Scott Peterson may receive a new trial, and his death penalty conviction has been overturned. His defense attorneys are preparing to take the case back to court in 2021 with new evidence.
They were granted 60 days for discovery in April 2021, and wrote in an appeal they can present testimony that someone else threatened Laci Peterson. The case was largely built on circumstantial evidence because the remains of the 28-year-old pregnant woman were found badly decomposed about four months after she died. You can read the appeal in full here. Peterson remains on death row in San Quentin prison, according to his prison records.
ABC 20/20 is revisiting the high-profile case with interviews with Scott Peterson himself and with Amber Frey. Peterson was having an affair with Frey. The new episode, “One Last Chance,” airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time Friday, May 14, 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Peterson Appeared in Court 2 Weeks Ago & a Former San Mateo, California Prosecutor Said the Evidence Presented for Peterson’s Conviction Was ‘Questionable’
It’s too soon to tell whether Scott Peterson will be granted a new trial on his conviction, but his attorneys are prepared with new evidence, they wrote in an appeal they filed in his case. The death penalty was overturned, and Peterson will face a new penalty phase of his trial.
Peterson appeared in court April 27, 2021, according to Kron 4. There, his attorneys were granted a 60-day extension for discovery. Dean Johnson, a former San Mateo prosecutor, told the news outlet in 2020. Johnson predicted Peterson would be granted a new trial.
“What you have to understand is, there is a whole new case out there to defend Scott Peterson,” Johnson said. “Most of the prosecution’s experts, their testimony is scientifically questionable. There is going to be a second Scott Peterson trial. What we don’t know is: Where it’s going to happen, and what the scope of that trial is going to be.”
Peterson’s Unknowing Mistress, Amber Frey, Is Prepared to Testify if He Is Granted a New Trial
Peterson’s unknowing mistress, Amber Frey, is prepared to take the stand again if Scott Peterson is granted a new trial, attorney Gloria Allred told KPIX in April 2021. Peterson was having an affair with Frey, but she testified he claimed he was single. When she learned his wife was missing, she called Modesto police to help them in their investigation.
“Amber has said the truth is the truth,” Allred told the news station. “So if, as, is when the court decides to grant habeas corpus petition to Scott Peterson and decided there should be a new trial — in otherwise not only on the death penalty phase but essentially the case in chief. The guilt phase. She’s willing to testify and she will testify.”
“Is she looking forward to it? No,” she continued. “Nobody is looking forward to being a witness to a high-profile case, but she will do it. And she knows it’s important to the cause of justice.”
Others who could testify in the case include a person who reported seeing Peterson alive after December 24, 2002, when prosecutors postulated Laci Peterson was already dead. Another person said he threatened Laci Peterson when she confronted him about burglarizing a nearby home, according to the appeal filed in his case.