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Laci's things in tug of war
The Modesto Bee ^ | May 31, 2003 | Garth Stapely and John Cote'

Posted on 05/31/2003 8:41:50 AM PDT by runningbear

Laci's things in tug of war


Laci Peterson's brother Brent Rocha loads a rocking chair from her Modesto home into the back of a truck Friday morning.

Laci's things in tug of war

By GARTH STAPLEY and JOHN COTÉ

BEE STAFF WRITERS

Published: May 31, 2003, 07:16:10 AM PDT

Laci Peterson's family and friends removed truckloads of items from the slain Modesto woman's house on Friday, touching off controversy between her family and that of her husband.

Police responded to the Covena Avenue home at about 10 a.m. after a security company reported that the alarm had been triggered, Capt. Greg Savelli said.

Officers determined that Laci Peterson's family and friends were removing items that belonged to Laci, said Savelli, who added that officers documented what was taken.

"We're treating this as a civil dispute over property," he said. "It was clear to the Police Department that this was not a burglary.

Peterson's husband, Scott, 30, has been charged with double murder and faces the death penalty in the killings of his 27-year-old wife and their unborn son, Conner.

Savelli said the fallout from Friday's property removal "was best handled between the families and their attorneys."

Adam Stewart, an attorney for Laci Peterson's family, said the family had been in contact with Scott Peterson's defense team, who had agreed to allow Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha, to go through the house on Tuesday. She was to be accompanied by representatives of the defense team, and all items taken were to be photographed and videotaped.

Scott Peterson's parents and lawyers expressed outrage that the Rochas did not follow the agreement.

Jackie Peterson said the people who went into the home Friday had "absolutely no permission to be in that house. I have a lot of empathy for Sharon, but she does not have a right to go in our house and take what she wants."

Rocha did not appear to be among the packers. Calls placed to the Rocha home were not accepted.

Seven vehicles loaded

Among the items loaded into seven vehicles were a crib, a rocking chair and a box with Graco printed on the outside. Graco makes such products as strollers, highchairs and car seats.

Laci Peterson's family announced Wednesday that it had hired attorneys to help recover items from the house. A list included her wedding dress, jewelry and Conner's crib.

Jackie Peterson told The Bee that the security company notified her by telephone in San Diego County that the house alarm had been tripped.

The property removal appeared to take Scott Peterson's defense team by surprise.

Matthew Dalton, an attorney with lead defense attorney Mark Geragos' law firm, drove to the house and asked reporters if someone had reported a burglary.

Dalton went to Stewart's Modesto law office Friday morning and dropped off some items requested by the Rocha family, Stewart said.

Monday, the defense team moved other items, including what appeared to be gifts, to the Modesto office of defense co-counsel Kirk McAllister, for transfer to Laci Peterson's family. But the items had not been picked up by Friday morning, McAllister said.

Stewart said in front of the home that it would be "ridiculous" to suggest that the Rochas broke into the home.

"I apologize for it coming down to this," he said. "This is not the way we operate. This is for Laci, for Conner and Laci's family. It is not for the media or Mr. Scott Peterson's defense in any way, shape or form. It's depressing that it's come down to this."

Stanislaus County Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold said prosecutors had no legal authority over the house.

"It's not a crime scene," Goold said. " This is a civil problem between the Rochas and the Petersons."

The house title is in Laci and Scott Petersons' names, county records show. In such a joint tenancy, when one titleholder dies, the title goes to the other.

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Incident brings Peterson case close to home
Victim's family moves items from house, raising the issue of ownership.

Incident brings Peterson case close to home
Victim's family moves items from house, raising the issue of ownership.

By Garth Stapley and John Coté
The Modesto Bee

(Published Saturday, May 31, 2003, 4:47 AM)

MODESTO -- Laci Peterson's family and friends removed truckloads of items from the slain Modesto woman's house Friday, touching off controversy between her family and that of her husband.

Police officers were dispatched after a security company notified them that the alarm at the Covena Avenue home had been triggered, Capt. Greg Savelli said.

Officers determined that members of the Rocha family and friends of Laci Peterson were removing items that belonged to the slain woman and documented what was taken, Savelli said.

"We're treating this as a civil dispute over property," he said. "It was clear to the police department that this was not a burglary. It was a dispute over property and was best handled between the families and their attorneys."

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Judge cites Peterson right to fair trial in denying report access

Judge cites Peterson right to fair trial in denying report access

By JOHN COTÉ
BEE STAFF WRITER

Published: May 31, 2003, 07:16:56 AM PDT

A Stanislaus County judge on Friday ordered that arrest and search warrants remain sealed in the case against Scott Peterson, who is accused of murdering his pregnant wife and unborn son.

Superior Court Judge Al Giro-lami's ruling also ordered the autopsy reports for Laci and Conner to stay sealed.

Thursday, District Attorney James Brazelton reversed his position and asked to have the autopsy reports made public, and the matter is set for hearing June 6.

Brazelton's about-face came after part of the fetus's autopsy report was leaked to the media. Prosecutors said that portion was clearly "skewed in favor of the defense."

Defense attorneys, coroner's officials, police and prosecutors have denied leaking the information.

Friday, in his ruling on all the documents, Girolami said releasing them "might irreparably harm the continued investigation into this criminal matter."

"Despite the fact that the complaint has been issued and a suspect has been arrested, the investigation and search for both incriminating and exonerating evidence in this matter continues," Girolami wrote.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys argued that releasing the documents could impede Peterson's right to a fair trial and damage an ongoing investigation.

Girolami agreed, saying in his ruling that releasing the documents "might result in the evidence being destroyed and witnesses being reluctant to step forward."

A group of newspapers, including The Bee, are seeking to have the documents unsealed.

Right to view reports argued

Charity Kenyon, an attorney representing the newspapers, argued that the public's right to view court documents was fundamental in an open legal system.

Other means exist for ensuring

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Judge orders Laci Peterson autopsy report sealed

Judge orders Laci Peterson autopsy report sealed

The Modesto Bee

The Associated Press

Published: May 31, 2003, 06:49:17 AM PDT

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) - A judge ruled Friday that an autopsy report on the deaths of Laci Peterson and her unborn son should remain sealed along with other search warrant and arrest records.

Superior Court Judge Al Girolami said releasing the information could hamper the murder investigation and prejudice public opinion before a trial begins.

Girolami is scheduled to hear more arguments June 6 from prosecutors preparing a murder case against Peterson's husband, Scott Peterson. Prosecutors on Thursday asked that the autopsy reports be released to the public. They argued that media leaks of the reports are biased toward the defense.

Girolami also ordered that leaks of sealed information stop and indicated he would consider a gag order to stop the prosecution and defense teams from talking to the media.

Scott Peterson, 30, is accused of killing his wife and unborn son, whom the couple had planned to name Conner, last December in their home. Laci, 27, was eight months pregnant at the time. The bodies washed ashore in San Francisco Bay last month.

Contra Costa County authorities concluded their autopsy report earlier this month, but did not disclose the cause of death.

Several media outlets have released details of the coroner's report, and a spokeswoman for Laci Peterson's family members said Thursday they were "devastated" at hearing autopsy reports without warning on television.

The leaked reports indicated the unborn son had plastic tape wrapped around his neck and a significant cut across the shoulders.

Meanwhile, friends of Laci Peterson removed several personal articles Friday from the single-story Modesto home where she and Scott Peterson lived.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

MOM'S MOVING MOMENT

MOM'S MOVING MOMENT

By HOWARD BREUER and MARSHA KRANES

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May 31, 2003 -- Laci Peterson's mother - shattered by the graphic details leaked from the 25-page autopsy of her unborn grandson - yesterday began removing her slain daughter's belongings from the home she had shared with her accused murderer husband, Scott.

Sharon Rocha, accompanied by several friends and relatives, was seen at the Modesto, Calif., house removing the rocking chair Laci had bought to use when she nursed her infant son, as well as unopened Christmas gifts, clothing, chairs, lamps and artwork.

In doing so, she ignored the advice of her lawyer, Al Clark, that she wait until he, Scott Peterson's lawyers and court officials work out the procedures to be followed when she entered the house.

Modesto police arrived while Rocha was there, and she and her entourage left a short time later after packing seven cars full of Laci's belongings.

Hours later, lawyers representing Laci's family and Scott Peterson started haggling over whether removing the items was legal.

Scott Peterson's mother, Jackie, expressed outrage that the items had been removed since Laci's family had "absolutely no permission to be in that house."

Scott Peterson has pleaded not guilty to killing his wife and their unborn son.

Laci's family said Wednesday that they had hired lawyers to help them retrieve a baby crib and jewelry from the home.

Meanwhile, Clark told Fox News his client's anger over the grisly revelations leaked from her daughter's and grandson's sealed autopsy reports drove her to go get her daughter's possessions.

A family spokeswoman said Rocha was "devastated" by the reports describing how the near full-term fetus of her grandson Conner had plastic tape wrapped around the neck and a large cut across the chest when he was found in the shallow waters of San Francisco Bay last month.

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(Excerpt) Read more at modbee.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: avoidingchildsupport; baby; babyunborn; conner; deathpenaltytime; dontubelievemyalibi; getarope; ibefishing; laci; lacipeterson; smallbaby; smallchild; sonkiller; unborn; wifekiller
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To: WestCoastGal
I'm still not totally convinced of his guilt. It's unfortunate that case like this get tried in the media long before they reach a courtroom. Quitre frankly, I'm beginnig to dislike Laci's family as much as I dislike Scott's - it's tragic under the circumstances, that what we are seeing is the worst coming out in everyone involved... not just one side...
21 posted on 05/31/2003 9:10:37 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks (A blind man received a cheese grater as a gift - said it was the most violent thing he had ever read)
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To: clouda
yeeeehaw C.... thank you.....
22 posted on 05/31/2003 9:10:46 AM PDT by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
I seriously doubt there's any forensic evidence whatsoever that Laci was killed in the house, because the police & prosecutors have not behaved all along as one would expect were such evidence present. Of course, I personally doubt that Scott Peterson killed Laci Peterson (though I also think he was...how should I put it...less than distraught at her disappearance). Having said all that, I really don't care either way - it's just one more murder amongst thousands...
23 posted on 05/31/2003 9:12:23 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: Chad Fairbanks
and is a civil matter... not criminal... (as the DA puts it....;o))
24 posted on 05/31/2003 9:13:25 AM PDT by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Ditto your post #21..
25 posted on 05/31/2003 9:13:53 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: clouda
clouda, these people are just sick...and did you notice that Lee had to give a little jab at Nancy too? I'm convinced he hates women.
26 posted on 05/31/2003 9:14:18 AM PDT by Jackie-O
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To: AntiGuv
Yeah, just one more murder - why the media latches onto one case like a pitbull, I can't fathom... As I said earlier, all we end up seeing of those involved is their 'worst side', and I think it's tragic that the whole nation is watching two families implode publically...
27 posted on 05/31/2003 9:14:37 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks (A blind man received a cheese grater as a gift - said it was the most violent thing he had ever read)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Yes right now it's Scott's house, certainly not Jackie P's.
And if he is convicted, if I understand correctly, it will belong to Sharon Rocha in the end.
28 posted on 05/31/2003 9:16:49 AM PDT by Jackie-O
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To: runningbear
Geragos and the Peterson's are making a huge PR mistake.
29 posted on 05/31/2003 9:17:29 AM PDT by WellsFargo94
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To: Jackie-O
In the end, sure, IF he's convicted - as far as I know, he hasn't been convicted yet, except in the media, and by many here...
30 posted on 05/31/2003 9:17:55 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks (A blind man received a cheese grater as a gift - said it was the most violent thing he had ever read)
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To: runningbear
Okay, someone needs to bitch-slap Jackie Peterson NOW. Did I read that correctly her saying "our house." Hmmm.. note to Jackie-It's Scott and LACI'S house.
31 posted on 05/31/2003 9:17:57 AM PDT by Lanza
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To: OREALLY
I don't think the Petersons are winning the PR game at all. If anything, they just made themselves slimed in mud on the face, against the victim's mother and family. The Peterson's are a bunch of hypocrites! And I hope they get the pants sued off them from the Rocha's in a wrongful death suit after scaughty's trial is over! Justice will be completely served then when justice stands before the victim's right, rather than the suspects disregards for human life.

(just my opinon on the matter)

32 posted on 05/31/2003 9:19:00 AM PDT by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
No, by law it's now SCOTT'S house. Which means that HE decides who has the right to go in, and who doesn't...

BINGO

33 posted on 05/31/2003 9:21:35 AM PDT by Drango (There are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those that understand binaries, and those that don't.)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Laci's family had no legal right to enter that home and start removing items...

No, but morally they do. If I had a son-in-law who murdered my daughter and grandson and subsequently found out that he was a total liar and deceiver I would feel compelled to do the same. The Rocha's tried the polite route, then the legal route, and when they started getting the famous Peterson/Geragos run around and lies they took matters into their own hands.

34 posted on 05/31/2003 9:21:52 AM PDT by WellsFargo94
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To: Chad Fairbanks
"that what we are seeing is the worst coming out in everyone involved... not just one side..."

Why should this surprise anyone. Afterall, many families fight over possessions when a loved one dies. I've seen brothers and sisters take each other to court over stuff like this. It's really pathetic how a family can let material goods come between them. In this case however, one of their own is charged with murdering two of the loved ones. It would seem to me that even if Scaughty hadn't been charged with these murders, there still would have been problems between the two families, especially when it came to the Rochas getting back what they felt was Laci's. More than likely, this all would have landed in a courtroom anyway.

35 posted on 05/31/2003 9:22:11 AM PDT by mass55th
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To: Jackie-O
They all are... pathatic creatures they are...
36 posted on 05/31/2003 9:23:30 AM PDT by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
"I'm still not totally convinced of his guilt."

Were you also not totally convinced of David Westerfield's guilt?

37 posted on 05/31/2003 9:24:05 AM PDT by mass55th
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Yes, I did say IF.
38 posted on 05/31/2003 9:25:10 AM PDT by Jackie-O
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To: WellsFargo94
The Rocha's tried the polite route, then the legal route, and when they started getting the famous Peterson/Geragos run around and lies they took matters into their own hands.

Seems to me that the Rochas didn't want to wait - they had an agreement they were to abide by, and they broke that agreement. If anyone looks bad out of this, it is the Rochas...

39 posted on 05/31/2003 9:25:33 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks (A blind man received a cheese grater as a gift - said it was the most violent thing he had ever read)
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To: runningbear
Agree,rb! And this is a civil and moral issue..very sad.
40 posted on 05/31/2003 9:27:21 AM PDT by Jackie-O
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