Report: Scott Peterson's friend thought his behavior was suspicious

 

Updated Aug. 30, 2004, 12:36 p.m. ET

(Court TV) One of Scott Peterson's close friends told police he was suspicious of the alibi the fertilizer salesman gave detectives after his pregnant wife vanished, according to a police report obtained exclusively by Court TV's Catherine Crier.

"[His] fishing story is fishy," Brian Argain told a detective less than two weeks after Laci Peterson went missing.

Peterson claimed he was fishing in San Francisco Bay when his wife was abducted on Dec. 24, 2002, near the couple's Modesto home.

In the police report obtained by Crier, however, Argain told police that although he considered himself a "good friend" of Scott Peterson's, "his story isn't making any sense."

 
"Argain said Peterson would usually look at you in the eye when he spoke," Modesto Police Det. Al Brocchini wrote in the report. "However, whenever asked questions about Laci, he would look down or look away."

Peterson was charged with two counts of murder after the corpses of his wife and their unborn child washed up on the shores of the San Francisco Bay in April 2003.

On Jan. 4, 2003, Argain told Brocchini that he first met the Petersons through Laci's best friend, Stacey Boyer, who Argain once dated.

Even after Argain broke up with Boyer, he remained in contact with Peterson, with who he frequently golfed at the Del Rio Country Club.

Argain told police he first became suspicious of Peterson the night Laci disappeared, when he walked through the Modesto neighborhood with Peterson, who told him he had gone fishing that day and arrived home to find Laci gone.

Argain also said he found Peterson's media-shy behavior suspicious, particularly during the candlelight vigil on Dec. 31.

Argain said he found it "odd" that Peterson refused to go up on stage with Laci's family, and encouraged him to get in front of the cameras. Peterson refused, the report notes, and told Argain that "the vigil was for Laci and not for the family."

In a wire tap request Brocchini submitted on Jan. 31, 2002, he noted that a witness in Argain's real estate office heard him say, "I don't care if he killed her, he's my friend and I'll back him up."

But the next time Brocchini spoke with Argain on March 18, 2003, the realtor said he had distanced himself considerably from his old friend.

He said he had rejected invitations to go golfing with him at the country club because "he did not feel comfortable golfing with Peterson any more."

He added that several members of the exclusive club had expressed displeasure at Peterson's use of the facilities and said the country club board was going to buy back Peterson's membership from him.

Argain also said Peterson had asked him to talk to the press about what a good guy he was, but that he had refused after Peterson seemed to "beat around the bush" when asked about circumstances of Laci's disappearance.

"Argain said Peterson's mannerisms and answers made [him] uncomfortable so [he] was unwilling to go on and talk to the media." Brocchini wrote.

Argain also admitted it struck him as very "unusual" when Peterson came to him for help with selling his home about a month after Laci disappeared.

After speaking with his broker, Argain told Peterson it would not be possible without a death certificate for Laci. He said Peterson had not returned his phone calls since.

Peterson's trial is in its 12th week of testimony. He faces the death penalty if convicted.