Scott Peterson will stand trial on two counts of murder for the death of his wife Laci Peterson and her unborn son, charges that could bring the death penalty, a judge ruled Tuesday.
STANISLAUS COUNTY Superior Court Judge Al Girolami said prosecutors presented enough evidence over 11 days of testimony to show probable cause that Peterson killed his pregnant wife and dumped her body in San Francisco Bay.
Prosecutors presented a loose-knit web of circumstantial evidence that pointed toward Peterson from the moment he phoned his in-laws after returning home from an impromptu fishing trip on Christmas Eve last year.
The remains of his wife and her unborn son washed ashore in April about three miles from where Scott Peterson said he was fishing.
The defense contends that police suffered from tunnel vision once they locked their focus on Peterson.
The judge set an arraignment for Dec. 3 in Modesto.
A battle over a 6-inch strand of dark hair dominated the four weeks of testimony, with prosecutors winning the right to introduce DNA testimony linking the hair to Laci Peterson and connecting her to the boat prosecutors believe Scott Peterson used to ferry her to a watery grave.
On Tuesday, prosecutors presented their final two witnesses, investigators who said they had tracked Peterson’s cell phone calls on the day his wife disappeared and the more than 240 calls between Peterson and his mistress.
Peterson and Fresno massage therapist Amber Frey spoke as often as 16 times a day between Nov. 19 and Feb. 19, including Christmas Eve and Valentine’s Day, Stanislaus County investigator Steve Jacobson.
There were very few days when there weren’t calls between their phones, he said.
Modesto police Detective Jon Buehler said he plotted the cell phone calls that Peterson made on Dec. 24, tracking the calls by cell towers as Peterson traveled from Modesto to Berkeley and back.
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