Opening Statement for the Defendant
Guilt Phase: By Mark Geragos
June 2, 2004
JUDGE: This is the case of People versus Scott Peterson. Let the record show the defendant is present with counsel, and the jury is in the jury box along with the alternates. And to accommodate counsel, we have had the defense rearrange the flat screens so everybody has an opportunity to see what's going on. Hopefully the jury can see. You have one here and one over there. And then there is one there for the prosecutors, so, and I can avail myself of the one that's pointed this direction. Okay. We'll start out, Mr. Geragos. Go ahead.
GERAGOS: Yes, Judge. I'm going to need one second. The jury comes, we need to re-set-up. If I can borrow Mr. Naljian again.
Good morning. The opening statement is supposed to be a kind of road map, if you will. People often say preview of what the evidence is going to show. It's not supposed to be an argument. It's not supposed to kind spin your side of the case, or anything else. What we will do, and what we will show you in this case is what we believe a fair interpretation of the evidence is. And we will show you, I think, some of the holes, some of the problems that the evidence, at least as presented yesterday to you by the prosecution, I think will show that Scott is not only not guilty, but actually innocent.
One of the first things that I think that we have to address in this case is that, as you know, as the Judge read to you, he's charged with two counts of murder. He's not charged with abuse of Amber Frey. He's not charged with having an affair. In fact, I don't think there is going to be any dispute, and I asked, told most of you that he did have an affair.
There is, clearly you want to call him a cad, you want to say his behavior is boorish. We're not going to dispute that. But the fact of the matter is, is that this is a murder case, and there has to be evidence in a murder case. And I'm going to run through, if I could, with you what the prosecution's theory is as they told you yesterday, and then I'm going to also show you what the actual evidence is in this case so that you understand what we're dealing with here in a special circumstance murder case where they are seeking the death penalty.
Their first item, as you saw yesterday, they showed you the pictures of Amber and Scott, then they showed you the picture of Laci sitting in a chair, and contrasted the fact here is Laci by herself, and here is Amber with Scott, and Scott is looking like he's partying. The fair import of that is to get you to hate Scott and --
DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. This is argument.
JUDGE: Here we go, this is preliminary. Overruled.
GERAGOS: Thank you.
So the fact of the matter is, is that what their theory is, their motive for this crime is the affair with Amber. What they the haven't told you is that at the time that Scott supposedly makes the decision to kill Laci, he had had exactly two dates with Amber. And total, he had four dates. And the evidence is going to clearly show you that Amber was upset with Scott for not calling. She was upset with him for not giving her a Christmas gift. And she ends up calling sixteen times on December 26th.
Their theory would be that Scott didn't want to have a child, and didn't want to have, the evidence is going to show that he didn't want to have a child, that he didn't want to have a relationship, and that he was, therefore, going to chuck his entire life that he had built up with Laci for this woman that he had had two dates with so that he could come in with her built-in family, which is her then two-year-old child.
The next thing that they keep focusing on is that he went fishing on December 24th. But what you have to understand about that, understand what the evidence is actually going to show, when the police showed up that day --
Mr. Distaso went through this whole painting the picture of what happened. Come back to the house, or come over to the house, and the people were questioning him.
The fact of the matter is, the police did not believe that he had gone fishing. He was trying to prove to them that he had gone fishing. They didn't buy it. As early as 7:00 o'clock that night, you will hear witness after witness, police witness, tell you they, not for a minute believed that he went fishing. He was the one who is trying to prove that he was at the Berkeley Marina.
The interesting thing is that, you have heard this so many times that he went fishing on Christmas Eve.
Who goes fishing Christmas Eve with an eight-month-pregnant wife. He didn't go fishing Christmas Eve. Let's make that perfectly clear. He went fishing in the morning. He left the house some time between 9:30 and 10:00 o'clock. He had plans, and everybody will tell you this, to be back by 4:00 o'clock. And he was, in fact, back by 4:00 o'clock.
They had plans that evening to go over to Sharon's house for Christmas Eve.
Now, yesterday there was some statements that were made about Scott was not an avid fisherman. Well, this is just flat-out going to be contradicted by the evidence. I fact, does anybody remember yesterday, I don't have it on one of my screens, but they flashed up the nursery for Conner. Do you remember what the theme was of that nursery that, by the way, Scott built? The theme of that nursery was a nautical theme. He put that all together. He did it himself. He built that nursery, down to the life preserver, down to the blue paint, to the sailboats, to everything else. It was a total nautical theme. This man, Scott Peterson, has been an avid fisherman since he was three years old.
Now, he even, this is incredible to me, fished with Laci on their first date. Something else they didn't tell you about. That it's clearly a fact. In fact, at one point when they went sailing together on a catamaran, the catamaran went over, and Laci said never again, I'm not getting on another boat with you. But the idea that he was not an avid fisherman is just belied by what the evidence is going to show you.
The other thing that they don't tell you about, is clear in the discovery, is this was not his first boat. They make it seem, or the idea was, this timeline that Mr. Distaso was telling you yesterday, the timeline was Shawn Sibley phones him about the affair, and next thing you know, the guy goes out and buys a boat, as if that was some kind of a brainstorm that he just had. That was the fourth boat that he had owned. He has bought and sold boats his entire adult life.
Now, they also brought up the fact of that two-day fishing license that he bought. This is a two-day fishing license. And the import was, and I think Mr. Distaso told you that was December 20th he went to Big 5, he bought this two-day fishing license. What they don't tell you is that, in the search warrant, actually, they didn't even have to get the search warrant. When he let them search his car and search the house, guess what they found. They found other two-day fishing licenses. They have got them. They are in evidence you will see them here. This was not the first two-day fishing license he had ever bought. He had bought two-day fishing licenses in the past. He had some of them right there. They knew about it. And he also had a one-year fishing license. They know it, because it's in evidence.
Now, they also made much yesterday about this idea that Laci was not active. I don't know where that comes from, because clearly what the evidence is going to show, they have got reports, and they know about the witnesses. She was in a weekly yoga class. Every week right up in till the time that she disappears.
Now, you are going to hear testified, and I think Mr. Prosecutor referred to it yesterday how she had gone to Carmel. Remember, there was that timeline, and that Sharon had talked to her. And then some time shortly after Sharon talked to her she went up to Carmel? When they went up to Carmel, you will hear that she was walking up hills to the point where Jackie Peterson, Scott's mom, who wears the oxygen, has had lung problems, could not keep up with her, and she was walking actively. And that was within the week to ten days prior to her disappearance.
Now, you are also going to hear probably today --as long as I don't take the whole day talking, from Margarita Nava. She is the housekeeper who was there approximately four times. She would come every other week. She would come in the morning, I think it was on Mondays. She will tell you that on December 23rd that Laci left. Remember, this is when they are saying that she's apparently not active. She left and went to Trader Joe's, because she was having the entire family over for Christmas dinner. Everybody was coming to their house. She was doing the shopping. She had gone to Trader Joe's on the 23rd. She got six, five or six bags of groceries. Margarita will tell you when she comes and testifies today, Margarita didn't help her with the groceries. She hauled the groceries in herself into the house.
The other reason, just parenthetically, that that's interesting, is, remember yesterday you heard from the prosecutor that Scott, one of his lies, so to speak, was that Scott had described a Martha Stewart show, and that the Martha Stewart show about meringue. If you filled in, thi is in one of the things, Martha Stewart about the meringue played on the 23rd and not on the 24th. And that's what shows that Scott was lying. That's the linchpin to the prosecution case.
I, think in fact, if, may we have, the first that came out, as it was described yesterday, out of an interview with Officer Brocchini. Got the report? Do you want to come back to it? I'll come back to it.
So you have the unloading of the groceries. Now, let me tell you what else you have got. You have got many witnesses to her walking. And I'll get into that before we're done. But you are going to have a succession of witness who saw her walking, and saw her walking the dog. And she would tell people that she was walking the dog. And that's what she did for exercise. Laci was very concerned right at the end of the pregnancy, and, by the way, she was still only 32 weeks.
The day that she went on the 23rd to visit Doctor Yip. Doctor Yip, in their records marked down 32 weeks. That's exactly how pregnant she was. She wasn't eight and a half months pregnant. She was roughly under the lunar weeks, seven and a half months pregnant.
And she was walking. She was concerned about her weight. She was concerned about the swelling of her ankles. And she would walk because of that.
Now, there is also this idea that Scott wanted no children. And that's something that seems to be, the prosecution is fixing on. The fact of the matter is, is that he arranged his work schedule to improve the chances of the pregnancy. Laci had a very difficult time getting pregnant. She had her own medical issues. And it was such that she had to do, she had an ovulator predictor. She was taking pregnancy tests. And when she was ovulating, she would call up Scott and have him come over so that they could get pregnant.
There are numerous prosecution witnesses, it's replete through the discovery, who will tell you that Scott was excited. In fact, the prosecution will admit to you, and they are going to have witnesses up here, that one of the things they did is, they went to the doctor's office, and they, every single person there, they asked the nurse, they asked the doctor, they asked, was he there? Did he look okay? Was, did he look like he wasn't excited? Nobody said a word about it. The fact of the matter is, the evidence will show you, he went to every single appointment; and, as I indicated before, was excited enough that he was one who built personally built that nursery that you saw the pictures of yesterday.
Now, the police accuse Scott of lying and no cooperating. Kind of use this for the, as I indicated before, he has to convince the police he was at the marina. He's one who gives them that receipt. Remember the receipt that the prosecutor was holding up yesterday and showing to you? They didn't go and get that. That was receipt was given to them by Scott. He's the one who said here, here is the receipt. He provided that parking receipt.
And he also hired an investigator to go and search for witnesses that would have seen him at the boat launch, because, as you saw yesterday from that marina picture, as you are putting that boat into the water, it's, when you see this boat, my guess is we are going to have a jury view, and we'll go all out to the marina, you are going to be stunned by the fact that when you get over there, that when you are putting that boat into the water, there is no way that there is, if there is a pregnant dead woman with weights in it, that you would not see it.
In fact, those witnesses have been located. And witnesses who were there, who saw him put the boat into the water, were located. In fact, one of them remarked that he laughed at Scott, because he kind of hit one of the pylons there as he was trying to back it into the water, the boat into the water.
Now, this other idea of he immediately allowed the police to search his home and his warehouse on December 24th. Remember that. When the police came, he told them the last thing that he remembered about Laci, where he saw her last, what he saw about the dog. They also asked him, and I think it was in an interview with Brocchini, try this one more time, see if it works.
Okay, here is the interview that they are referring to. I don't know, I don't know what they have, because Brocchini is asking him, you didn't watch the whole thing? No. She showered. We were watching her favorite show, Martha Stewart. Didn't watch the whole thing? No. You remember what part you saw? I don't know. Some cookies of some sort. They were talk about what to do with meringue.
Okay, now, the next thing that happens is Brocchini reports the following day, he writes down Peterson remembered Martha Stewart was baking something with meringue. Next he said was baking something with meringue. I viewed the 12-24. Martha Stewart made lemon butter cookies. I find it suspicious she would, Peterson claimed to be watching Martha Stewart on 12-24. There is no meringue mentioned on the show on 12-24.
Next point, the Modesto PD at that point file a search warrant affidavit, under seal, specifically saying, under penalty of perjury, during Brocchini's interview, claimed he woke up, and watched the Martha Stewart show, according to Scott Peterson, it aired, and the day contains segment about meringue. We learned that the show was date sensitive. Has the dates as part of the program. He ordered, received and viewed it. The meringue segment is included on December 23rd, but is not mentioned on December 24.
Can you play the December 24 segment?
Paris research for book, thatís for you, thank you just going to because we are going to do the egg white story, oh we are going to do meringues? Oh that would be nice.
<end of recording>
GERAGOS: I played it twice just to make sure Modesto PD could hear it this time.
Now, the fact of the matter is, that was the basis for the search warrant to put in the trackers, and to tap his phones, because he has lied about the meringue. Somebody --and it was Brocchini, had said that he watched the tape. It mentioned nothing about meringue either. Meringue was the 23rd. By the way, you will see the 23rd there is a segment on meringue on the 23rd also.
But this guy just went through, blatantly refused to listen or watch the tape, or something more sinister, and puts in, and Jacobson puts that into a search warrant affidavit that he swears under penalty of perjury to give to a Judge to incriminate my client.
And this isn't the only time that that's going to happen. I can sit up here for eight hours and go through every single piece of evidence. My feeling is that it might make more sense for us to do it on the witness stand. And that's what we plan on doing here.
Now, they are going to talk about where he submitted to the interviews. Remember, he took them immediately to the warehouse and showed them the boat. He didn't hide the boat. He told them that he had the boat. For some reason they just gloss over that. He allowed them to search the warehouse. He allowed them to search the house. He sat down, and he went driving around with Brocchini, that would leave his book in one spot, his keys in another, while Scott wants to go look for Laci and still heĎs cooperative, up until the time that the search warrants are executed in his house.
They come back on the 26th after he lets them have free rein of the house. They basically kicked him out of the house. He goes outside. They tell him to wait there. He goes with Brocchini. They come back on the 26th. They search the house, they search the warehouse again. You have heard a lot about that, the searches.
The searches produce, I can't even tell you how many bags of evidence, probably one hundred bags of evidence out of that house, probably sixty bags of evidence out of that warehouse. And all of the things that were contained inside, the clothing, the boat, the pliers, everything else. And literally what I'm holding in my hand are the Department of Justice test reports for all of those searches. Everything. This is it. They went through, they tested everything.
Do you want to know something? What they got out of all those tests? Zip. Nothing. Nada. Not a thing.
It's one of the reasons that you didn't hear yesterday any scientific evidence. They would have you believe that the evidence will show that my client, Scott Peterson, supposedly killed Laci. Well, where? Certainly there was no evidence in the house.
The search --
JUDGE: Mr. Geragos, you are getting into argument in my opinion.
GERAGOS: The search on the 26th was not just conducted by Modesto PD. The search on the 26th, believe it or not, they were accompanied by the FBI. The FBI brought in their crack team of forensic people to search that house. They Luminaled that house. They took into possession everything in that house that had anything, any conceivable relevance. They went through that house with techs from the Modesto PD, from the FBI. They looked through everything. They looked for blood splatter. They looked for any kind of excretions that would have been consistent with her death occurring in that house, and they found, Department of Justice found zip, nothing. Not one thing.
They went to the warehouse. In the warehouse. They seized the, oh, by the way, let me go back to the house. You know that tarp and the boat cover that you saw yesterday? Were tested. Zip, nada, nothing. Nothing. No blood, none of Laci's hair, none of Laci's excrements. Nothing. It was absolutely nothing on any item.
So they went to the warehouse where they found the boat. They retested this boat again, just within the last month, and guess what they came up with? Nothing. Absolutely nothing that points towards Scott Peterson. Not one scintilla of evidence in that boat. They didn't find any blood. They found fish emulsion in the boat. They found some hairs and fibers that weren't his. They found other things that had nothing to do with Laci or Scott. But they found nothing to show that Laci was in that boat, save one hair on a pliers, supposedly on the 26th when Brocchini finds it. We'll talk about that.
They then go on a, literally, a mission to test virtually everything that he they can think of. And they test tarps. They test clothes. They test socks. They test every duct tape, and they find absolutely nothing. Not one thing that links Scott Peterson to Laci's death. And the reason is, because there was no link.
Now, the next thing that they spent lots of time on yesterday is that he went to the marina five times. Okay? Remember that, the five times that he came back on various days? Now, I'm going to show you in a second on the board --give Mr. Naljian a chance to catch up, that he had gone, and you will see specifically to the marina on each of those occasions, because he was told, or read that they were searching for Laci. Okay every single time. We will show you that.
On here, the first visit, January 5th of 03. What was that link to, Mr. Naljian, do you have it there? January shows, my eyes, third article, Divers Searching the waters near Berkeley. Marina. What does he do? He goes up to the marina. He's also got the double motive. He'd like to find the two witnesses who saw him put the boat in the water. So that's one of the reasons he drives around looking through the parking lots, and everything else. There is nothing sinister about it. He's driving around to see if he can find the two workers who saw him put the boat into the water.
And he's got pretty good reason to, because the Modesto Bee has just put the divers are searching the waters. Goes back to the second day, immediately after a Modesto Bee article that says dogs and divers go to work in San Francisco Bay. He goes back up again, does the exact same thing to see if they are out there searching, and to see if he can find the witnesses.
Now, you got March, I think it's 9th. Searchers return and use underwater camera equipment to hunt for clues. That's the third visit to the Bay. The same day that the Modesto Bee, that's the paper that everybody reads, or they would like to think everybody reads in Modesto. And that's what the banner headline was. And that's the reason he went.
Now, the prosecution will then say well, ah-hah, there was a fourth and fifth visit. Why were those? The suggestion was, yesterday, that he went up there, some kind of return to the scene of the crime. What they don't tell you what the evidence is going to show is that Detective Grogan, who is sitting right there on the end, he called him up on the 26th, that morning. And he said we're, she's in the Bay, we're gonna find her. He goes to the Bay to see he's telling the truth, in response to Grogan's phone call.
And he goes back the following day because Grogan has told him this. He's the one who called. If you don't, you said he didn't care --
DISTASO: Objection. That's all argument.
JUDGE: Argument. Sustained.
GERAGOS: Okay. Now, Scott was apathetic about his wife's disappearance. We have heard that. Fact of the matter is that everybody who knows him would tell you that he was anything but apathetic. He was very emotional behind closed doors.
Now, I want to talk about that for a second because there has been a lot of testimony about, or a lot of indications they are going to call witnesses about how he acted. This is not somebody who wears his emotions on his sleeve. You are going to hear from his father, who is sitting over there, who an ex-Navy type I think, that that's one of the things that they drilled into him, you know. Men don't cry. Men don't show their emotion. That kind of a mantra. That was the way he was raised. He was not somebody who would go out and wear his emotions on his sleeve.
The fact of the matter is, is that there are witnesses who will tell you that he was so upset that it moved him to action. I'll give you one better example. Remember yesterday they talked about Amy Krigbaum, who is the, Krigbaum, who is the woman across the street who Scott went to say did Laci was not there? They didn't have any kind of an, other than just a "Hi, how are you", neighbor relationship.
But Amy Krigbaum will tell you when she gets on the witness stand, she could sense that Scott was so upset that she left she and her partner's Christmas Eve dinner, which she was in the middle of preparing, or eating, I forget which, to go out and search, because she felt she had to do something. She was, that she recognized immediately how upset he was.
Susan Medina, who is across the street, will tell you about the fact that he would just break down and cry. There is countless witnesses will tell you that. In fact, Sharon Rocha will tell you that early on, when she believed fervently there Scott's innocence, that one of the reasons that she didn't push him to do more TV was because he was so emotional. That was clearly what the case was. So he was anything but unemotional.
Now, this idea that he's apathetic about his wife's disappearance. Understand what Scott's life had become. You have to put this into context, because it's very difficult to understand. Within a few days, I think picture number four is the one I want. Within a few days, this story had reached that proportion. This is the front of the house on the day the search warrant is executed. Okay? Your wife, pregnant wife is gone, and this is your house as the police are searching it. Looks like the space Challenger, or something, has just crashed. And the scene out there is a mob scene. There were reporters. There were satellite trucks. Blocked off the entire neighborhood. People were completely surrounding the entire area.
He is trying his best to try to get the focus on to finding Laci. Clearly by that time the whole focus is on Scott. They are executing search warrants. Most people understand that when you execute a search warrant, that mean the police suspect that you had something to do with it. And so he's trying to deal with that.
This is also a guy, understand, kind of private prior to this happening, who had just, was making good money working for Trade Corp. I think the last tax return he filed the previous year, $66K, as a representative for this European company that was trying to break into the market.
He and Laci were excited about having the kid. They had just purchased this country club membership. And that was this December. This idea that somehow there is a timeline, he's going to chuck his whole life I think is belied by the evidence of the fact that they spent quite a bit of money to buy this country club membership. It was in excess of $20,000 to buy the country club membership. Was excited about that.
He purchased this boat which, by the way, they say he didn't tell anybody about. There is a friend who knew about the boat. One of the reasons they didn't tell Ron is they specifically were going to tell Ron on Christmas morning, because Ron was an avid fisherman. And this idea that Laci didn't know about the boat, they know better than that. They know that there is a witness, and that witness will tell you that Laci was at the warehouse on December 20th. She was there at the warehouse on December 20th had seen the boat, was in the boat, and then went from that location because she couldn't, Mr. Distaso accurately, on one point yesterday, indicated you couldn't get to the bathroom in the back of the warehouse, because it's stacked up with the fertilizer. She was worried about getting anywhere near that liquid fertilizer, so she went next door to use the bathroom in one of the other warehouses. And a woman there saw her and talked to her.
And they know that. They know that she was there, that she saw the boat. She didn't tell her mom about the boat. She didn't tell her stepfather about the boat. And she had talked to her mom after she had been to that warehouse, never mentioned a word about it. Also I'll tell you that they had made a large purchase of furniture. Didn't go around bragging about that either. That's the way Laci was.
Now, the idea that Scott didn't do anything, and I think there is a specific, number five, I believe -- number of things that Scott did in the search for Laci. I want you to, I want you to see. He immediately began to go down to La Loma Park. That's the park down below.
You have to picture this street. As you walk out, you make a left. You go down a trail that is right there to the park. It's a large park. Unfortunately it is populated with transients and parolees, and people who have just been on the parole train, so to speak, who get down there, and hang out down there.
In fact, you will also hear that Laci would constantly confront the transients about their activity around there. This woman was a spitfire. If she didn't like what somebody was doing, she was in their face. There was a neighbor down the street who saw her break up two women fighting in the middle of the street. There is a Superior Court Judge who lives around the corner who will tell you that Laci, that he's told Laci, stay away from the transients. It's not safe for you. But she would have none of it. She was active in Neighborhood Watch. In fact, where that little kind of trail down in the park. She was trying to have that blocked off as part of her Neighborhood Watch project so that the transients would not come marching down the street, so to speak.
Now, Scott immediately went down there. He also started going door-to-door on Christmas Eve, until the police stopped him. You will remember the police stopped him because they wanted to go over to the warehouse.
In addition to that, on Christmas morning he went around door-to-door, and he was posting flyers. Now, the flyers he posted were the same ones that you saw that were in his car still on the day he was arrested. These ones that, the original ones had a lesser amount of reward. And he, in fact, on the night that Brocchini was driving him around the Modesto area going from the warehouse to the house and back over to the police department, one of the stops they made, or one of the places that Scott eventually went to was a place called Dittos, which is a copy service in Modesto, so he could have flyers made, so he could post flyers.
Now, in addition to that, as I indicated before, he did not hesitate to let the police search, and took police through the warehouse. He drove all the over Northern California. One of the things you will see, and actually to some degree, that they had a GPS tracker on him. The GPS tracker was one of these devices that they put on the car. And it will tell you within, there is lots of errors with the thing. But to some degree you can map out exactly where somebody is. And you will see all the different places he went posting flyers, every time he got a tip, or anything else.
Then there was also the, he organized search teams. He tried to pursue the search. There was a volunteer center. This is the volunteer center. Eventually came to be at a place called the Red Lion Hotel. And every morning he would go at 7:00 o'clock, not every, but almost every morning he would open the volunteer center for her. He did numerous interviews with Modesto PD, answering their questions. He called the police frequently to pass along tips. Repeatedly called to ask about the status of searches.
And, as I indicated, hand delivered hundreds of posters to police stations and fire stations throughout California. He also prepared, he and a friend prepared flyers for birthing centers, and midwives, to be distributed. He and another friend Mike Richardson searched prenatal facilities around the area. Their feeling was, is that maybe while somebody has got her, and as the baby is developing, that maybe they are going to take her to a prenatal clinic somewhere. So they were trying to get that information out as well.
He did the television interview with Diane Sawyer that you saw yesterday. His mom hired a renowned psychic, they were that desperate to find out what was going on. He was presented with a waiver form, you know these records you saw yesterday that were up on the screen, that had Laci's OB-GYN records. He signed a waiver saying go get them. Be my guest. I want you to find them. Did whatever he could to help out.
He worked for several weeks to organize a national Search For Laci Day. Established a 1-800 Laci Info line for people who didn't want to contact the police. Remember, the police hot line, if you called up there, you were going to talk to a police officer. Part of the thought is, if somebody, if it's a transient or a parolee, or somebody in the park who had done this, who was involved in this, they may not want to talk to the police. So the thought was, let's set up a separate line that specifically doesn't have a connection to the police, so that if they phone in, they may feel you may get some better information.
He met with the mayor, the chief of police, numerous other politicians. Visited clear across, went to locations all the over Northern California for information on Laci. Along those lines, he also, I think it is number seven. And those things, remember we heard about the visits to the Berkeley Marina. But when you see the GPS records, the witnesses will tell you he also went to Pittsburgh Marina, Marina on the Delta, and the Oakdale, Manteca. He was all over Modesto. As we see, he went to the San Luis O'Neil Forebay, reservoir, went to the San Luis O'Neil Reservoir right next to the reservoir. The reason he got there, if they got a tip, or if they were searching in any of these areas, he would go. That's why he would make these trips.
So instead of just seeing this story here, he went to the Berkeley Marina. And if that's suspicious, understand it in context. He was going anywhere he thought he could find or promulgate a search for Laci.
Now, the pick up near the border. I'll show you that. Number 22. Okay. Picked up near the border. He is picked up at Torrey Pines, okay, Golf Course. Which is, as you can see is as far from Mexico as it is from San Jose. Okay? This idea that somehow his change of appearance, or that he's fleeing, going to be the first guy that ever fled to Mexico by way of Canada. The position of the car was heading, north.
There was no reason in the world for him to flee. Understand as well that what he had recently done. He had recently gone to Mexico for a work job in connection with working there and returned. The police had tried to get the Trade Corp, who is his employer, to not allow him to take the trip. He's been to Mexico and back. He had flown there and back.
His brother's ID. They make much of the fact that he had his brother's ID. The police know what the story is on that. They went down and checked. They were told that he was meeting his family there. His dad is an avid golfer. His brother is an avid golfer. And Torrey Pines, if you are a resident, you get a discount. The police know that. The police went there. The police confirmed that with the people at Torrey Pines. If you are a resident there, you get a discount it's a substantial discount. I don't know forty or sixty bucks. It was not inconsequential, and that's why he had it.
He had also just paid his car insurance, paid his income taxes, filed his 1040s, his income tax returns. Had not cashed his paycheck. And as you saw yesterday, he had some children's books in his car when he was arrested. These were children's books for his nieces and nephews to give to them on the following Sunday, which was Easter. And this is hardly the idea of a man who is preparing to flee.
The change of appearance. Now, this one is particularly interesting. Number 23. Here is the, remember I showed you the media herd? That was within a day. The other one I showed you was one of two search warrants. He was being followed and being stalked like you cannot believe. He had people everywhere he was going. He had reporters following him. It got to the point where he wrote down the license numbers of all of those cars so that he could give them, he did give them to the police. He says these people are following me everywhere I go. I cannot work. I cannot do anything because of the press coming after me, calling me a murderer.
There was a radio station from Los Angeles where two of the shock jocks came up to his front yard with bullhorns, bullhorns, and screaming murderer at him within the week on the front lawn. Orders the place camped out. He would go on a trip to post flyers. I do think these people would follow him everywhere. He was completely trailed by the media.
At a certain point he starts to grow a goatee. Remind you, that's in January. In February the goatee is grown. Take a look at, there is the booking photo in April. And take a look at the picture from February. And now I'm going to ask you, look, going to the next one here. I was talking about the goatee on, there is the dates of the search warrant in February. The second search warrant.
He's got the goatee already. And who he is talking to is Detective Grogan. Why would he change his appearance if he's, on the day of the search warrants. There was no change of appearance he's still got the goatee. He's talking to the detective. He's not fooling anybody. This, and, as I indicated, he had done this to avoid the media harassment from people calling him a killer. And he met with the police after growing the goatee and moustache. That's what the facts will show you. That's what the facts of this case will show you.
Now, I want to also show you some of the other things about Scott's life and to some degree the chaos. Number two. Pull up to number three. These are all things prior to Laci missing and then after. He's getting --starting in December, he's inundated with phone calls from the media 24 hours a day. And I mean literally every, you are going to hear them. We have, we have some of them. As soon as he puts that wiretap on all his phones.
I think, I don't want to exaggerate, I'll try to get it correct. I think that there are 4,000 phone calls, and probably 3,800 of them are from media people to his phone, and his mobile phone after they put the wiretap on, with people just hammering away at him constantly.
They also seize his business truck and take that truck. And it's what he uses, his pickup. He's, as I indicated before, he's a representative for a fertilizer company that has these large bladders of fertilizer, and he needed to keep that. He kept, obviously can't put it in a closed car. You have to put it in an open container type truck. He never had that after the 26th.
They took his personal and business computers his documents and his financial records. That's extremely interesting. But, you know what they did with those financial records? They took that's financial records. And they, Brocchini, once again, went through them, and then sends them I'm to the Trade Corp, his employer, and said we think he's stealing from you. We think he's embezzling from Trade Corp. And actually got Trade Corp to initiate an investigation as to whether or not Scott was embezzling money. That's, I mean they went to that extent. Obviously he wasn't, but that was part of this his life turned upside down. They repeatedly search the home. They have gone back in January and February.
I told you about the media all the bullhorns. Then private investigators are hired by the tabloids to follow him. Not only are private investigators hired, they try to hire his private investigator. He had a private investigator try and find Laci, and either the Enquirer or the Globe tried to contact that guy and pay him more money so that he would go work for them and turn on Scott. And that was what was going on.
Then January 18, the house of the defendant is burglarized. So a woman breaks into the house, and she takes all kinds of clothes, and apparently makes a couple trips doing it, and then she, the police catch her. She lies about when she was there. Denies at first, then she lies about what she took. Then they find the items. And then she lies again. So you have got somebody after they caught her for breaking into the house, and she is taking Laci's clothes, and then she is taking Scott's clothes. She is dumping these clothes. She takes a video camera. Well, the police solution was not to charge her with the crime. Police turned her into an informant against Scott. So the burglar breaks into the house, then comes and starts working for the police.
I told you about the accusing him of embezzlement.
Then in January, there was a full-scale effort by the police to turn the family and friends against Scott. You will hear from Detective Brocchini, you will hear from the family, that they went and started telling them all kinds of things that were not true. One of the things that they did is they suggested that there was a financial motive to this case. And they told people Scott had just taken out an insurance policy on Laci. $250k insurance policy. The leaked that to the Modesto Bee which puts it into a headline in the paper.
That morning, when the headline reads financial motive and insurance policy purchased, Brocchini, at six in the morning calls up one of Scott's friends and says, go read the Modesto Bee. I want you to see that. Brocchini knew at that point, because he had already talked to the insurance agent, that that was not true. That it was a retirement vehicle that had insurance on Scott for Laci. And yet they just put that out there. They put it out there, that somehow he was in financial straits, and that he needed to off Laci, or that she was too demanding, or something like that.
They didn't stop there. They absolutely told or put out information that was patently false, because their theory was, that was part of the way they were going to elicit a confession. They wanted a confession because they had no evidence.
By the time that this starts, when the house gets burglarized, and they turn the burglar into an informant, at that point you remember that affidavit that I showed you that they got falsely, based upon the meringue? By that point, the Judge they have to do a report back to the Judge. And you will hear from Steve Jacobson, he will tell you at a certain point after they have done all of these wiretaps, in spite of the fact that they had Amber taping, in spite of all of that, he went back to the Judge and declare under penalty of perjury we have gained nothing in the wiretaps of any incriminating nature.
You will also hear from Detective Jacobson, Investigator Jacobson, something else that's very interesting. When he went to apply for that wiretap on Scott, he told the Judge that Scott Peterson couldn't have done this alone. Investigator Jacobson suspected Amber Frey, and he told the Judge that I think Amber Frey is involved in this case, I think, because Scott Peterson couldn't have done it alone. That's why we needs these warrants, clearly. And he also testified, and will testify again from that witness stand, that it was based on everything he knew about what happened. There was no way that one person could ever have done this to Laci Peterson. No way. And that's what he declared that under penalty of perjury.
I told you about lying to friends and family.
Scott's employee resigns. The media herd, as I told you, follows him everywhere he goes. His customers abandon him because of the attention. And for the third time in February, they seize everything from the house, and from the warehouse, everything that has any meaning to him whatsoever. At that point, he is a complete nomad.
The interesting thing about that is that he's been portrayed as somebody where, he's been portrayed as somebody who was not doing anything. And, in fact, what the evidence will show you is that he was somebody who was trying to do everything that he could to find Laci.
The other matter that I want to talk about, you heard a lot about it yesterday on Amber, is about Amber. And I think number eight is a good one, Raffi. If you want to start there.
We have heard a lot about these conversations with Amber. As I indicated before, I'm not going to sit up here and defend his actions about having an affair. There is not going to be evidence up here, not going to put up any witnesses going to say it was a good thing. I will tell you to listen to those statements. You know it's going to be difficult to listen to them. You need to hear some of the things.
January 6th, Scott Peterson. God, I hope she is found alive.
January 6, I'm going to find her.
January 6th. We are going to find her. I hope we find her. When I get up in the morning, I'm heading to the volunteer center and volunteers come through, and we direct them to go out. And when I'm there we're searching. We're putting up flyers. We're asking people door-to-door. The most important thing is finding Laci and the baby. I care very much about finding Laci.
When he's being taped, he doesn't know he's being taped. I'll tell you at this point, though, Amber Frey knows that she's being taped, or that she was taping.
Go to the next one. Here is, anybody who says he did not care about Laci. Here are the, here, when he's talking to the woman who supposedly is the motive for him to kill Laci.
I would hope that you know me well enough, as does, you know, our families who know that there is no possible way I could have had anything to do with this.
There is a lot of reports of people who are at least thinking they saw her in the park and walking the street. I do not know where she is. I wish I did. I love Laci. I loved Laci, no question.
Gee, I mean, God, it would be wonderful if she's returned safely.
If he's trying to off his wife, and in order to be with Amber, telling her that I hope she comes back alive, and I love her? Go to the next one. You have the one more? Okay.
Now, the other one. Now, mind you at this point Amber is taping. He does not know that Amber is taping.
She's talking about going to the police. He tells her, it's your decision. It's your choice. I have nothing to hide, Amber. You need to do what's right for you. I'm not afraid of it. If you think that's the right thing to do, do it.
I want to say how brave you are. I am really glad that you did that.
He doesn't try to tell her, I don't want anybody to find out. He tells her that if she wants to do it, to do it. He had no problem with her going to the police. None.
This is a full three weeks actually just shy, eight days prior to that press conference which I'm sure you have all have some vague memory of.
Fact of the matter is, there was no way, and the evidence will show, you listen to those tapes, and you hear all of those tapes, there is no way anybody for a minute, after listening to those tapes, is going to believe that --
DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. This is argument.
JUDGE: All right. Okay. We'll take a break for fifteen minutes. Twenty minutes to eleven. Remember the admonition I have heretofore given you. We'll reconvene at twenty to eleven.
JUDGE: All right. This is People vs. Scott Peterson. Let the record show the defendant's present with counsel. The jury's in the jury box along with the alternates. And go ahead, Mr. Geragos.
GERAGOS: Thank you, your Honor. Sorry, Judge, I'm supposed to get miked up.
JUDGE: I wish that was a react belt.
GERAGOS: I'll remember that. Could I have just one moment, your Honor?
GERAGOS: Thanks. (Pause) Yesterday there was, the prosecutor talked a lot about the khaki slacks, remember that? And that she was found, Laci was found in khaki slacks. The slacks that she was found in, there's a picture right here, are, I think exactly what happened is when Laci was found there was a label on the back of the pants. The detective took that label, went to the Motherhood Store, ran the SKU number, came back and got these pants. They produced a picture of the pants. And then there's a receipt which shows that these pants are the same pants that she bought.
Now, the prosecution yesterday was saying that they were going to show you that the evidence was that she was wearing khaki slacks the day before, the 23rd. What the evidence is going to show you is that they've already shown this picture to Amy, who is sitting in the first row there, the second one in, the second lady in, and they showed it to Amy who was working at Salon Salon. That is the haircutting place where Amy has worked. She saw Laci the night before. Amy was cutting Scott's hair.
They showed Amy the picture of these pants and Amy said those are not the pants she was wearing. Specifically said they were not, I think that Amy had said they were not drawstring, they did not have the style of pants, style of pocket. They did not have this and they did not have this.
So this idea that was suggested, whether intentionally or not, that the evidence is going to show that the pants that she was wearing on the 23rd were the pants that she was found in are just, is just plain not true. In fact, I think they had mentioned yesterday also that they had gone to the, the police had gone to Salon Salon where Amy works to try to get the surveillance tapes and that they recycled the tapes out.
You'll also find, there's more to that story. That's also not true. They just plain dropped the ball on that.
Now, I, and the reason I asked for a break is I wanted to go into what I, what I call the science of this, and I know some of you, I saw some of you recoil yesterday when you saw the pictures, and I don't blame you. Especially the pictures of the baby is disturbing.
I'm going to put it up again, and I'm going to ask you to at least bear with me about the, and I'll do it as quick as I can, but we need to look at that and I need to talk about it because it's essential to understanding this case. I'm warning you in advance, and warning the families in advance also that I'm going to ask him to put this up.
First, Raffi, let's go with number 7, yeah. Go with 14. Now, the, these are the remains of Laci, and these, this is Conner here. Now, the medical examiner, Dr. Peterson, you're going to find a lot of Petersons here. The guy who sold the boat was named Peterson, Scott is named Peterson, the medical examiner is named Peterson.
Anyway, he says, and I asked him at the preliminary hearing: Is it a fair statement that Conner's condition was such that you didn't believe that he could have been in the water in an unprotected environment for more than a couple of days? And he answered, yeah, that's a fair statement.
I put here so that you can get an idea, if she goes missing on the 24th, Conner is found on the 13th, that you have got an approximate hundred and ten day window here where, at least their theory is, that mother and child are in the water for a hundred and ten days.
Go to the, and, and I'll remind you again that Conner is found one day and Laci's found the next. Go to the next picture. Now, the reason that this is important, the reason that they maintain that this is kelp, and I think any fair minded person is going to take a look at this and tell you --
DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. I think it's argumentative.
JUDGE: Yeah, I think so, Mr. Geragos. What the evidence is going to show.
GERAGOS: I think the evidence will show you that this is electrical tape, and I think the evidence will also show you, if you take a look, that the ear has been folded over, and that ear is completely folded over once the tape is removed.
The problem that we have is that, unlike the towel that had all of the stuff that was on Laci's remains, this towel here and all of this, with the exception of the twine, have been thrown away and we don't have it. All we have left is the pictures that show that the ear is folded over. The evidence will show that it looks like the tape is on there, and, go to the next one, Raffi.
You can see when you enlarge it that the evidence will show the squared off, it's a man made material that's been placed on this baby's ear, and the baby's ear is folded over like that. And that's what the evidence will show you.
Go to the next.
Now, the twine around Conner and why is this important. Take a look at this carefully. There's no way that that twine got onto that baby by accident. This twine was applied after that baby was removed from Laci. And that's what the evidence is going to show. The, specifically, go to the next one. Specifically right here, that the medical examiner said was what I found was a loop and a half, one and a half loops of plastic tape around the neck of the fetus. There was a knot near the left shoulder. That is there.
Now, he further testified that there was only a two-centimeter gap between the tape and the neck. So if you pulled it taut on the tape, from right there, that's what we're talking about, two centimeters. Which is roughly that big (indicating). That's the amount of space that was around the neck. And then it twirls around and over the arm and around the neck. I think the evidence is going to clearly show, if you take a look at the loop size around the neck and the head size, this could not have gone over the baby's head.
Now, the evidence is not going to show, as the, they were suggesting yesterday, that that's how the baby died. That's not what the evidence will show because there were no markings around the neck. What that will show you, though, is that that baby was removed and then, go to the next, Raffi. And that this baby was born alive. This is an enlarged portion of the umbilical cord. Take a look at that.
I specifically asked at the prelim: Isn't that consistent with the length of an umbilical cord after a live birth, whether it's removed from cutting or torn off after a live birth, isn't a quarter of an inch approximately the length of an umbilical cord after a live birth? Well, there was a quarter inch umbilical cord protruding beyond the skin, and perhaps the easiest way to answer your question, I hope I'm hitting the target for you here, is that based on the length of the umbilical cord, I could neither rule in nor rule out a live birth.
The reason that this is important is if this baby was born alive, clearly Scott Peterson had nothing to do with this murder. And clearly this baby, they cannot, their own medical examiner cannot rule out was born alive. There was no umbilical cord found with this baby. There was no placenta found with this baby. This baby was found with what appears to be, and the evidence will show, electrical tape on its ear, a twine around its arm and its neck, which could not have gone over the head because there was only two centimeters there, and on top of it, it appears that somebody cut off, and the evidence is going to show, the umbilical cord.
That's what the evidence will show. Nothing more, nothing less.
Go to the next. Here's the other thing that suggests and clearly the prosecution is going to present evidence on and is significant to this case. At the preliminary hearing we got, we heard testimony first, or, actually, the first report was from a Deputy Martinez. He wrote in his report when Conner was found, he was a few days old when the baby was found. Now, if Conner was a few days old and if he had lived to full term, then he would have been born roughly February 20th of 03.
Go to the next.
Assistant Chief Young, now, these are, mind you, the baby is found not in the Stanislaus County or Modesto jurisdiction. The baby is found over on the border of the East Bay Regional and Richmond jurisdiction.
DISTASO: Your Honor, I'm going to object at this point. Deputy Martinez and Assistant Chief Young are not going to be permitted to give their opinion, they're not medical examiners, as to how old the baby was.
GERAGOS: They're going to be able to give their opinion, and lay opinion, and that's what they've done.
JUDGE: They've already done that?
DISTASO: Your Honor, he, if he's just a lay opinion? That's not going to be permitted as evidence in this trial.
JUDGE: Well, that's for the court, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, look, these opening statements of the attorney are not evidence, okay? So if somebody says A is going to testify to A, B and C, that may not happen. The court may rule that that is not admissible. So this is what the, either the prosecution or the defense contends that the evidence is going to show, okay? But it's not evidence. The only evidence you can use in this case to decide this case is what's testified to here from the witness stand. Mr. Geragos knows that, the prosecution also knows that. So I'm going to overrule your objection. You can, you can say what the, what they're going to say, but they may not be able to testify to that, depending on what happens in the trial. All right. Go ahead.
GERAGOS: I'll do it again. This person, Dr. Peterson, testified at the preliminary hearing. He's a prosecution witness. They called him. He, he described in his report the baby was full term. Full term would have taken you to February 16th, or approximately 39 weeks.
Go next. Now, at the same time they called in a forensic anthropologist. Her name is Dr. Allison Galloway. She did extensive measurements of the baby's bones. She compared those measurements to the standards that they have for the size of the baby and the development of the baby. Her conclusion was 36 to 38 weeks, with a margin of error of two weeks, okay? Now, all of this stuff was pre-preliminary hearing. All of this was before the preliminary hearing was done.
After the preliminary hearing, the prosecution then went out and, because this would have placed a date of death between January 24th and February 20th, the prosecution went out and hired a Dr. DeVore. This is the person that Mr. Distaso was talking about yesterday.
Now, this person has never examined, or never did examine the baby, never did the autopsy. All he did was he took a radiology device, a sonogram type device. He took one of the baby's femur bones, he placed it in a glass of water, he shot it with the, with the ultrasound, and then he said, Ah, now, based upon that, now here we are three months before trial, I believe that the date of death was December 25th.
And that's what he said. He didn't say the 23rd to the 25th. He's got a report. We haven't heard him testify yet, because he's just been hired, but I anticipate, if he testifies consistent with his report, he's going to say December 25th. And that's based upon putting a bone in a glass of water and shooting it, a opposed to the three people or four people who found the baby who are unconnected to Stanislaus County, who are unconnected to the Modesto PD, who also said that that baby was anywhere from 36 to 40 weeks old.
D. Harris: I would ask that counsel give me back my pen. Thank you.
GERAGOS: Now, why does this matter? This matters for a lot of reasons. The, if the date of death, now, mind you, if the baby was alive inside of Laci and lived beyond December 23rd or 24th, Scott Peterson obviously had no involvement in this.
DISTASO: Objection. This is all argument.
JUDGE: Sustained. It is argument, Mr. Geragos.
GERAGOS: The evidence is going to show you --
JUDGE: There you go.
GERAGOS: that this baby, that this baby lived beyond December 24th. And the evidence is going to show you that this baby was born alive. And it's going to be based upon the combination of the size of the baby, the growth of the baby from the last time it was seen, which was December 23rd.
We do have Dr. Yip who will come in here an testify that on December 23rd that baby was 32 weeks. That's what Dr. Yip, the OB-GYN, put in their records on December 23rd.
We have now a situation where there's going to be three other experts, or at least two other experts, three others, that are going to tell you that this baby lived beyond 32 weeks. If that happened, then Laci was alive, or the baby was born alive and kept alive, one or the other.
The testimony will also show you that this is significant for a number of reasons. And I'll, and I'll tell you why. The, let me go over to, go to 26. On the morning of December 24th of 2000 and 2, there were a number of witnesses who came forward to say that they saw Laci and they saw Laci with the dog McKenzie.
Laci and Scott's house is right here. The park entrance that I was talking about is right here. It's two blocks up to this street right here where the first eyewitness saw Laci walking the dog. This person saw Laci walking the dog as he was coming out of a gas station, and had noticed a white/tan van with a couple of scruffy, transient, homeless type people in it.
As he made his left out of the gas station, he saw Laci and the dog, and he saw the dog actually rearing up. Saw the dog kind of rearing up on the leash and her struggling. That's what caught his attention. The evidence will show you that there is, right at that location, another dog, another Golden Retriever, that can come up to the fence. Presumably the evidence will show that the two dogs are barking at one another.
There's the next eyewitness, because within the same, after you make the right and the right, that's about, about a hundred yards, is another eyewitness. That witness is driving a truck. He sees Laci and the dog again. I shouldn't say again, but it's another eyewitness who sees Laci and the dog. He notices them because on the other side of the street he sees, remarkably similar, describes two people who appear to be street or what he calls homeless people, and it looks like she's crossed the street to avoid them.
There's a, yet another witness, eyewitness, within that same block who also, and by the way, this witness right here, went, went to the police; got nowhere. This witness right here went to the police; got nowhere. They just shined him on. This witness right here, she didn't go to the police. And when we asked her why, why didn't you go to the police, she said Well, everybody who went to the police who saw Laci was discredited by the Modesto PD. The didn't want to hear about any about witnesses seeing Laci. So this witness saw Laci, was very upset about it, did not want to come forward. We were able to find her, the investigator was able to find her through a lot of effort and finally convince her to come forward.
Then as you walk here, this is the park, that borders that, to go back to the house here, this is Laci's walk. There's two more eyewitnesses that saw her coming back around. Now, those are all people who see Laci and McKenzie that morning.
Now, in addition to that, at 11:40 Diane Jackson, who lives roughly, I don't know, a hundred and 50 yards or so around the corner from Laci and Scott, she comes home. Now, mind you, this witness here has seen this van as he variously describes as white or tan. That's the language that he uses. Diane Jackson is driving home at 11:30 and she spots directly across the street from Laci and Scott's house a van that she says At first I thought it was white, but then upon reflection I think was tan, with three guys, who are not African American but darker skinned, who looked like they were up to no good right across the street from the house. And then she goes home and she told the police immediately.
The police, contrary, I think, to what was said here yesterday, I think the evidence is going to show that the police took this seriously enough to do up a flier for information leading to the identification of the persons who burglarized the residence. And that's what I didn't tell you. At the same time that this van is parked, within an hour of this the house across the street, the Medina's house, they left at about 10:30 on the 24th, and they're burglarized. And the burglars, the whole story, and I won't get into it, but there, there is a burglary that goes in right there.
So you've got that, a second person who has now seen this van. That search warrant that I showed you before by Jacobson, there's another section of that search warrant where Jacobson puts into it, into this affidavit, that they've got three witnesses who saw a suspicious van in that neighborhood that morning, but he candidly says we've been unable to follow-up on it.
Well, just within the last eleven days the prosecution turned over to us an interview --
DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. That is not an accurate statement.
GERAGOS: An interview --
JUDGE: You can, okay, but you can, you can say you received information. I'm going to ask the jury to disregard the date line.
GERAGOS: And this --
JUDGE: Just what you found out.
GERAGOS: Right. This interview is of a witness who within two days to three days of the 24th saw, about five miles away from here, once again a white or cream colored van with a man who appeared to be homeless or scruffy who had, who had his arms against a fence like this (indicating). The van was parked right against the fence.
There was a woman, who he identified as looking just like Laci, squatted down as if she was urinating. This man as he described it said, had arms on both sides so that she could not go left or right. Then when she was done, pulled her around to the driver's side of the door, and he saw another arm reach out, grab, and she was pulled into the van.
Now, this gentleman was a police officer back in 1970 through 73, was a reserve officer, and he promptly reported it to the police. Promptly. And the police did nothing. And he gave a report to the police. He was so upset about what he saw, he had turned around to come back to try to get the license plate or anything. He knew there was something wrong going on, and the police did nothing about that.
The eyewitnesses here, the eyewitness within two days seeing Laci being pulled into a van, corroborates, or will corroborate the evidence, I believe, that the baby lived longer than December 24th and, ergo, Laci lived longer than December 24th.
Now, the, circumstantial evidence. Number 29. Now, also, if you see the neighborhood break-ins and transient arrests that happened in the approximate month before? I've got them with yellow dots. Then can you put on the walk? Then you see where the eyewitnesses are, and you can see what you're dealing with in that neighborhood there.
I should also mention that the burglary across the street, there was a safe that was involved. And this burglary took place very, you know, some people say the 26th. The people who were burglarized believe it was on the 24th, in the morning, the Medinas, and they will tell you that. They had a large safe that could not be carried out, and so one of the things that we requested of Detective Grogan was, and the Medinas agreed to this, was to bring the safe or let us have the safe so we could test it to see whose fingerprints were on that safe. And Detective Grogan, once we made that request, sent out a request also to have that safe from across the street tested for prints, dusted for prints.
Well, and that was in May, right after Scott was arrested and arraigned. Within one month Modesto PD had destroyed that safe. So there's, all that evidence is gone. There is no safe. We don't know whose fingerprints were on that safe for the burglary that was taking place in the safe that was left out in the, on the courthouse steps there, or the neighborhood steps.
Now, you have, as you can see, burglaries and arrests taking place all in this area around there. As I indicated before, the Judge from Stanislaus County will tell you that that neighborhood was in a state of flux at that point, meaning that there were a lot of transients who were coming up from the park who were living up in the park and parolees who were living up in the park and coming up into the neighborhood. That's why Laci was so concerned and that's why she was constantly trying to advocate or being an activist for closing off the park area.
At the end of the day, go to 29, at the end of the day, all of these things have been tested. There's plastic bag, the twine, a rope, the plastic, the duct tape, the blue tarp, all from the bag. The pillow, the duct tape, the white shirt, the blue pajamas, the underwear, the carpet samples, fibers, clothing.
They went to the vacuum, they went to the umbrellas, they went to the blue tarp, they went to the blood, the mop, the sweatshirt, the T-shirt, the bucket, shoes, jeans, the door, the comforter, the boat cover, the dog leash, the pocket knife, the guns, the purse, the jacket, the closet door.
DISTASO: Your Honor, this is argumentative. None --
JUDGE: I haven't heard what he's saying yet.
DISTASO: But I'm looking at the board and he's taking out these items and then he, he's -
GERAGOS: And putting on --
DISTASO: and he --
JUDGE: No, he can say that there's nothing there; that's what the evidence is going to show. I assume there's going to be an expert --
JUDGE: somebody's going to testify and say we examined these articles and we found nothing of evidentiary value. Is that what's going to happen?
GERAGOS: That's exactly what's going to happen, and it's their expert.
JUDGE: All right. You can argue. You cannot argue, you can -
GERAGOS: I won't argue; I'll state it. And all of those things were tested. Nothing there.
Now, from the truck they had head hair from a toolbox, they had grass, they had a stain, they had tissue, debris, string, a steering wheel, and chicken wire. The chicken wire is interesting because they went and they found those pliers they made a big deal about yesterday, the yellow handled pliers in the boat and apparently there was some kind of theory and they compared the pliers to the cutting in the chicken wire. Well, they came up with two conclusions. Number one, the pliers had not recently been used, okay? The pliers with the hair on it had not recently been used. They were rusted, corroded shut. And the DOJ analyst, their analyst, said if there had been recent use, you would have seen a clearing of the area where the pliers opens up, and there was no clearing of the rust, so there was no evidence of recent use. They also tested it. They cleaned it up and tested it by cutting chicken wire with it. And they did that with one of the other cutters and it didn't match there was no chicken wire.
In fact, they had another theory about the chicken wire, that he had wrapped Laci with the chicken wire. They asked Scott about that and Scott said No, I bought the chicken wire because the cat scratches the trees in the backyard and I put the chicken wire around it so the cat doesn't scratch the trees. Sure enough, what happens? They go in the yard, they dig up under the tree, and there's chicken wire around the base of the tree. And then Grogan notices as he's looking in the back yard, and there's the cat and it's clawing up above where the chicken wire is. So exactly what Scott told them is exactly what they found out.
The stain on the door and the tailgate is Scott's blood, and he showed them where the scab was. And he told them it was an old scab and it wasn't Laci's blood and it had nothing to do with Laci. The steering wheel was clean. There was no, the head hair from the toolbox, I think, and the evidence will show is that they took a sample of Brocchini's hair because I think when Brocchini was fishing around for his keys or notebook he may have left some of his hair in there. Then they tested the, take away those, so they got nothing out of the truck.
They go to the warehouse, and this is great, too. They found some dog hair in the boat, and they thought ah-hah, that's something. It turned out the dog hair was from the police dog, or some, that had been transferred there as well.
So there was nothing that that came about. It was clearly not McKenzie's hair.
And the chicken wire was meaningless, so there was nothing there.
So they even went to the length, remember I said before they were trying to prove that he had not been at the marina. And one of the ways they tried to prove that was by taking the outboard engine, draining the water and having it tested. There was water around it, and seeing what the test was. Lo and behold, guess what came back? Salt water.
And they did tests there, so that didn't work. They tested the pliers, as I told you. The boat cover they went totally over. The string they went over. The debris. The rope from the interior.
They also had another theory. The other theory that they tested was that, look, if you had Laci with these anchors and she's dead and she's in this boat, that if you can't, there's no way you can tip it over because the boat would capsize, because it's only a little twelve foot aluminum Game Fisher, and they found some red paint transfer on the side of the boat. They said, Ah-hah, we're going to go and find that red buoy in the Bay and we're going to take a scraping of the red buoy and compare it to the red paint transfer.
Well, as it turns out they didn't match. And I'll submit to you that the evidence of why is because when they were storing the boat at the Modesto PD there's a red hand truck, and they had jammed the boat against the red hand truck, and that's what scraped the red paint, when they were storing the boat.
The plant material adhered to the pliers. This is another thing. In that pliers that they showed you yesterday, the yellow handled pliers, you'll become familiar with it, I think it's item number 144. They maintain that there was a plant material on the end of the hair.
And they say that the, you'll remember yesterday that the evidence was going to show that the hair was all twisted in the pliers somehow. Well, except you're going to hear from, I think, Dodge Hendee of Modesto PD, that when he found this hair what he did is he opened the pliers and the hair fell into the coin envelope or the evidence envelope. So obviously the evidence is going to show it wasn't twisted in anything if all he had to do was open the pliers and the hair fell out.
What the evidence is going to show about that hair I have no idea. I will tell you this much, that that hair is probably the single most tested hair you will ever see. It's been microscopically examined by Rod Oswalt, who is the Department of Justice criminalist. He compared the hair, and by the way, the hair was originally one hair and then went into the evidence envelope and somehow transformed into two hairs.
When it transformed into two hairs, the theory was that the two hairs, or the one hair had broken in half. The problem with that is Oswalt will tell you that the hairs, both of the hairs taper like this, kind of Christmas tree, if you will, so that they wouldn't have been a single hair that broke. If it was a single hair that broke you could just take one hair, put it on top of the other and you'd have kind of a pyramid effect.
The other problem with this one hair turns into two hair theory is, on their part is when they compared the two the coloring was different. And the coloring went from dark to light and dark to light. So that would not have been the case if you had a single hair. It would have gradated from dark to light on a consistent basis, as opposed to the way that they have tested it.
They've now come back, or they sent it back to the FBI lab. You're going to have somebody named Constance Fisher come here from the prosecution. She's going to testify that they have got a new technique called mitochondrial DNA and that this hair has a one in 100 and 112 chance of being Laci's in this pliers. And the evidence is going to show you, as I indicated before, Laci was there at the boat on December 20th, and they know about and I'm sure they've got a witness to that.
The evidence is going to show that that hair was neither, had no root or anything else, and I don't know, I can't explain to you what else the evidence will show because that's all that there has been about that.
So basically we're left with, in terms of the circumstantial evidence, a hair on a pliers.
Now, the, the case against Scott has been, or the evidence is going to kind of unfold in a certain way. They're going to start off with people who, who knew him. They're going to start off with people who knew Laci, but ultimately at the end of the day the one thing that you're going to hear in this case is that, go back to the witnesses.
The one thing that you're going to hear and that you're going to see is that there is direct evidence in this case. The direct evidence in this case specifically is of the eyewitnesses who saw her come around that day and saw her walk the dog that day. The evidence is going to show you that she was alive on December 24th when Scott went to the marina.
The evidence is going to show you that when Scott came back from the marina she was gone. The evidence is going to show clearly, beyond any doubt, that not only is Scott Peterson not guilty, but Scott Peterson is stone cold innocent.
And thank you. I'm trying to speed this along and get you to witnesses this afternoon, and I appreciate all your attention. Thank you very much.
JUDGE: All right. Thank you, Mr. Geragos.