updated 8/12/2004 9:31:05 AM ET 2004-08-12T13:31:05

Guest: Dean Johnson, Roy Black, Leslie Crocker Snyder

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, live from Redwood City, California, Amber Frey back on the witness stand, as jurors hear her emotional phone calls with Scott Peterson. 

ABRAMS (voice-over):  It was just days after Amber discovered Scott was married and that his pregnant wife was missing.  And while Scott pretends he‘s spending New Year‘s in Paris, Amber‘s pretending she doesn‘t know he is lying and yet both end up in tears.  I was inside the courtroom. 

Plus, another bombshell in the Kobe Bryant case.  Just hours after the alleged victim files a civil case, prosecutors ask the court to delay the criminal trial indefinitely.  Could this be their exit strategy? 

The program about justice starts now. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Hi everyone.  First up on the docket tonight, day two of Amber Frey‘s testimony involved audiotape after audiotape of what sounded like the loving couple on the phone.  In reality, both were lying while she secretly recorded the calls.  These coming only days after she‘d called police, and a day after Scott Peterson had been to Laci‘s vigil. 

Now these were not Academy Award level performances.  Both Scott and Amber did manage to stay in character, though, and stick to their lines.  Scott‘s role—the romantic bachelor, world traveling fertilizing salesman who is falling in love with Amber.  He called her sweetie.  Told her, “we could be wonderful together for the rest of our lives” and described the mad scene at New Year‘s near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  All of this, of course, while he was just up the road in Modesto after appearing at a vigil for his wife. 

And Amber, she cutesy-poohed her way through a series of leading questions about future plans and their relationship, asking him if he wanted to be together, teasing him over a New Year‘s resolution, playing along with a lie that he was really in Paris, while saying she was just waiting, anticipating the day when they would be together again.  Of course, at this point, she knew he was a two-timing liar who had a less than stellar alibi in connection with his wife‘s disappearance. 

“My take”—while Amber will be questioned about her “act” here, in the end it is his wife who is missing.  I care very little about her credibility.  He is offering up the fact that he doesn‘t really want kids, saying he wants to be with Amber, and is continuing this ruse in the days when he should be panicked about his missing pregnant wife.  The defense argument that this was just a man after sex rings hollow when he is talking this way in the week or so after his wife—quote—“disappeared.”

Let‘s bring in our all-star legal team today—criminal defense attorney and NBC News analyst Roy Black, retired New York State Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder and in the courtroom with me today, former San Mateo County prosecutor, Dean Johnson.  All right, as we‘re going to every day, let me just run it by Dean real quick because Dean and I were both inside the courtroom.  Headline from today‘s testimony. 

DEAN JOHNSON, FMR. SAN MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR:  The jury‘s reaction to the fact Scott Peterson is a very skillful liar.

ABRAMS:  What did you think their reaction was?  And I saw them looking at Scott, but the woman next to me thought they were scowling at him.  Did you see that? 

JOHNSON:  I saw that. 

ABRAMS:  Really?

JOHNSON:  There was at least one or two jurors there that are looking at Scott Peterson like he is a dead bug on a dinner plate.  They don‘t like him but they don‘t know what to do with him.  They do not like the fact that he has manipulated Amber Frey.  He was so good at these lies that sometimes he even had to correct Amber.  She would start talking about Paris and he would say—oh, no, honey, I‘m in Brussels now...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

JOHNSON:  ... and he was in Modesto all the time. 

ABRAMS:  I know—a dead bug on a dinner plate.  I want to throw it away.  I know what to do with it.  All right, before I go to Roy Black, let me read you—this is number one here—what was said in court today.  Scott Peterson‘s talking about the time he wants to spend with Amber‘s child.  And I think this was one of the most incriminating parts for Scott Peterson, in terms of disproving that this was not just some sort of fling, but that he actually liked her. 

Peterson:  You know in my mind we could be wonderful together and I could care for you in any and every way for the rest of our lives.  I think we‘d care for each other and Ayianna—that‘s her daughter—and you know we could fulfill each other. 

What and Ayianna what?

We together could care for her and you know raise Ayianna.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE)

And we could fulfill each other you know forever.

Roy Black, if this guy is just out for sex, he had sex with her the first night he went out with her.  His wife is now missing for days.  He does not need to talk about how much he wants to help in bringing up her daughter. 

ROY BLACK, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  No Dan, this paints a pretty ugly portrait.  And the real problem here, the problem that Geragos has to confront is not the credibility so much of Amber Frey, but it‘s his own client‘s words.  That‘s going to be very difficult to overcome.  And let‘s face it, this is a pretty ugly, ugly portrait. 

But you used the word incriminating.  I don‘t see this as particularly incriminating.  It proves he‘s a liar.  Perhaps he has a motive.  But you know you still have got to look for the evidence that he killed his wife.  I mean that‘s incriminating. 

ABRAMS:  But what‘s his motive?  I mean is his motive to sleep with the woman that he slept with on the first date so he needs to get involved with her child‘s life? 

BLACK:  Well, of course he‘s certainly embellishing here.  Who knows what was in his mind about his relationship with Amber Frey.  But obviously he was fantasizing about a far greater relationship than anyone has discussed before.  And, of course, that‘s disturbing because he‘s a married man.  And certainly...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  ... more disturbing that his wife is missing at the time.  But incriminating...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

BLACK:  ... I don‘t know if it goes quite that far. 

ABRAMS:  I‘m going to continue.  Amber Frey says and it‘s just, you know, I‘m just waiting and anticipating the day that I get to you know see you again.

Peterson:  Oh how sweet.  Thank you.  I feel the same way.  Obviously you know that.

Frey:  What?  What?

Peterson:  Obviously I feel the same way.  I felt that the day I had to drive away and go on this trip. 

Of course, it‘s a nonexistent trip.  Judge Snyder, what do you make of it? 

LESLIE CROCKER SNYDER, FORMER NY STATE JUDGE:  Well you know the man is such a liar.  He‘s a sociopathic liar.  I don‘t—first of all, I don‘t think that anyone is going to believe anything he said to her.  Do you really believe that he couldn‘t wait to see her and that he necessarily wanted to lead this life together with her?  I think what‘s really incriminating, Roy, because you and I never agree completely on anything, but I think what‘s really incriminating is simply the fact he is talking this way, not necessarily truthfully, as close to, of course, what‘s going on in his own life.  That he‘s capable of these lies.  Both lies about his own real life and lies to her. 

ABRAMS:  And...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Roy, before you answer the question...

CROCKER SNYDER:  And you know what?  Wait.  One other thing...

ABRAMS:  Yes, go ahead.

CROCKER SNYDER:  I can‘t believe that any woman juror is not just absolutely insane at this point about how they feel about him. 

ABRAMS:  But Leslie, aren‘t the women tougher on women?  I‘ve got to tell you we‘re getting all of these e-mails of people criticizing Amber, saying, what was she doing sleeping with this guy on the first night...

CROCKER SNYDER:  Yes, yes, women...

ABRAMS:  ... why did she let him into her life so early...

CROCKER SNYDER:  You know I agree with you Dan.  Women can be very tough on other women.  I‘ve seen that in rape cases all too often, in prosecuting them.  However, I really think that this man is so much of a cad, which doesn‘t make him a murderer, but the entire complex of everything that‘s coming in, his sociopathic lies, his words about himself at this time of his life with his pregnant wife missing are such that there...

ABRAMS:  All right...

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... are very few women...

ABRAMS:  ... let me just read...

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... who are going to look at him...

ABRAMS:  ... what I think may have been the most incriminating point -

·         I‘m going to use that word again because I think this one is incriminating, Roy, and I‘ll throw it to you after I read it.  Scott Peterson says—and he is talking about contentious points, about some of the issues they might have in the future with regard to their relationship.

That would be you know a contentious point for you and we would see eye to eye on a lot of issues raising Ayianna and how you know would you accept our role of growing together and doing that.  You know, those and I can‘t think of other, but those are major, you know, thoughts.

Frey:  Well we haven‘t...

Peterson says and the fact that you want another child, he‘s saying is another problem.

Frey:  Which you don‘t?  Do you still feel that you‘re very adamant about not having another child?

Oh I wouldn‘t say adamant, but it‘s not in my thoughts currently.

How about that one, Roy?  His wife is pregnant.  Incriminating?

BLACK:  Well Dan, I would agree if this was a divorce case, this would be very incriminating.  But remember he‘s charged with murder.  If he said something about his wife or anything incriminating about having some assault on his wife or something like that, that would be incriminating.  That would be important evidence. 

And by the way, you know we‘ve talked about this before, why do they have a rape shield law in rape cases?  So women are not portrayed as sluts, and, therefore, people disregard what they say.  That‘s exactly what‘s happening here with this man.  They are portraying him as an ugly, ugly person...

(CROSSTALK)

CROCKER SNYDER:  Roy...

(CROSSTALK)

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... Roy...

(CROSSTALK)

CROCKER SNYDER:  Roy...

BLACK:  ... and one wonders why we‘re...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  ... allowing this type of character assassination. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  No, that is just not a fair analogy...

BLACK:  It‘s called a double standard. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  It‘s not an analogy at all because the rape shield...

BLACK:  No, it‘s a double standard. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... the rape shield standard doesn‘t protect you...

(CROSSTALK)

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... in this kind of situation at all.  I mean look—well I don‘t want to even talk about Kobe at this point. 

BLACK:  Well you just said that they had sex on the first night.  That sounds to me that‘s exactly what we exclude under the rape shield. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  We‘re not talking...

ABRAMS:  But who cares? 

CROCKER SNYDER:  We‘re not talking...

ABRAMS:  What relevance does that have to anything we are talking about? 

BLACK:  I would agree it has no relevance, so why are we addressing...

ABRAMS:  All right.

BLACK:  ... it into evidence? 

ABRAMS:  I‘ll tell you why.  Because the defense is going to try and suggest that this is a guy who just wanted to have sex with her.  And that‘s going to be their defense, then it‘s relevant.  Let me get Dean Johnson in this.

JOHNSON:  You know Roy, every day we come on here we discuss a different piece of evidence and we always hear the same thing.  Well this piece of evidence is not incriminating.  This is not incriminating.  You‘ve got to put this all together.  And remember, too, the statements we are hearing right now are really the best statements for Scott Peterson.

These are not the ones where he‘s been confronted with the fact that Amber knows that Laci is missing and he tries to explain that.  But what‘s real clear from this jury is that nobody would ever believe a word that Scott Peterson said.  He‘s going—his credibility is going to be assessed in the interviews with Diane Sawyer, Gloria Gomez.  They‘re not going to believe a word he says...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got to take a break...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  To answer that question...

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  Can I just have one second?  Perhaps incriminating means something different in California than it does on the East Coast. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  Oh come on Roy...

BLACK:  This obviously goes to his credibility that he‘s a liar.  But this does not incriminate him...

CROCKER SNYDER:  It goes to his state of mind...

BLACK:  ... in killing his wife. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  It goes to...

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got...

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... a state of mind. 

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got to take a break here.  But on the way out, I want to read you my favorite line of the day.  Scott Peterson is in tears when he‘s talking to Amber Frey.  He says you‘re so special.  Now I want you to go back to that party and sing.

We‘re going to take a break.  Roy, Leslie and Dean stay with us. 

Coming up, Amber the actress.  Don‘t forget she was lying a lot during much of these phone calls, trying to convince Scott that she really believed he was in Paris.  What will that mean when Mark Geragos gets his chance to cross-examine her? 

Plus, the father of Kobe Bryant‘s accuser speaking out, chastising the judge who‘s presiding over the Bryant case.  It‘s a story you‘re only going to hear about again on this program.  This as prosecutors ask the judge to delay the trial indefinitely.  What is going on?

Stick around.  Your e-mails, abramsreport@msnbc.com.  I respond at the end of the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up—more details from those phone calls between Scott Peterson and Amber Frey.  Remember, yes, he was lying but she was lying too.  Is that going to come back to haunt her?  We‘ll talk about it, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY‘S ATTORNEY:  The reason that Amber is relevant, that the prosecution argues, that she supports a motive for murder.  What would be the motive?  It would be to have a future with Amber.  It—I don‘t think anyone said the motive, but a motive. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  All right that‘s Gloria Allred, as you probably know, the attorney for Amber Frey, talking about the significance of her testimony.  We have been talking about the fact that Scott Peterson is just telling all of these lies, pretending he is in Paris, talking about the Eiffel Tower and how there are all of these people out there, making it all up.  This only hours after he had gone to his wife‘s vigil. 

But there‘s another side to this.  And that is that Amber Frey is lying on this tape, too.  She now knows that Peterson is lying.  She is now recording these phone calls in conjunction with the authorities.  Let me read you some of what I think are the statements that she makes that are clearly her effort to elicit information from Scott Peterson. 

Frey says you know that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Peterson says right, right.

Frey says you know I‘ve really been thinking about that because that‘s been, you know, people have said that so many times and it‘s hard for me to understand that and it‘s just amazing and it‘s hard for me to understand that it‘s just amazing and incredible how you know that it‘s so true because I just miss you so much and I wish you were here and you know I could be with you.

And now let‘s go on to number 12 on our list.  Frey says you were saying that there are so many things you thought about us, but you haven‘t shared them with me.  Why can‘t you share them to me on the phone?  

Judge Snyder, what do you think?  I mean is this stuff that‘s going to be used against Amber Frey later? 

CROCKER SNYDER:  Well I don‘t know what Geragos‘ tact is going to be.  I mean he may very well try to treat her somewhat gently.  I‘m really not sure.  But I feel this way myself—so what if she is trying to elicit information?  So what?  She is working with the police. 

She is not putting words in his mouth.  And this is what we want to know.  We want to know what he‘s going to say, but he‘s very clever.  And she‘s only getting things that are circumstantially incriminating.  And I think they are, Roy, because they reflect on his state of mind.  He couldn‘t care less about his missing wife and his missing almost kid. 

BLACK:  Well Leslie...

CROCKER SNYDER:  So...

BLACK:  ... Leslie remember...

ABRAMS:  Go ahead Roy.

BLACK:  ... in a murder case the state of mind that‘s required is called premeditation, which is evidence that you‘re planning to kill somebody, not evidence you‘re trying to sleep with somebody. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  Well I think there‘s a lot more here than evidence he‘s trying to sleep with somebody.  As Dan brought out, “A”, he has already slept with her.  “B”, who can believe his B.S. about the fact that he wants a permanent relationship with her?  Here‘s a guy who doesn‘t probably want to have any kids or any more kids?  Would he really want to bring up her child, who knows?  But the point is that he wants to be free.  He wants to be free and he‘s obviously very happy that his wife is no longer around and not at all concerned about where she is. 

ABRAMS:  All right, let me go it Dean Johnson.  Dean, again, another effort here.  I‘m going to read another one of Amber‘s efforts to get Scott to talk.

So, how would you feel about meeting Ayianna‘s grandparents?  This is her daughter.  That would be incredible.  I mean why would I—I mean not my parents, Ayianna‘s, her father‘s grandparents. 

Peterson:  Yes, of course.  I mean...

What was that?

Of course, I‘d be interested in meeting them. 

You know I think that Geragos is going to go after her as a mother, too.  I think he‘s going to say, you know suggest that she is allowing this person she doesn‘t even know into her life with her child after one date, et cetera.  Is that the sort of attack you think he may wage? 

JOHNSON:  I don‘t think so.  I think the more credible Amber Frey becomes, and she is a very credible witness at this point, the less Geragos is going to risk attacking her character, bring in the nudie photographs, talk about she is a bad mother, do any sort of that character assassination.  If he‘s smart he‘s going to narrow it down.  He‘s got two important points—one that she is working with the police.  And two, that she‘s a spurned lover and therefore probably bias.  But beyond that I think...

ABRAMS:  I don‘t know...

JOHNSON:  ... he‘s got to be very careful... 

ABRAMS:  Roy, if they just let Amber Frey‘s testimony go relatively unchallenged, I think that‘s going to be a potential problem for the defense. 

BLACK:  Well I think they have to do something here because this is very damaging testimony.  But I disagree.  Everybody keeps saying she‘s such a credible witness.  That‘s not the issue.  What‘s credible is the tape recordings of Scott Peterson.  It‘s Scott Peterson‘s own words that are the real problem.  It‘s not any great credibility by Amber Frey because what does she testify to?  She is up there just as a vehicle to introduce the tape recordings of Scott Peterson.  And that‘s the problem that Geragos has...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  How do you overcome that? 

CROCKER SNYDER:  You know Roy...

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON:  Roy, I disagree with you on that. 

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON:  I think Amber Frey‘s credibility is important.  When you have got somebody who is working with the police to do recorded phone calls, if there‘s any suggestion that she is being manipulated by the police or she‘s trying to manipulate the suspect, extract things from him, she is putting on an act...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  But Dean...

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON:  ... that phone call becomes less valuable and that‘s why...

BLACK:  Well...

JOHNSON:  ... her credibility...

BLACK:  Yes, but Dean, she didn‘t...

ABRAMS:  Let me take a quick break here...

BLACK:  ... manipulate him into saying he was in Paris or he was in Brussels...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  I mean you know...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  All right, let me take...

JOHNSON:  That‘s why I said if...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... let me take a quick break here. 

JOHNSON:  That‘s why I said if...

ABRAMS:  When we come back, we‘re going to talk about Scott Peterson sounded at one point like he was trying to sort of back out of their relationship in a way.  We‘ll talk about that. 

And still ahead we are learning in these phone calls about Scott‘s lies and what were the signs of violent behavior.  He threatened to kill a dog and he said it with just like “kill” kind of thing.  Kind of thing—does that matter?

Later, the father of the accuser in the Kobe Bryant case breaks his silence.  It‘s another exclusive you‘re going to see only here on the program about justice.  This coming on the same day when prosecutors ask the court to delay the trial.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  This is one of the lovey-dovey photos that the prosecutors admitted into evidence of Amber Frey and Scott Peterson on one of the days in December when their relationship was blossoming and they were at a party together.  I believe this was on the 11th of December, but I don‘t remember exactly because that came in yesterday. 

One of the points, though, that—again we have been listening to audiotapes all day of Scott and Amber secretly made by Amber Frey.  And it sounded at one point like Scott Peterson in a way was trying to get out of the relationship, or at least leave it open as a possibility after telling her how much he cared for her and this and that. 

Peterson says you know on the one hand, you know, I think we have a connection about you know, my, you know 95 percent of me that I guess the romantic and diehard just see wonderful possibilities.  Unfortunately, you know, five percent of me, you know, has questions.

And then he goes on to talk about the fact that, you know, he doesn‘t like to go to church and she does.  And then she brings up the fact that he doesn‘t want to have another child.  That being another one of these things.  Roy Black, any of this of significance? 

BLACK:  No, Dan.  I don‘t find any of his conversations particularly significant except to show that this man is one of the most manipulative you will find.  He‘s obviously a liar.  He‘s obviously cheating on his wife, wants to have a long-term affair with this woman or at least that‘s the way he‘s talking.  I don‘t think we can put...

ABRAMS:  But Roy...

BLACK:  ... a lot of credence in that. 

ABRAMS:  But Roy, what about—I mean it‘s not quite consciousness of guilt and let me throw this one to Dean, but you know it is a guy who has just gone to a vigil for his wife.  His pregnant wife is missing and has been missing for the last week and he‘s talking to his girlfriend numerous times a day. 

JOHNSON:  Sure.  It‘s like anything else in this case.  If you take it by itself, it may not be all of that significant but you put it in context.  What Scott Peterson saw here is what we are seeing now.  He has two parallel lifelines that are going along.  One in Fresno, and one in Modesto.  They are about to collide, and that‘s what‘s difficult for him.  It‘s no surprise that he is trying to back his way out of both of them. 

ABRAMS:  Leslie, did you want in? 

CROCKER SNYDER:  Yes, I just want to say this.  What worries me about Roy‘s point, which I unfortunately I have to agree with to a great extent, which is that only what Scott said is really important, is that no matter what Geragos does with Amber, and I‘m not sure what his tact will be, Scott‘s words remain important assuming that the prosecution is able to rub that in the jury‘s face.  The prosecutor—a competent prosecutor is going to take everything that Scott said—and I think some of it certainly is incriminating in the entire context.  But I‘m not sure this prosecution team can do that based on what we have seen. 

ABRAMS:  Well that‘s a separate question, I will tell you that.  And I know Dean agrees that this is a prosecution team that is either not on its game or has no game. 

Roy, Leslie, Dean, stick around.  Hang on.  We will be back.  We‘ve got more.  We got—and the next topic is a very interesting one because you know the jurors have heard about Scott Peterson‘s lies from a lot of witnesses as the trial began, but for the first time they heard him today lie in his own words.  But they also heard him get kind of angry. 

I don‘t know.  Maybe we‘re reading too much into it.  But he‘s talking about killing a dog, supposedly, where he is in Paris.  He‘s not even in Paris, but he‘s angry about it.  Is that relevant? 

And another big development in the Kobe Bryant case.  Prosecutors asking the court to delay the criminal trial.  This coming just hours after the alleged victim filed a civil case.

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  I will read them at the end of the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up—more details of those audiotaped conversations between Amber Frey and Scott Peterson.  And the father of Kobe Bryant‘s accuser lashes out at the judge presiding over the case.  It‘s a story you‘re only going to see on the program about justice, but first the headlines. 

(NEWS BREAK)

ABRAMS:  We are back.  I was inside the courtroom again for day two of Amber Frey on the witness stand.  We heard some of the phone conversations Frey secretly recorded after discovering that her boyfriend was the Scott Peterson of Modesto, husband of missing pregnant Laci Peterson.  He was lying to his girlfriend about being a traveling salesman who was working in Europe.  He has lied about a whole lot of things. 

But you know there was one audiotape they played that didn‘t seem to me to be particularly relevant except that there was one section in there where he is talking about, he pretends he‘s in Paris, all right, and here‘s what he says.

He says last night, well this morning, too, there is this—and he uses an expletive—dog next to this hotel. 

Frey says this what?

Peterson says this dog that just keeps barking. 

Frey:  Really?

Peterson says I want to kill it and he says it like that. 

All right, so Dean Johnson, this is a sort of thing where as a legal matter I know it doesn‘t matter.  But as a practical matter, does it change anything for the jurors that they hear him using the word kill in a sort of aggressive way, even if it‘s towards a dog? 

JOHNSON:  No, I don‘t think so.  There‘s so much evidence in this case, that‘s going to be forgotten by the jurors.  Anybody who tries to argue that, I think it will be clear that they‘re grasping at stars.  One thing that Scott does have going for him is he has no real history of violence.  He is apparently not a violent person.  And remember, he‘s a dog owner too and as far as we know...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  I‘m sure everyone else...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  I‘m sure both of you agree on that.  So...

CROCKER SNYDER:  Yes. 

ABRAMS:  ... let me read another section here—this is number five -

·         of Scott Peterson talking about his sort of diatribe about how he feels about Amber and her daughter Ayianna. 

I have to tell you exactly the way I feel, you know, how much my thoughts of you.  I wish I were with her, you know, and I want to spend time with Amber and Ayianna or you know everything from just because of your soft words, to laugh with the two of you.  To see Ayianna string her words together.  You know, to hear Ayianna put her words together in a sentence. 

You know, small wonderful things to see and you do your hair --  and Leslie is laughing already --  or try to wash your hair in the shower or you know, just you know taking you girls out somewhere, you know, or picking Ayianna up and you know bringing a glass of orange juice or the paper to bed in the morning.  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) all these things are just so much in my thoughts.

Leslie, your thoughts.

CROCKER SNYDER:  Well you read that so well Dan.  I wonder if you‘ve had a lot of experience...

(LAUGHTER)

ABRAMS:  Yes, so you know...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  ... yes, yes...

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... my main reaction is I want to vomit frankly and I think all of this—you put it all together, you put it all in context if you‘re a decent prosecutor and it all is just one little—not very significant thing per se—but it all adds up.  In this case...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Roy...

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... who knows what to expect.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Roy, do you think the defense should back off the claim that somehow this was just a fling?  I mean do you think that they should accept the fact that Scott Peterson really cared about Amber? 

BLACK:  You know that‘s a very hard question to answer because I don‘t know what was in Scott Peterson‘s mind and I assume Geragos has talked to him about this.  But you know one thing I wanted to mention.  We‘re having a lot of fun here talking about the sex, the seduction, the lies and all of that. 

What I‘m waiting for is when they get to the tapes, when they admit or when he admits to her that he‘s married and his wife is missing, what does he say then?  Does he say anything that‘s genuinely incriminating like about the boat, about fishing, about wanting to divorce his wife, wanting to get rid of her?  See, that‘s the kind of thing that‘s incriminating.  All of this stuff you know makes him look bad.  He‘s obviously a liar. 

He‘s in the seductive phase.  We‘re having a lot of fun about it...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

BLACK:  ... but it‘s not really incriminating...

CROCKER SNYDER:  But Roy how can you say...

ABRAMS:  Leslie...

CROCKER SNYDER:  Roy...

ABRAMS:  Leslie go ahead.

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... it‘s not just that.  It‘s not just that.  I mean this talks about what‘s in his mind, his state of mind, his motive, his possible motive to want to be with Amber Frey.  I‘m not sure how much I believe that.  I mean it is very significant circumstantially, and this is a circumstantial case.  He doesn‘t give a damn about his missing wife or his kid.  He‘s not the least bit concerned.  I mean that is a piece of this picture.

BLACK:  Yes, but Leslie, he does have a motive to be with Amber Frey.  And most men understand quite clearly what that motive is.  And it doesn‘t necessarily have that much to do with his wife. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  Well no...

ABRAMS:  Let me—Dean Johnson—I have got to give Dean Johnson the final 15 seconds.  Go ahead.

JOHNSON:  Yes, you know Roy, you talk about a distinction between damaging and incriminating.  You admit that this testimony is damaging.  It is very damaging to Scott Peterson because nobody‘s ever going to believe what he says.  They know he is a very careful, very sophisticated, planned-out, premeditated liar...

ABRAMS:  He will not take the witness stand.  I promise you that.  Ladies and gentlemen, if Scott Peterson takes the witness stand I will issue a formal apology to all of my viewers for predicting this incorrectly.  

Dean Johnson, thanks very much. 

JOHNSON:  Thank you Dan.

ABRAMS:  Judge Snyder and Roy are going to stick around. 

Coming up, we‘re going to switch to the Kobe Bryant case.  Some big developments.  The prosecution now says it wants the trial, which was supposed to begin at the end of the month delayed.  Is this the beginning of an exit strategy?  I say yes.  Plus, a very angry letter from the young woman‘s father to the judge and he‘s angry at the judge.  We‘ve got it...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  We are back.  A lot of news to report to you in the Kobe Bryant case.  First, another exclusive.  We have learned that this weekend the alleged victim‘s father sent a scathing letter to the judge expressing his outrage at how the case has been handled so far. 

He writes—quote—“It has been painfully obvious that you—the judge—treat the defense as if they can do no wrong and the prosecution and my daughter‘s attorney as if you have something against them or this case.  Your inappropriate and continual jokes with Mr. Haddon—the defense attorney—on a matter so personal and traumatic to my family are insulting.  My family and I have lost trust that we can obtain a fair trial in your court.”

And today Eagle County prosecutors filed papers asking the judge to delay the case.  It was expected to start later this month.  Their request came the same day attorneys for the woman accusing Bryant filed paperwork to sue Bryant in civil court.  Prosecutors say the release of testimony from a closed-door hearing last month detailing some of the alleged victim‘s sexual history is going to hamper the ability to get her a fair trial. 

Quote—“There‘s an absence of balance in the information released.  The release of this information 28 days prior to trial will have the effect of tainting the jury pool and impact the ability of the prosecution to obtain a fair jury at this time.”

And we have just learned that prosecutors plan on appealing the judge‘s decision that allow the defense to ask the woman about who she had sex with in the 72 hours before her rape exam.  So, is this how the prosecution is going to back out of the case, by arguing that there‘s just no way to get a fair trial? 

“My take”—if the prosecution loses this appeal, the case is over.  If the appeals court agrees to hear it immediately, there will be a delay and prosecutors may still try to move forward.  But no question, this is the beginning of a possible exit strategy. 

Back with me our defense attorney Roy Black and former Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder.  All right, Roy, I assume you agree with me this is a possible exit strategy by the prosecutors.  But I have to tell you, I don‘t buy the argument that the reason that the prosecution needs this delay is because of this information being released.  I never accept the argument that you can‘t find an unbiased jury pool.  You know why?  Because I watched them find an unbiased jury pool in the O.J. Simpson civil case after everyone had watched the criminal case on TV. 

BLACK:  Well Dan, if—the prosecution is taking page out of many defendants, who argue that because there‘s so much adverse publicity prior to their trial, it‘s an unfair trial.  So it‘s just really ironic that the prosecution is now complaining.  Their big problem—and I‘ve read the testimony of Elizabeth Johnson that was released.  If you read that transcript, you can understand why they‘re trying to back out of this criminal case.  Because if the jury hears the evidence, you know the examination of the evidence that was collected at the rape exam, I will tell you this case is not going to be very good for the prosecution. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  Well you know...

ABRAMS:  See, Judge Snyder, I think that this is—they have to—the honest answer is, this is a weak case in the criminal court...

CROCKER SNYDER:  You know...

ABRAMS:  ... and I think that they are looking for an out, unless they can somehow prevent the defense from talking about her sexual activities in the 72 hours before a rape exam. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  Well I don‘t necessarily disagree with you.  But I think there are points to be made on the other side.  First of all, if they really wanted a way out, why don‘t they just dismiss it at this point and indicate she doesn‘t want to proceed, if that‘s the case.  She should go with the civil case. 

Maybe they are trying to save face.  But I think that what has happened in this case, which isn‘t directly the judge‘s fault, but in terms of all of this material being released accidentally—and let‘s assume that‘s the case—I‘m not so sure—is a travesty of justice and I don‘t blame the accuser‘s father.  But the prosecution makes several good points in their papers asking for a delay. 

The United States Supreme Court in the Sheppard and other cases have said that one of the ways to make sure that you do have a fair jury pool is to delay.  And the massive publicity that‘s come out because of these allegedly inadvertent releases has been so tainted against the prosecution, rightly or wrongly, but it‘s certainly been something that‘s a problem for them.  Plus they point out they have not had the opportunity to have experts of various kinds that they can‘t afford to hire in advance.  They need the judge‘s decision.  And those are...

(CROSSTALK)

CROCKER SNYDER:  ... I think, all potentially valid points. 

ABRAMS:  And I think that‘s a fair point.  Let me read from the motion on that issue.  The testimony received by this court regarding the mental health and drug and alcohol issues was extremely intrusive and personal to the victim.  Delayed rulings on these two issues have had a substantial impact on the victim‘s ability to anticipate and prepare her testimony for trial.

I mean that does seem to me like a legitimate reason to delay...

BLACK:  Dan...

ABRAMS:  ... the trial.  Roy, no? 

BLACK:  Not a chance.  This came out within days of the arrest.  This came out at the preliminary hearing. 

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  How many times did we hear about she attempted suicide, about drug use, about alcohol use...

CROCKER SNYDER:  But Roy...

BLACK:  All of this has been in the case for a long time...

(CROSSTALK)

CROCKER SNYDER:  But Roy, the judge hadn‘t ruled on it...

ABRAMS:  Right...

BLACK:  Well Leslie, they don‘t...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  In any criminal case, the judge doesn‘t rule on evidence until close to the trial, you have to prepare your case anticipating what the rulings are...

CROCKER SNYDER:  Well that‘s true as a...

BLACK:  You know how that works.

CROCKER SNYDER:  That‘s true as a general proposition, but it certainly doesn‘t answer their third point in the motion to delay, which is that the defense has not turned over the slides that they need to have their own expert examine them or so I understood their motion to contain...

ABRAMS:  But...

BLACK:  That would be a motion to compel evidence...

ABRAMS:  All right...

BLACK:  ... not a motion to continue the trial. 

ABRAMS:  Let‘s not get too detailed about these terms...

CROCKER SNYDER:  You know without getting too technical...

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Hang on.  Hang on.  Leslie, let‘s just get—I don‘t want to—that‘s just too inside baseball... 

CROCKER SNYDER:  OK.  All right.

ABRAMS:  ... some of these.  Let‘s talk about specifically—do you agree with me that this is probably a prosecution effort to begin backing out of this case?  Because if they don‘t win this appeal, you agree with me, do you not, that they are just going to say we can‘t move forward? 

CROCKER SNYDER:  I don‘t know for sure.  I think there‘s a good chance of that.  What concerns me much more—and this is not your point but just for one second—that I think the rape shield law and all rape shield laws have been totally eviscerated by this case, which is a terrible case for the prosecution, and which has really put alleged victims in a terrible position.  And they‘re not going to want to come forward.  This has been—the release of all of this information has been a disgrace. 

BLACK:  Dan, can I respond to that...

ABRAMS:  I think...

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  I think that‘s as close as I‘m going to get to Leslie saying yes, the prosecutors are probably going to drop this case...

CROCKER SNYDER:  Probably, maybe. 

BLACK:  Dan...

ABRAMS:  Yes.

BLACK:  ... what‘s obvious to me...

ABRAMS:  Go ahead, Roy. 

BLACK:  What‘s obvious to me is both the prosecution, the alleged victim and her father are setting up the judge as the fall guy.  They are going to say at the end of the day, we couldn‘t get a fair trial, all of these rulings are horrible, the inadvertent release of names—not of evidence, by the way, but her name—all of this has contributed...

CROCKER SNYDER:  Can I respond to that?

BLACK:  ... to our belief we don‘t get a fair trial and they are making the judge the fall guy here.  That‘s what‘s... 

CROCKER SNYDER:  Can I respond to that?  I think they are very angry and they‘re blaming the judge, which is not fair probably in this case, but they have a right to be angry because everything that‘s happened in this case, having nothing to do with the substantive rulings the way the defense attorney, Roy, yes, the defense attorney, deliberately dropped her name ebanisteria (ph) right from the beginning, constantly in the courtroom and the judge—that judge let her do it...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACK:  ... they were publicized.  It was never written about. 

CROCKER SNYDER:  The way all of the information has been “inadvertently”—in quotes—released.  Everything that‘s happened. 

(CROSSTALK)

CROCKER SNYDER:  Forget the judge‘s rulings.  That could be right or wrong.  We don‘t know all—everything that he heard.  I‘m talking about the way the trial has been conducted, not directly, necessarily...

ABRAMS:  All right...

BLACK:  But Leslie...

ABRAMS:  ... I‘ve got to...

BLACK:  ... what they‘re complaining about...

ABRAMS:  ... got to wrap it...

BLACK:  ... is Elizabeth Johnson‘s testimony.

ABRAMS:  All right.  All right.  I‘ve got to wrap it up.  You know sometimes I just need to shut up more, when I get guests this good, I‘ve just got to keep my mouth shut. 

Judge Snyder, Roy Black, thanks again...

CROCKER SNYDER:  Bye Roy.

ABRAMS:  ... for coming on the program. 

BLACK:  Thank you Dan.  Good-bye, Leslie. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Our own Jennifer London has just come out of court in the Scott Peterson case.  The case is adjourned for the day.  More of those audiotapes of Amber Frey and Scott Peterson.  What was said?  Jennifer will tell us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, last night and the night before I told you I feel sorry for Amber Frey.  Shocker—many of you sending some very angry e-mails to me.  That‘s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Court has just adjourned in the Scott Peterson case, and MSNBC‘s Jennifer London has been inside the courtroom listening to this final chapter of the day.  Jennifer, what do we hear? 

JENNIFER LONDON, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Dan, they played another tape.  And just let me—before I go into details of the tape, let me just point out that the jury‘s heard a lot of these taped conversations now, almost two days, and my sense is that they‘re getting—I don‘t know if I would say bored, but you kind of get the sense they‘ve had enough because nothing...

ABRAMS:  How can you get enough of Scott Peterson and Amber Frey‘s conversations? 

LONDON:   Well because in terms of what they‘re looking for, something incriminating from Peterson, they‘re not getting that.  We know he had a relationship with Amber.  We know he lied to Amber.  We know what he did to sweep her off her feet and we‘re not hearing anything incriminating about Laci yet and maybe that‘s to come.  But you have to wonder if they‘re just getting buried in the same stuff. 

Now that being said, the last tape they played was a lengthy tape.  Scott Peterson was very sort of touchy-feely on this tape, very talkative, more so than others.  At one point he says can I tell you how wonderful you are.  I think you‘re amazing.  He also says that he needs a bigger vocabulary to describe the words for Amber.  He says maybe I need a book or even a thesaurus to find the right words to describe you and this continues on.  They talk about what movies—one of the final things he says is that he‘s getting ready to go to Spain.  So he says I‘m going to have to start saying hola instead of bonjour.

ABRAMS:  All right.  All right, Jennifer London, thanks very much.  You know a lot of my women friends are saying to me, gosh, the same stuff that my husband or boyfriend says to me.  It‘s making them all nervous.  I don‘t know.  All right, thanks. 

LONDON:  You‘re welcome. 

ABRAMS:  My “Closing Argument”—the cheesy soap opera we listened to in the courtroom today at the Peterson case.  I say soap opera because both Scott Peterson and Amber Frey are role-playing and they‘re talking about their lives and they‘re lying.  And yet, there was still something authentic about it all. 

Peterson teary tells Amber how much he cares for her and how he just wants the best for her and that she‘s the only woman in his life.  While Amber plays the damsel in distress waiting for her man to come home from his fake trip to Europe, which of course she now knows is fake and now knows that his wife is missing under suspicious circumstances.  No question Scott‘s a better actor than Amber.  She sounds too cutesy, asking too many questions about issues they‘ve already discussed. 

He‘s smooth, seemingly sincere.  Even seems to be muffling the phone for that 1970‘s long distance effect.  The weird part is I believe some of the emotion we hear from both of them is real, just not for the reasons that they say.  Scott Peterson may have really cared about Amber Frey.  But he‘s probably crying as much about what has happened to Laci, even if he was responsible, as the same thing about Amber. 

She‘s much more emotional because she really is—let put it this way

·         Amber‘s tears are coming out when Scott is complimenting her.  And while Scott may have believed they were tears of gratitude, they‘re probably tears of disappointment, resentment and anger at the man she thought she loved.  It is a real-life soap opera with the actors playing themselves. 

All right, I‘ve had my say.  Now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”.  Yesterday, Amber Frey‘s first day on the witness stand and in my “Closing Argument” I said it was difficult not to feel sorry for Amber, after hearing the extent to which Peterson went to make Amber fall for him.  Plenty of e-mails about Amber. 

Robyn in Cincinnati, Ohio writes, “Scott Peterson is scum and deserves to pay for all the wrongs he has committed.  But I am tired of the poor Amber attitude.  Amber had sex with a man on her first date and immediately brought him into her child‘s life.  She knew Scott for a month, yet she already believed this was a serious long-term relationship.”

Oh, come on.  So you think a woman has sex with a man on the first date, therefore she deserves to be dragged through the mud in a double murder trial?  Come on.

Joan B. in Georgia.  “Amber was in love with Scott.  He knew her 30 days.  I don‘t feel sorry for Amber Frey and I‘m convinced that we will see a whole side of her when she‘s crossed by Mr. Peterson‘s attorney—a whole new side.”  

You know, OK, Joan, I‘m sure we will see another side of her.  But unless I believe she is lying, then I will continue to feel sorry for her. 

Pat Breslin in Clearwater, Florida.  “I respect her for what she is doing.  I‘m so afraid that the man is going to get away with this, but she‘s doing such a good job.”

Last night I said Scott was a—quote—“piece of work”.  That regardless of what you may think of the case, in reference to his romancing ways I was talking about. 

Dani in Soldotna (ph), Arkansas.  “Your coverage of the Scott Peterson made me giggle.  You appeared to be a tad bit envious of Mr. Peterson‘s suave, smooth, albeit conniving ways of romancing Amber Frey.  It really does seem as if you are inwardly thinking why didn‘t I ever think of that.”  Whatever Dani. 

Audrey Seilheimer from Kalamazoo, Michigan.  “Come on Dan.  Even if you are being sarcastic, it is in such bad taste for you to say you wish you knew Peterson when you were younger to get tips on how to hit on a woman.  This man is beyond a playboy or a cad.  He is evil and the lowest level of man alive, murderer or not.”

All right.  As if I didn‘t make that clear in everything I said in my “Closing Argument”, which was devoted to what an awful human being Scott Peterson is.  If you don‘t want me to have any fun when doing this show, then you—I don‘t know—you‘re probably not going to like this show, but I hope I can have just a little bit—look, I know this is serious. 

Finally, a question about how hard it may be for the parents of both Scott and Laci Peterson in that courtroom.  I‘ll tell you, Laci‘s family, this has got to be impossible for them. 

And Pat from California wants to know about Scott‘s parents.  “I continue to wonder how the parents of Scott Peterson can sit there day after day and continue to leave the courtroom believing that their son is innocent.”

I think a lot of people feel the same way, and yet, I can tell you I really believe that they think he really is innocent.  But I really feel for the Rocha family sitting inside that courtroom having to listen to the woman who was having an affair with their son-in-law, talking about all the details (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

All right.  That‘s it.  There‘s the e-mail address. 

“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews up next.  I‘ll be here again tomorrow.  See you then.

END   

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