, saying he sold his pregnant wife's car and considered selling the couple's house.

Feb. 10: Laci Peterson's expected due date. "Everybody's aware of it," says Modesto police Sgt. Ron Cloward.

Feb. 17: Scott Peterson's mother, Jackie, tells The Associated Press her family believes kidnappers abducted Laci Peterson with intentions of holding her captive until she delivered the baby.





Last Call

Lorin McLain
Staff Columnist
My folks take Halloween very seriously. Every year, in early October, they set out to convert their nice Walnut Hills home into a bastion of evil by adorning every room with dark lights, nightmarish knick-knacks, voodoo accessories and whatever it takes to make the devil feel at home. They bring the ghouls out of the basement and turn the lawn into a graveyard.

All of this culminates in a big bash that occurs on a Saturday night around Halloween. My sister won't come, though, because several members of her church "wouldn't agree with it." Really, she's just scared, but won't admit it. I'm willing to bet that it's not a matter of this particular demonization, I mean denomination not agreeing with these aspects of the holiday in question, but really they're just scared.

After centuries gone by, the devil still gets a bad shake. We may have come a long way from burning at the stake those under suspicion of his influence, but still when a puzzling situation arises where we have no logical conclusion, we must have the devil at hand to blame.

Take the Laci Peterson case, for instance. The preliminary hearing to determine if Scott Peterson will stand trial for the murder of his wife just started. Scott Peterson has been held without bail since authorities arrested him at the Mexican border with his hair bleached and $10,000 in cash.

The defense is trying to prevent prosecutors from being able to present certain evidence to the court, such as DNA analysis of hair clippings from Peterson's wife found on pliers in his boat and information gathered from wiretaps and global positioning systems. The defense has implied that the "real killers" are worshippers of the dark lord.

That's right, Peterson died at the hands of a satanic cult, according to this theory.

Clearly there must be real compelling evidence to support this claim. The defense is unable to indicate that there are bad people at large other than Peterson himself, but merely a "satanic cult." California murders often seem due to circumstances resulting from a "satanic cult."

The Son of Sam is an instance of incriminating the devil. Lucifer was blamed for the psycho that randomly went out and killed people that summer of seventy something. David Berkowitz wasn't in league with the devil, as many have assumed, because of satanic associations made with the case, that he was possessed by some evil power. He didn't say "the devil made me do it," but he was forced to kill by his "father," who he ........


DNA debate opens first day

Scott Peterson, right, and defense attorney Mark Geragos listen as FBI DNA expert Constance Fisher testifies Wednesday before Judge Al Girolami. LAURIE McADAM/THE BEE

DNA debate opens first day



Last Updated: October 30, 2003, 05:04:55 AM PST

Wiretaps secretly recording Scott Peterson's telephone conversations while he was under police surveillance will not be used in his double-murder preliminary hearing, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Nor will they present evidence from GPS tracking devices placed on his vehicles to monitor his movements, Senior Deputy District Attorney Rick Distaso said moments after the long-awaited hearing got under way in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

The defense, however, still wants to raise the issue that the wiretaps were improperly conducted.

The bulk of Wednesday's proceedings was dedicated to an FBI expert's detailed testimony about mitochondrial DNA testing.

An afternoon of technical cross- examination by defense attorney Mark Geragos was aimed at showing the mitochondrial DNA testing process was unreliable and the results should not be admissable in court.

Geragos also contends that police mishandled a single strand of hair found attached to pliers in Peterson's boat.

Mitochondrial DNA tests showed that the hair did not come from Peterson but could have come from his wife, Laci, according to the prosecution.

Peterson told police he took the boat on a fishing trip to San Francisco Bay on Dec. 24, and his wife was missing when he returned to Modesto that evening. She was almost eight months pregnant at the time.

Her body and that of her son, Conner, were found in April along the bay's eastern shore, several miles from where Peterson said he went fishing. Police arrested Peterson on April 18 in the San Diego area, where his family lives.

Peterson, 31, is charged with murdering his wife and their unborn son, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Prosecutors are presenting some of their evidence during the preliminary hearing, slated to last five days, and Judge Al Girolami will decide whether there is enough evidence to hold Peterson for trial.

Frey's lawyer can stay

At the outset of the hearing, Geragos asked Girolami to order attorney Gloria Allred out of the courtroom. Allred represents Amber Frey, who was Peterson's girlfriend when Laci Peterson disappeared.

Frey, 28, of Fresno has cooperated with authorities since she contacted police on Dec. 30. She said she did not know that Peterson was married when they began their relationship.

Girolami allowed Allred to stay but ordered her not to discuss any ..........


Partial Court Transcript

Provided by the Modesto Bee.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: avoidingchildsupport; baby; babyunborn; conner; deathpenaltytime; dontubelievemyalibi; getarope; ibefishing; laci; lacipeterson; smallbaby; smallchild; sonkiller; unborn; wifekiller
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 341-346 next last
To: clouda; onyx
In one, he wrote: "At night, I have my head buried in a blanket, I don't want the other inmates to see the tears."

If he's in solation, who would see him?

41 posted on 10/30/2003 8:54:10 AM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: uvular
I did see that (Superman) Dean Cain will portray Scottie. Hopefully Cain will practice getting that noted "smirk" and flat affect for an accurate portrayal.
42 posted on 10/30/2003 8:55:31 AM PST by Velveeta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Spunky
Here you go:
43 posted on 10/30/2003 8:56:37 AM PST by Velveeta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
If he's in solation, who would see him?

Good question. Easy answer: He's lying.

44 posted on 10/30/2003 8:57:09 AM PST by onyx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
"I woke up early today to a crashing cell door, I figured it must be after midnight and therefore Laci's birthday," he wrote. "I lay in this bunk dreaming about her, being able to hold her and Conner. As the morning went on, all I could do was lay here in tears."

This kind of BS makes me so angry. Another PR ploy by Scotty.

Lets hear those Amber tapes. They will show Scott for what he really is.

45 posted on 10/30/2003 8:58:58 AM PST by clouda (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: onyx
Perhaps you could tell me what "solation" is.........LOL.
46 posted on 10/30/2003 8:59:25 AM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: clouda; onyx; Velveeta
I think the daily transcripts may be posted here:
47 posted on 10/30/2003 9:00:10 AM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Solitary is my guess?
48 posted on 10/30/2003 9:00:10 AM PST by onyx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Perhaps you could tell me what "solation" is.........LOL.

Now, I am ROFLMAO!!!! I thought "solation" was your own Southern term for "solitary." LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

49 posted on 10/30/2003 9:03:17 AM PST by onyx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Jackie-O
Yes, I remember.

You know, I'm sure the Peterson's did care deeply for Laci. Hopefully, when that "Oh my God moment" hits the Petersons, they'll continue to wear the ribbons and remember that this trial is about justice for Laci. Now that they've worn the ribbons, if they remove them at any point it would be telling.
50 posted on 10/30/2003 9:04:38 AM PST by Velveeta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: onyx
Check this out: webcams showing what's going on outside the courthouse:
51 posted on 10/30/2003 9:05:04 AM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Thanks for that link Howl, I put it in my favorites to check back on for the duration of the trial.
52 posted on 10/30/2003 9:13:24 AM PST by Jackie-O
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Perfect --- opening a new window. You're amazng. I'm bringing you along on the next treasure hunt.
53 posted on 10/30/2003 9:14:00 AM PST by onyx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: runningbear
Thank you again, rb! You're still the best! ;^)
54 posted on 10/30/2003 9:27:33 AM PST by Sandylapper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Velveeta
he does not want anyone to see his tears

What did he think that big camera-like thing behind Diane Sawyer was???

55 posted on 10/30/2003 9:41:19 AM PST by Yaelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: RGSpincich
12 - zip would do it.


56 posted on 10/30/2003 9:42:21 AM PST by Yaelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Thanks Howlin. I skimmed the first transcript.

Looks like that one ends at the lunch break yesterday. I was curious to see the afternoon transcript when Geragos began his cross exam.
57 posted on 10/30/2003 9:43:58 AM PST by Velveeta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Yaelle
ROFL! Good one!
58 posted on 10/30/2003 9:45:13 AM PST by Velveeta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: Velveeta
Evidently some web sites are going to offer the daily transcripts, but they are big $$$. More than we could afford together. :-(
59 posted on 10/30/2003 9:45:21 AM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: Devil_Anse
Here's a link to the minute order from yesterday's hearing. It clears up the confusion on the jurisdiction of the court regarding the tapes, etc. It basically says that the court has no jurisciction over the matter until there is a dispute and since the evidence has not been presented there is no problem. The court will have the jurisdiction to rule on the matter when and if it is necessary to rule, at least that's what I get out of it.
60 posted on 10/30/2003 9:46:41 AM PST by RGSpincich
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 341-346 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson