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Peterson attorneys take new local poll
The Oakland Tribune ^ | Feb 4 2004 | Jason Dearen

Posted on 02/04/2004 5:40:33 AM PST by runningbear

Peterson attorneys take new local poll

Article Last Updated: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 3:49:28 AM PST

Peterson attorneys take new local poll
Legal team may ask for another change of venue in murder case

By Jason Dearen, STAFF WRITER

REDWOOD CITY -- The Scott Peterson legal defense team is polling San Mateo County residents regarding the double-murder case to help decide whether to request another change of venue.

Over the past few days, residents have received calls from pollsters led by Paul Strand, dean of arts and letters at San Diego State University, who conducted a similar study for defense attorney Mark Geragos when he sought a change of venue from Stanislaus County.

The questions range from whether or not people would convict Scott Peterson based solely on DNA evidence, to their thoughts about extramarital affairs, to their knowledge of boating.

San Carlos resident Mary Hanna was working on her computer Friday afternoon when she received the call. "They asked me what kinds of things would influence me, like his demeanor, and my opinions about other things like the death penalty and extramarital affairs," said Hanna, a freelance humor columnist for ANG Newspapers.

They also asked about Hanna's income, political affiliation and her thoughts on how Modesto police handled the case. "But I was called for jury duty less than a year ago," she said. "So I'm off the hook."

The outcome of the poll will provide the defense with a "prejudgment rate" -- a percentage of those county residents polled who believe Peterson murdered his wife, Laci, and the couple's unborn son. More than a thousand county residents are expected to be summoned as potential jurors.

Geragos, of Los Angeles, said at Monday's first Redwood City hearing that the county might merely be a way station en route to the trial's final destination. The trial was moved out of Modesto last month when a Stanislaus County judge ruled that Peterson could not receive a fair trial in the couple's hometown.

If Geragos moves to relocate the trial, the data his pollster gathers could be used to bolster his argument.

"Polling is one method for demonstrating to the judge that there is a very high prejudgment rate in the county," said jury consultant Karen Jo Koonan of the National Jury Project West. She said that polls used for change-of-venue motions usually involve between 400 and 800 respondents.

California law does not require that jurors be oblivious to a case before serving on a jury, only that they are able to put aside .......


Judge bans cameras in courtroom

Judge bans cameras in courtroom

By Jamie Casini
Staff Writer

Published on Tuesday, February 3, 2004

REDWOOD CITY -- Despite pleas from broadcasters hoping to televise the capital murder trial of Scott Peterson, Judge Alfred Delucchi ruled Monday that cameras would not serve justice.

Trial junkies will have to get their fix the old-fashioned way -- by reading the newspaper.

"The court really needs to consider the public interest in this case," argued Rochelle Wilcox, an attorney representing several television networks. "This case touches people -- it is about a regular family -- a mother-to-be and her husband."

Although the judge's decision frustrated broadcast media, the move pleased both the prosecution and the defense. Both sides requested the ban on cameras.

"They're [the networks] not asking for anything but ratings," defense attorney Mark Geragos told the judge. "This is an important case for my client because it means his life or death. This is a criminal case involving people's real lives. Cameras would make it even more of a zoo than it already is."

Delucchi offered several reasons why he will only allow print media into the courtroom. Not only did both sides oppose the presence of cameras, but Delucchi said cameras would taint the privacy of jurors, witnesses and the families of both Scott and Laci Peterson while affecting the court's ability to select a fair and impartial jury.

Monday, Scott Peterson's father, Lee, was in attendance as were Laci Peterson's mother, stepfather and brother.

"Finally, I want to maintain orderly conduct," Delucchi said. "The cameras could negatively affect jurors and witnesses who testify and then see their faces plastered on TV."

In other business at Monday's hearing, Geragos withdrew his motion stating that Judge Richard Arnason should not have been removed from the case...........


Geragos raises eyebrows trying to juggle trials

Posted on Tue, Feb. 03, 2004

Geragos raises eyebrows trying to juggle trials

San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Faster than Scott Peterson can be moved from Modesto to the Redwood City jail, more powerful than Michael Jackson's bodyguards, able to juggle the two highest-profile criminal cases in the country at once - it's Mark Geragos! (Rhymes with asparagus.)

The celebrated defense lawyer is out to rescue both the notorious fertilizer salesman and the King of Pop. But he hasn't saved either one yet - and some say this two-headed legal monster is more than even a superhero can handle, or should.

There's a chance, some say, that he can harm his clients by representing both. What if some jurors in Peterson's double-murder case are turned off by Geragos because he represents someone accused of child molestation? Or, what if some Jackson jurors are disgusted that Geragos defended a man accused of murdering his pregnant wife and her 8-month-old fetus?

Nonetheless, the ubiquitous Geragos is running full speed ahead thanks to his ability to quickly shift gears, his devoted entourage and the occasional use of a private jet.

He was in court Monday with Peterson for his client's first appearance in Redwood City since his case was moved out of Modesto.

Michael Jackson hired Geragos nearly a year ago - two months before Scott Peterson was arrested - to guide him through the molestation allegations of a 14-year-old boy. But it wasn't until Nov. 18, the last day of Peterson's preliminary hearing in Modesto, that the two cases collided.

On the second floor of the Stanislaus County courthouse, above the pack of TV cameras waiting outside, the aggressive yet charming defense lawyer grilled a Modesto detective about the 241 cell phone calls between Peterson and his mistress both before and after Peterson's wife, Laci, disappeared on Dec. 24, 2002.

But in the midst of his cross-examination, Geragos suddenly felt a buzz on his hip. It was his pager.

He glanced at the text message: Police were searching Neverland Ranch. Michael Jackson was in trouble. He needed Mark Geragos.

Within hours of the judge binding Peterson over ......


Hearing for Peterson trial under way this morning in Redwood City

Posted on Mon, Feb. 02, 2004

Hearing for Peterson trial under way this morning in Redwood City

By Chuck Carroll
Mercury News

Reporters outnumbered the public by a long shot this morning as Laci Peterson's mother and stepfather arrived in the rain before the start of the first hearing to be held in Redwood City in the much-anticipated double-murder trial of Scott Peterson.

It wasn't clear why only two members of the public showed up at 7 a.m. to enter a lottery for one of 26 seats set aside for the public today in the 105-seat courtroom. But neither the weather nor the lack of competition for the seats dampened the joy to those who were able to sit in the courtroom. They whooped it up when a court official announced they would be allowed to attend today's hearing on a number of procedural matters.

There will be no testimony or jury selection today. One matter before the court is a motion by Scott Peterson's attorney that challenges the prosecution's disqualification of retired Contra Costa County Judge Richard Arnason, saying that challenge came too late. Retired Alameda County Judge Alfred Delucchi will consider that motion and others, including whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom. Defense attorney Mark Geragos is expected to seek a delay in the start of the trail because he is currently involved in another case.

Monica DeVincenzi, 23, a law student at Santa Clara University and a Redwood City resident, said she seized on her chance to get a seat in the courthouse today in part because it was so convenient.

``It's so close to home, and I've never been to court before,'' she said. ``Anything we see in there will be great. I want to see the people in person.''

The lottery for passes to seats in courtroom is scheduled to be held every morning at 7. The number of seats available to the public will vary, officials said, depending on how many are needed by the families of Scott and Laci Peterson and other factors. Most of the seats will go to the media.

Amie Barnes, a 16-year-old from Cupertino, was the other member of the public gripping a pass to the courtroom today after the lottery.

The home-schooling sophomore, dropped off at .........


Peterson trial put on hold

Peterson trial put on hold

An electronic billboard tally over Peterson's guilt or innocence shows 62 guilty votes and 24 innocent votes. The trailer was later ordered away from the courthouse 'environs.' BART AH YOU/THE BEE

'Yes. It's a regrettable necessity, your honor.'

-- Scott Peterson responding to the judge when asked if he waived his right to a speedy trial

Sharon Rocha, mother of Laci Peterson, leaves a Redwood City courthouse with her husband, Ron Grantski, far right, after a judge approved a delay Monday in Scott Peterson's murder trial. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Last Updated: February 3, 2004, 06:12:28 AM PST

REDWOOD CITY -- A judge Monday delayed Scott Peterson's double-murder trial at least a week and banned cameras from the courtroom for the duration of the trial. "No cameras," retired Alameda County Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi said.

Peterson, making his first appearance in a San Mateo County courtroom, stood briefly when asked if he waived his right to a speedy trial until next Monday.

"Yes," he told Delucchi. "It's a regrettable necessity, your honor."

Defense attorney Mark Geragos requested the delay because he has been ordered to begin a murder trial in Pasadena. Geragos said he wanted to start Peterson's trial "within 24 hours" of wrapping up that case, but also suggested he may seek to have Peterson's trial moved to a new county. It is in San Mateo County on a change of venue from Stanislaus County.

Peterson, 31, of Modesto, is charged with murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn son. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Peterson is due back in court Monday for a hearing largely expected to focus on procedural and scheduling issues, including when to hear motions on evidence and when to distribute juror questionnaires to gauge potential bias. The Pasadena trial is unlikely to be over by Monday, but Geragos said its length is likely to be clearer by then.

Under state law, Peterson's trial had to start Monday unless he waived his right to a speedy trial or a judge found good cause to delay it.

Delucchi, taking the bench in the case for the first time, said media coverage factored into his decision to exclude cameras. The prosecution and defense had asked for the ban.

"It could have a chilling effect on the testimony of witnesses," Delucchi said after ticking off a series of reasons to keep cameras out, including maintaining courtroom order, the potential impact on picking a fair jury and preserving privacy for witnesses, jurors and family members.

Delucchi brushed aside arguments by attorney Karl Olson, who represents a consortium of newspapers including The Bee. Olson pointed to Super Bowl photos in Monday papers in arguing that still cameras improve news coverage.

"This isn't the Super Bowl," Delucchi responded curtly.

Geragos said efforts to televise the trial were about "nothing but ratings." And he dismissed as "psycho-babble" an argument by television attorney Rochelle Wilcox that broadcasts would prove cathartic for Modesto residents who joined in massive search efforts for Laci Peterson after she was reported missing Christmas Eve 2002.

Geragos raised the possibility he may seek to have the trial moved again if the defense feels a fair jury cannot be seated here.

"We don't know if we're going to end up in San Mateo (County)," Geragos said. "This could be a way station."

Outside the courthouse, Geragos stopped short of saying he would seek to move the trial again, but noted that under the law his client could ask for a second move after questioning of potential jurors begins.

"There's always the issue of whether we can seat a fair jury," Geragos said.

Prosecutors, who had opposed moving the trial from Modesto and at one point asked Stanislaus County Judge Al Girolami to revisit his decision to change the venue, seemed wary of a potential second move.

"We're happy to stay here," Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold said outside San Mateo .......


County, Redwood City justify fees to trial media

Article Last Updated: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - 3:45:32 AM PST

County, Redwood City justify fees to trial media

By Suzanne Zalev and Tim Hay, STAFF WRITERS

REDWOOD CITY -- County officials insisted Monday that the $1.5 million they hope to collect in rent from the media during the Scott Peterson murder trial won't even cover the costs of catering to the media.

While conceding the rent is much more than charged in Modesto, authorities here said the media will get more services for their money -- including around-the-clock security for their equipment.

"We're not going to make a dime off this," Supervisor Mike Nevin said. "In fact, we're probably going to lose money."

Journalists were outraged Friday when County officials announced the cost of setting up shop in Redwood City: Networks will pay $51,000 for the estimated six-month trial, or about $280 a day, to set up shop in the tent city outside the courthouse. Redwood City will also charge them $7,500 a month to park their satellite trucks on Middlefield Road.

On Monday, the County itemized the costs, attempting to show what it would take to cover expenses related to hosting throngs of media.

But Mark Church, the president of the Board of Supervisors, will demand a more detailed breakdown later this month.

Deputy County Manager Mary McMillan said the entire tent city setup is expected to cost $820,000 for six months, or $51,000 for each of the 16 spaces. This includes $320,500 for security -- $173,800 in the tent area outside the courthouse, $103,700 in the press office set up in the old courthouse annex, $34,700 for a special press entrance and $8,300 in other security costs.

Utilities, communication and services, including portable toilets, generators, a video link to the press office in the annex and setup, will cost another $343,600. Administration costs, including a 10 percent "contingency" of $74,551, account for the remaining $155,961.

Nevin said the television stations will not pay rent on the spaces, and the press office in the annex is being provided for free.

"We didn't make this up. These are things that they need," Nevin said.

According to Libby Lane, a spokesperson for Stanislaus County, six major networks were charged $2,500 each for use of a large vacant lot across the street from the courthouse, where they built a home base to cover the three-week preliminary hearing.

At that price, a six-month proceeding would have cost each network about $20,000 -- less than half of what San Mateo County is charging. ........


Judge bans cameras in Peterson courtroom

Posted on Tue, Feb. 03, 2004

Judge bans cameras in Peterson courtroom

By Brian Anderson

REDWOOD CITY - Newspaper and TV reporters lost their battle Monday to bring cameras in the courtroom for the upcoming Scott Peterson trial.

The Alameda County judge assigned to the case ruled that allowing cameras inside the Redwood City courtroom where Peterson's case is expected to be held would pose too much of a distraction to jurors and witnesses.

In barring cameras, Judge Al Delucchi rejected arguments from media lawyers that televising the drama would bring catharsis for emotionally connected Modesto-area residents. Laci Peterson, 27, vanished from her Modesto home Dec. 24, 2002.

"The case touches people because it involves a regular family," said Rochelle Wilcox, a Los Angeles attorney who represented several television networks. "The public responded. The citizens of Modesto responded."

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys had asked for the ban on cameras.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos said allowing cameras in the courtroom would create even a greater "carnival-type atmosphere" than already exists.

"This is not the Super Bowl," Geragos said in a response to one media lawyer's argument that referenced the sports event. "This is a criminal trial. They have a right to be present in the courtroom, but they do not have a right to have a camera."

The case has garnered huge publicity in the 13 months since Laci Peterson disappeared. News accounts grew even greater in April following Peterson's arrest days after his wife and the couple's unborn son washed ashore in Richmond.

He has said he is innocent of two murder counts charged against him.

Peterson, 31, dressed in a gray suit, smiled ...........


Key players in the Scott Peterson murder trial

Key players in the Scott Peterson murder trial

Laci Denise Peterson

Peterson, A 27-year-old substitute teacher, was raised in Escalon and moved to Modesto in high school. She attended Cal Poly State University and met her future husband in 1995 at a cafe in which he worked. The couple married in 1997, opened and sold a restaurant and returned to Modesto. At the time of her disappearance she was eight months pregnant with her first child, a boy which the couple planned to name Connor. She was due Feb. 10, 2003.

Scott Lee Peterson

The 31-year-old fertilizer salesman was born in San Diego, the youngest of five boys. He attended Arizona State University on a partial golf scholarship but moved to Morro Bay before graduating. To pay his way through Cal Poly State University he worked as a waiter at the Pacific Cafe, where he would meet Laci. After selling their restaurant the couple moved back to Modesto and he found a job as a fertilizer salesman.

Peterson has admitted to cheating on his wife before her disappearance but said Laci knew about it. Peterson was arrested in April, shortly before DNA tests confirmed the identity of two bodies washed up in Richmond as Laci and Connor. He was on a San Diego golf course with dyed blonde hair, $10,000 in cash and his brother’s identification.

Amber Frey

Frey, 30, is a massage therapist in Fresno who met Peterson Nov. 20, little more than a month before his wife was reported missing. Frey has acknowledged having a romantic relationship with Peterson but said he claimed to be a widower about to celebrate his first Christmas without his wife.

Peterson escorted Frey to social events while dating and met her friends and family.

Once Frey realized the truth about Peterson, she contacted police Dec. 30 and even agreed to secretly tape phone conversations between the two.

Frey is a single mother and has said Peterson met her then-2-year-old daughter. Frey is also about six months pregnant currently, a fact that makes some legal analysts wonder if it will remind the jurors of Laci Peterson.

Prosecutor Dave Harris

Harris, a senior deputy district attorney, has worked in Stanislaus County since 1991 after four years in Southern California. Harris received his law degree from the California Western School of Law. His resume includes a wide range of cases, including the capital murder trial of a landlord who killed a tenant after he set fire to a rental unit for insurance money. The defendant was sentenced to life in prison........


(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: avoidingchildsupport; baby; babyunborn; conner; deathpenaltytime; dontubelievemyalibi; getarope; ibefishing; laci; lacipeterson; smallbaby; smallchild; sonkiller; unborn; wifekiller
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some follow up on the Scott Peterson trial case.
1 posted on 02/04/2004 5:40:34 AM PST by runningbear
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To: Rheo; Mystery Y; Searching4Justice; brneyedgirl; Scupoli; sissyjane; TexKat; Lanza; Mrs.Liberty; ...
Pinging from the latest news on Scotty......
2 posted on 02/04/2004 5:41:29 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: texasbluebell; truthkeeper; BobFromNJ; WestCoastGal; Sunshine55; Yaelle; madison10; Devil_Anse; ...
Pinging from the latest news on Scotty......
3 posted on 02/04/2004 5:41:55 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: Constitution Day

"Any of you guys heard of Scott Peterson?"
"Ok, judge, looks like we got a jury."

4 posted on 02/04/2004 5:46:55 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Come see the violence inherent in the system!)
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5 posted on 02/04/2004 5:48:28 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: runningbear
I'd sure like to know what kind of affect this "pre-trial survey" will have on the case if the venue is not changed... That is the oddest thing I've ever heard of. I wonder how often the tactic is used in large cases.
6 posted on 02/04/2004 5:48:53 AM PST by Freedom2specul8 (Please pray for our troops....
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To: Tijeras_Slim
7 posted on 02/04/2004 5:49:24 AM PST by Freedom2specul8 (Please pray for our troops....
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To: runningbear
rb, thanks for the ping but you left out the latest mug shot. ; ) Looks like Gasparagus is still trying to get the trial moved to LA.
8 posted on 02/04/2004 5:49:35 AM PST by maggief
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San Mateo County Times, Scott Peterson Trial link
9 posted on 02/04/2004 5:50:59 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: redlipstick
The Scott Peterson legal defense team is polling San Mateo County residents regarding the double-murder case to help decide whether to request another change of venue.

Check this out.

10 posted on 02/04/2004 5:51:37 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Local observer expresses boredom with the interminable Peterson trial

11 posted on 02/04/2004 5:56:09 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: maggiefluffs
gads, the pic just almost made me puke my
12 posted on 02/04/2004 6:10:05 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: cyncooper
I'm beginning to think that the mere choice of Mark Gasparagus as one's attorney is proof enough of insanity to give strong grounds for appeal.
13 posted on 02/04/2004 6:17:34 AM PST by EllaMinnow (If you want to send a message, call Western Union.)
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
maybe rare? Look at Robert Blake, no problem in LA...... Wait, this is SF area.... ummmmm, well, looks like when Richard Allen Davis killed Polly Klass in Sonoma area, he got Santa Clara County in change of venue. That was in the mist of 3 strikes your out Proposition passed. And Davis got the death sentence..... Yippie!! Or Charles Eg " unknown posted info:
Charles Ng, 39, former Marine, was convicted of 11 counts of first-degree murder in February by a Orange County, Calif., jury. He was charged with killing 12 people, but the jury deadlocked on one count. The murders of seven men, three women, and two infant boys occurred in 1984 and 1985. Ng's accomplice, Leonard Lake, committed suicide in 1985."

Maybe San Mateo.... Geragos, lets get it on!

14 posted on 02/04/2004 6:20:15 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
Was this the same people who, when the did the survey last time, some students came forth and admitted that they made up the statistics, because it was too hard, and was going to cost them $$ to make the actual phone calls. Yea, I'm sure gonna believe whatever they come up with!
15 posted on 02/04/2004 7:55:03 AM PST by BreitbartSentMe (Now EX-democrat!!)
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~; runningbear
"I'd sure like to know what kind of affect this "pre-trial survey" will have on the case if the venue is not changed..."

I wish people who get survey calls (on any topic) would just tell them; "It is none of your business what I think." and then hang up on them.

I really get tired of hearing polls say this and polls say that. We need to keep the media in the dark.

16 posted on 02/04/2004 8:46:00 AM PST by Spunky (This little tag just keeps following me where ever I go.)
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To: runningbear
I'd like to see Geragos tossed off both cases (Peterson and Jackson) and expelled from the California Bar Assn. and barred from practicing law in this country. :-D
17 posted on 02/04/2004 9:05:07 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ...... /~normsrevenge - FoR California Propositions/Initiatives info...)
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To: runningbear
Thanks for the ping, rb!
18 posted on 02/04/2004 9:30:19 AM PST by Sandylapper
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To: runningbear
Yeah Right. I have a pole to give Gregaros. (sorry) He is such a delayer. Honey can you please take out the garbedge? His house must reek.
19 posted on 02/04/2004 10:23:04 AM PST by oceanperch (`)
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To: oceanperch; All
Hah! Just heard on MSNBC that a judge in another Gregaros case is PO'd at a case that he has been putting off for 5yrs. I believe it was an embezzelment case. Judge told him to get off his duff and settle already.

Gregoras said pphhhph That is just how it goes when you are a high profile lawyer and in demand.

Yeah? My crystal ball sees a unemployed naked lawyer in the near future.
20 posted on 02/04/2004 11:00:43 AM PST by oceanperch (`)
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