Judge Refuses To Unseal Laci, Conner Peterson Autopsies
POSTED: 10:46 a.m. EDT June 6, 2003
UPDATED: 2:20 p.m. EDT June 6, 2003 MODESTO, Calif. --
The California judge overseeing Scott Peterson's murder trial says he won't release the results of autopsies on the remains of Laci Peterson and her unborn son. The judge made that ruling against the wishes of prosecutors, who said news leaks about the results were hurting their case.
Judge Al Girolami is also rejecting requests by reporters to listen to wiretaps of phone calls they made to Peterson. Twenty two reporters want those calls blocked from becoming evidence under a state law that protects reporters from revealing unpublished work. The judge says he doesn't think reporters are entitled to any privilege protecting their phone calls. The judge has also set a June 19 hearing to consider defense motions regarding the wiretaps.
Defense attorneys want to dismiss prosecutors assigned to the case -- and toss out results of two wiretaps that monitored thousands of Peterson's calls after the Christmas Eve disappearance of his pregnant wife, Laci. Using the court-approved wiretaps -- police logged more than 3,800 phone calls made to Peterson. The defense says police eavesdropped on protected conversations between the defendant and his lawyer.
Judge Girolami will also consider issuing a gag order to prevent evidence leaks. Peterson has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder for allegedly killing his wife and their unborn son.