Scott Peterson expresses sorrow for pregnant wife’s death

California

Scott Peterson listens to Stanislaus County Deputy District attorney Dave Harris speak during a hearing at the San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City, Calif., Dec. 8, 2021. (Pool photo / Andy Alfaro , The Modesto Bee)

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) — Scott Peterson was scorned by Laci’s family in court this week as an “evil,” “sociopathic,” remorseless killer who chose murder over divorce because he thought he could get away with it.

Peterson was re-sentenced to serve life in prison without possibility of parole for the murders of his pregnant wife, Laci, and unborn son, Connor. 

Peterson wanted to speak out publicly before he received a new prison sentence Wednesday, but at the last minute, Judge Anne Christine Massullo blocked him from saying anything in a San Mateo County courtroom. Massullo silenced Peterson because he may get a new murder trial.

Laci Peterson
Laci Peterson

The victim’s mother, Sharon Rocha, told Peterson, “Laci’s dead, Scott, because she loved you and trusted you. You betrayed her. You chose to get rid of her. You didn’t want a baby, nor the responsibility of being a father. You were afraid of being looked on as a failure.” 

Peterson has always maintained his innocence.

A crowd of reporters outside the courthouse asked defense attorney Pat Harris what message Peterson had hoped to give Laci’s family.

“One of the things the really upsets him is this concept that he did not want to have a child. They went to great lengths to have a child. They bought a house in Modesto for the sole purpose of starting a family. Despite what the prosecution says, there are a number of people who will testify about how excited he was,” Harris told reporters.

“He also wanted to reach out and tell the Rocha family that he understands their feelings, and he understands why they think he is guilty. But he wanted to make it clear that there is no way he could have possibly harmed Laci and Connor,” Harris said.

Laci’s family said Peterson chose to kill his wife because he had a new girlfriend, Amber Frey, and didn’t want to look like a cheater or “failure.”

Brent Rocha said his sister was, “a vibrant woman living life to the fullest as any 27-year-old woman would. When Scott’s girlfriend found out he was married, he implied his wife had died. Scott began plotting Laci’s murder.”

Amber Frey, a key witness in the Scott Peterson trial, makes a promotional appearance for her book, “Witness” on 10, 2005. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

In a recently-filed probation report, Peterson expressed sorrow over his wife’s death. 

Sharon Rocha told her former son-in-law, “I see no sorrow and no remorse from you at all. I miss my daughter, something that you obviously don’t You dumped her body in the bay like a piece of garbage.”

“On Dec. 14, you lied to Laci telling her you couldn’t go to the Christmas party. When in fact you drove to Fresno and went to a Christmas party with Amber,” Sharon Rocha told Peterson.

Laci was eight months pregnant and excited to become a first-time mother when she was murdered on Christmas Eve 2002 in Modesto. Peterson told police that he was not at home with his wife when she vanished because he had gone fishing in the San Francisco Bay. The bodies of Laci and her unborn son washed up in the bay months later.

Scott Peterson in court on Dec. 8, 2021. (Andy Alfaro/The Modesto Bee via AP, Pool)

Peterson’s mistress, Amber Frey, was mentioned several times times by prosecutors at the re-sentencing hearing. Frey became a police informant who recorded her phone conversations with Peterson to catch him lying about his wife while she was still missing. The jurors who convicted Peterson in 2004 said Frey’s testimony solidified their verdict.

Peterson’s supporters say yes, he was a liar and unfaithful, that doesn’t make him a murderer. 

His sister-in-law, Janey Peterson, told reporters, “The problem started when Laci went missing and the Modesto police did not follow up on sightings or evidence that she was alive. They focused strictly on my brother-in-law because he was having an affair.

“As you heard today in his sentencing hearing, you did not hear one detail about how this crime occurred. You heard details about my brother-in-law’s infidelity. And my brother-in-law ordering pornography. He is in prison for murdering his wife and unborn son. There is no forensic evidence, there is no timeline of this crime. Scott Peterson is innocent and we are trying to reverse (his conviction),” Janey Peterson said.

Scott Peterson served 17 years on death row in San Quentin State Prison before the California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence last year.

Scott Peterson will be back in court in February as he continues to fight for a new murder trial.

He claims he did not receive a fair trial because of a “stealth juror” who allegedly lied to be selected for the jury. Legal analysts said his defense team has built up a strong case exposing juror misconduct and believe he will likely be granted a retrial.

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