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Judge refuses 2nd move for Peterson trial

A California judge refused Tuesday a request by the defense team to move Scott Peterson’s murder trial again, this time to Los Angeles.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A judge Tuesday refused a request to move Scott Peterson’s murder trial again, dismissing warnings from the defense that an impartial jury cannot be found in this San Francisco suburb.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos wanted the case moved to Los Angeles, where he practices law. He acknowledged that doing so would be expensive and inconvenient but insisted it would cost less than retrying the case if a guilty verdict were overturned on appeal.

Judge Alfred A. Delucchi said he was confident Peterson could get a fair trial in Redwood City, about 40 miles from where the bodies of Peterson’s pregnant wife, Laci, and her child, washed ashore last year in San Francisco Bay.

“Mr. Peterson is not particularly well-known in San Mateo County,” the judge said. “He’s not a politician. ... He’s a fertilizer salesman who’s been accused of this crime. And there is no showing this case would receive less publicity in any other venue, let alone Los Angeles.”

In January, a judge in Modesto moved the case to Redwood City after concluding an impartial jury could not be seated in the couple’s hometown.

Peterson could get the death penalty if convicted. Jury selection has been going on more than two months. Opening statements are set for May 24.