#31) March 2005
Laci Peterson Case Information:
When: March 2005
March 1 Blood Brother: 33 Reasons My Brother Scott Peterson Is Guilty goes on sale. MSNBC releases snippets of Matt Lauer’s taped interview with Anne Bird. “I just know that he did this,” she says at one point. “It’s very hard to comprehend. And it hurts.” Ron Grantski says neither he nor Sharon Rocha have much interest in the book. “To be honest, I don’t think Sharon or I will read it,” he says, calling the tome Anne Bird’s “claim to fame.” Lee Peterson, also contacted by the Modesto Bee to provide a statement about Anne Bird, instead criticizes the newspaper. “Forget being neutral,” he snaps. “You’re just a house organ for the cops.”
March 2 The Abrams Report: Sidebar web site publishes a couple of e-mail messages sent to Dan Abrams in the aftermath of the reported altercation between Jackie Peterson and Sharon Rocha at the former residence of Scott and Laci Peterson. One letter states, “I could not believe how fit Jackie Peterson looked carrying that ironing board from her convicted double murderer son’s former home. I mean, for a woman on oxygen seen every day for the last two-plus years in court and in interviews, she looked as healthy as José Canseco on his best day in Major League Baseball all juiced up rounding third.”
March 3 Lt. Xavier Aponte provides a formal statement regarding discovery issues related to the defense team’s motion for a new trial. The Modesto Bee publishes several extracts from Blood Brother: 33 Reasons My Brother Scott Peterson Is Guilty. Anne Bird and Keith Ablow appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
March 4 The Dateline NBC web site publishes excerpts from Catherine Crier’s upcoming book, A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation.
March 7 The Globe tells the story of Kimberly Christina, who claims she had a long-distance friendship with Laci Peterson and, just days before her disappearance, had advised her to confront Scott Peterson about a small box of photographs and letters she found addressed to him from other women. According to the article, the items found by Laci Peterson included a Christmas card signed “Love, Amber” and a “photograph of Scott and Amber together with his hand on her butt.” The article suggests that Christina kept silent about the case until Scott Peterson was sentenced because she had received an anonymous telephone call warning her not to talk about Laci Peterson.
March 8 San Mateo County Superior Court officials announce that the defense team’s motion for a new trial will not be released until March 14, 2005, along with the prosecution’s response. The announcement supersedes an earlier proclamation by Al Delucchi that the document would be released on March 9, 2005. According to a report by KTVU, Delucchi states he wants more time to review the motion. Jan Gauthier provides a formal statement regarding discovery issues related to the defense team’s motion for a new trial.
March 9 Det. Craig Grogan provides a formal statement regarding discovery issues related to the defense team’s motion for a new trial.
March 10 The New York Daily News reports that Mark Geragos has asked a court to subpoena HarperCollins for to information about its book deals with Amber Frey and Anne Bird. “We want to prove that, if there was no conviction, they wouldn’t have been able to sell the book,” an undisclosed source states. “I’ll discuss it in court,” Geragos promises in the story.
March 11 Roy Wasden comments on A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation, openly wondering where Catherine Crier got her source material. “That’s what I’d like to know,” he says.
March 12 The Modesto Bee releases an interview with John Guinasso in which he states, “People don’t know what goes on behind closed doors—only the jurors know.” In the article, he reveals details about the dismissals of Justin Falconer, Fran Gorman and Gregory Jackson. “I wasn’t being a rat,” Guinasso states. “I was there for the system. I go by the rules.”
March 13 On the Record With Greta Van Susteren reports on the contents of the defense team’s upcoming motion for a new trial. Some legal analysts suggest that Scott Peterson could get a new trial on one point alone: Jurors seemed to do their own experiment by rocking back and forth in Scott Peterson’s fishing boat. A Modesto Bee article questions the sources of A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation, noting that much of her source material remains sealed by court order. Rick Applegate states that the Modesto Police Department “did not release any copies of those reports” used in the book. The article also remarks on the lack of accuracy in the book, noting that it contained “myriad errors ranging from careless to sloppy.”
March 14 Scott Peterson’s defense team files a 135-page motion (erroneously reported by the New York Post as a 113-page motion; erroneously reported by The Abrams Report and the Modesto Bee as a 122-page motion) for a new trial, citing a host of reasons, including “insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict of guilt,” the discovery of new exculpatory evidence, the dismissal of two jurors during deliberations, the judge’s refusal to grant a second change of venue or a second jury for the penalty phase, the judge’s allowance of evidence that Scott Peterson ordered cable pornography, the judge’s allowance of dog-trailing evidence, and the jurors’ unauthorized tests of the fishing boat teamed with the judge’s subsequent exclusion of a defense videotape purporting to show the boat’s lack of stability. The supposedly exculpatory evidence centers on a report that Adam Tenbrink told Shawn Tenbrink that Steven Todd admitted being interrupted by Laci Peterson while burglarizing a home in the La Loma neighborhood. “With the newly discovered evidence, we now have a close friend of one of the burglars who not only rebuts the prosecution’s theory of when the burglary occurred, but also places Laci in the area at the time of the burglary,” the motion contends. The filing objects to the introduction of recordings made from wiretaps, as well as the judge’s allowance of the full recordings of Scott Peterson speaking to Amber Frey—the defense contending that much of the couple’s banter was irrelevant to the case. The motion also argues against Al Delucchi’s offer to the jury to consider the charge of second-degree murder in the death of Conner Peterson and the judge’s instruction to jurors that they could infer that Scott Peterson was “in flight” from justice at the time of his arrest.. Prosecutors, in their own filing, rebut the defense team’s arguments. Concerning the “new” evidence, prosecutors contend it is not new at all, and was simply buried in the thousands of pages of evidence they had already turned over to the defense team.
March 15 The Abrams Report welcomes guests Geoffrey Fieger, Mickey Sherman and Bill Fallon to discuss Scott Peterson’s chances of not getting sentenced to death. “Little or none,” Sherman predicts. Fieger, too, says he expects Al Delucchi to uphold the jury’s recommendation, but adds that “the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down more death sentences than any court in the country, and you’re likely to see it” in Scott Peterson’s case. Sherman argues that Mark Geragos should have had Scott Peterson testify during the guilt phase and the penalty phase of his trial, and definitely should have him say something at the sentencing hearing. “At this point…it’s like two holocaust victims standing against the wall,” he explains. “They give them the blindfolds, and one of the guys says, ‘Don’t make any trouble.’ You know, what has he got to lose at this point?” Dan Abrams explains that the disputed evidence centers on a Modesto man who says he was told by a one of the Medina home burglars that Laci Peterson “had walked up on him while he was looting her neighbor’s house.” In a special edition of The Abrams Report, Abrams asks guests Jami Floyd, Paul Pfingst and Michael Cardoza about the likelihood that Delucchi will give Scott Peterson something other than the death penalty. “It’s over,” Cardoza says simply. “If there was any guy who deserved the death penalty, this is the guy,” Floyd contends. Cardoza adds that the removal of jurors is a “ripe” issue for appeal, especially in light of John Guinasso‘s recent statements about how he had a hand in the removal of Justin Falconer and Gregory Jackson. Abrams quotes from the defense team’s motion for a new trial: “Judge Delucchi never articulated legal cause for those jurors’ removal, but instead, characterized each of them as a cancer which needed to be removed.” Abrams also characterizes as an “overstatement” the motion’s prediction that the recently uncovered hearsay evidence would mean a different result should the case be retried. “Well, no one has ever accused Mark of doing a lot of understatement,” Pfingst jokes. Abrams reads a letter from Sharon Rocha complaining about the courtroom seating for the sentencing hearing: “There is something terribly wrong with a system that allows a courtroom to be packed with people—complete strangers to Laci, except for us—who want to witness the sentencing of a man who murdered her. Yet, the people who have known and loved Laci for most, if not all, of her life—the people who should and need to be in that courtroom—are shut out. I hope all the people who come for the show, the entertainment, enjoy themselves. It’s such a shame that these people are given priority over Laci’s family and friends, the people who truly deserve to be in that courtroom.” Members of the Rocha family dine with prosecutors, but foot their own bill of $66.50.
March 16 Amber Frey appears on Today, stating that she is comfortable in her decision to work with the authorities. “As far as having not come forward, there may not—and certainly in the jurors’ eyes there would not—have been justice, so I stand by my choices and my decisions that I made,” she says. Gloria Allred states defends her client against suggestions made by Mark Geragos that she contributed to the prosecution because doing so would help to sell books. “She was not planning a book at that time or discussing it,” Allred explains. Although she was served a subpoena to testify before the court, Al Delucchi dismisses it, saying that the defense team was wanting information from her that would violate client-attorney privilege. In an emotional 90-minute hearing, Delucchi hears victim impact statements from Brent Rocha, Rose Rocha, Amy Rocha, Dennis Rocha, Ron Grantski and Sharon Rocha before upholding the jury’s decision and sentencing Scott Peterson to die for his crimes. Scott Peterson sits, wearing a dark suit, shackled at the waist and showing no emotion as the parade of witnesses lash out at him. Thirteen jurors, including one dismissed juror and one alternate, are seated in the courtroom (according to the Modesto Bee, twelve jurors, including two alternate jurors). As Brent Rocha describes Scott Peterson as a “spoiled rich kid living a delusional life,” Jackie Peterson begins muttering loudly and calls out, “He didn’t do it.” Then, when Brent Rocha speaks about a conversation he had with the convicted murderer, Lee Peterson shouts out, “What a liar!” At this point, Delucchi states that any further outbursts will result in removal of the offending party. Lee Peterson stalks out of the courtroom, and is soon followed by Jackie Peterson. The two go to a café in the courthouse basement, refusing to speak with reporters. Brent Rocha admits purchasing a gun with the intention of killing Scott Peterson, but adds, “I chose not to kill you myself for one reason: That you would have to sweat it out yourself.” He notes that the murder of his sister continues to haunt him. “Every time I come to San Francisco, I think, ‘My sister’s head is rolling around in the bay,'” he states. “Have you thought about what you’ve done?” Rose Rocha tells the court she feels “disgusted” that she had allowed Scott Peterson to touch her stomach during her pregnancy. Amy Rocha addresses Scott Peterson, saying, “I cannot believe that at one time I wanted to find someone like you.” Dennis Rocha does not mince words, and draws a warning from the judge. “You are a piece of shit,” the victim’s father says. “You are going to burn in hell for this.” He says, unlike other members of the Rocha family, he had doubts about his daughter’s choice from day one. “I never did like you at the beginning because you were always so arrogant, thought you were better than everybody else,” he says. “A rich boy from San Diego, and we’re just farm people. Laci loved you, and I respected her feelings. You’re in love with yourself is your problem.” Ron Grantski points out that, as he and other Rocha family members held a vigil for Laci Peterson, Scott Peterson was on his cellular phone, chatting up Amber Frey. “That is a cold-blooded, no-good son of a bitch,” Grantski states. “How your family can look at you and say you’re such a great kid?” He, too, receives a warning concerning his language. Sharon Rocha takes the stand for the hearing’s emotion-filled climax. Dressed in a pale pink suit, and grasping the sides of the witness box, she directs the bulk of her scathing comments directly at the convicted murderer. “There is unbearable sadness in my life,” she tells the court. She calls Scott Peterson arrogant to believe he was intelligent enough to get away with murder, when in fact he was “stupid” to not realize he had other options. “You’re lazy, spoiled, self-centered and a coward, but above all, you’re an evil murderer,” she tells him. “Not even Satan will claim to have a part in your makeup.” She points out that Scott Peterson acted deliberately, engaging in small talk and a meal with his wife and in-laws as he plotted murder, then treated his wife and unborn son as if they were “garbage” to be disposed of. “Scott, you made a conscious decision to murder Laci and Conner,” she tells him. “You planned and executed their murders.” He shakes his head as she reiterates, “Yes, you did.” She references what some have called sociopathic tendencies in Scott Peterson, saying he is “proof that evil can lurk anywhere.” She calls him an “empty shell” with “no heart” and “no soul.” Despite the riveting testimony, he is observed whispering to Mark Geragos. “We had to bury Laci without her arms to hold her baby,” she says. “Without her head to kiss, and smell her sweet little baby Conner. You have no idea what the thought of that does to my soul.” Det. Al Brocchini is observed crying as Sharon Rocha lists the things she would never learn about her murdered grandson: the color of his hair and eyes, whether he would have the prominent dimples she shared with her daughter, how he would dress up for Halloween and what would be in his Easter basket. She questions Scott Peterson about what he was thinking during the last moments of her daughter’s life. “What do you think Laci was thinking?” she then asks. “I’ll tell you what I think she was thinking: ‘Scott, why are you killing me? You know how much I love you. I trusted you, believed in you, and you promised to take care of me and protect me. You’re my partner, my best friend. I want to live. Scott, I don’t want to die. Please stop. Please stop. I don’t want to die.'” Sharon Rocha then assumes the role of her murdered grandson. “Daddy, why are you killing Mommy and me?” she says. “Daddy, why are you killing us? We don’t want to die. Let us live long enough, and I know you’ll love me, too. Let me live and I promise I won’t take her away from you. Daddy, please, please stop. We don’t want to die.” Scott Peterson jerks his head back, then continues staring at the witness. Echoing Dennis Rocha, she adds, “You deserve to burn in hell for all eternity.” After the impact statements, Delucchi invites Scott Peterson to speak, and he confers with his defense team before Mark Geragos declines on his behalf. Delucchi rules that the so-called “newly discovered evidence” is not credible. As he sentences Scott Peterson to death, the judge notes that the murders were too “cruel, uncaring, heartless and callous” for him to exercise his right to reduce the recommended penalty. With his voice shaking and tears welling in his eyes, Delucchi states, “This young boy, Conner, was unable even to take a breath of life on this earth.” Some of the former jurors nod in agreement as the judge renders his decision. The court orders Scott Peterson to pay $10,000 to a state victim’s compensation fund “for the funeral expenses that were advanced to the family.” The judge also orders him to pay an additional $5,000 to the fund. Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Richelle Nice explains her attendance. “We were in there for seven months,” she states. “We wanted to see it all the way through to the end.” Nice is approached by a CBS network producer about a possible book deal. She says that she and other jurors are considering a joint project. She takes a business card from the producer. Fairy Sorrell notes that Scott Peterson’s facial expression was no different than it was during the trial. She says watching the hearing was difficult for her. “It was very hard today,” she says, noting that the Peterson family and the Rocha family are both suffering losses. “Facing death row, that’s not easy.” Julie Zanartu also says she feels sympathy for family members. “Dennis is just the saddest person,” she says. “I feel so sorry for him.” Mike Belmessieri notes that “Scott came in with a great big smile on his face, laughing,” as he did during many days of his trial. “It was just another day in paradise for Scott—another day that he had to go through the motions,” Belmessieri says. “But he’s on his way home, Scott figures. Well, guess what, Scotty….” “San Quentin‘s your new home!” Nice interjects. She calls Scott Peterson “a jerk” and advises him to “look somebody in the face” when they’re addressing him. “I think his reaction was horrible,” she tells reporters. “Her family members were speaking to him, and he couldn’t even make eye contact. Justice won’t be served till they put the needle in his arm.” Tom Marino says simply, “I’m glad it’s over.” Renee Garza also attends the hearing, and afterward comments on the blistering remarks made by Rocha family members. “I knew it was coming,” she states. “I knew their words were going to be tough.” She refuses to comment on Scott Peterson. Gwen Kemple praises Sharon Rocha for doing a “wonderful” job on the witness stand. Ron Grantski expresses hope for the future. “Our family’s going to make it,” he says. “We’re stronger because of this. And Scott got what he deserved.” Gloria Allred files an objection in court to the suggestions made by Mark Geragos that Amber Frey was already working on a book during Scott Peterson’s trial. “I don’t think any of us wants to trade places with Scott Peterson, where every day he’ll have to think about how he killed his wife and baby,” she remarks. She tells the media that her famous client will now probably focus on “being a great mother” and helping out with the CBS movie based on her book. Later, on The Abrams Report, Edie Lambert, Daniel Horowitz, David Wohl and Geoffrey Fieger discuss the day’s events. Wohl calls his day in court “the most emotional, incredible court hearing” he has seen. Horowitz observes that Scott Peterson “turned this into a death case by his own conduct.” Fieger states, “I don‘t think this is the first crime Peterson ever committed, frankly…I think he just hasn’t been caught.” Dan Abrams speaks with Lt. Vernell Crittendon, who describes what Scott Peterson’s first day at San Quentin State Prison might be like. In a special edition of the program, Abrams speaks with a different guest panel about the sentencing.
March 17 Scott Peterson becomes the 644th prisoner awaiting death in the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. At 3:10 a.m., a white van leaves San Mateo County Jail, headed to the prison. Scott Peterson, wearing a V-neck orange shirt and pants, toeless sandals, a bulletproof vest, leg irons, and shackles around his wrists and waist, enters the prison at 4:05 a.m. According to later statements by Lt. Vernell Crittendon, he is also wearing a “facade of confidence” over a “veil of uneasiness.” A body search, medical exam and DNA test are conducted. He has a identification photograph taken. At about 5:10 a.m., he is transferred to a cell. Crittendon reports on the new arrival as part of the Today show. Crittendon characterizes Scott Peterson as “extremely polite.” Crittendon later explains on On the Record With Greta Van Susteren that the unusual middle-of-the-night move was to ensure no crowds would show up. Crittendon also appears on Good Morning America to discuss the transfer. In a news conference, Dave Harris and Rick Distaso address the media, with the former saying that, during the time he was under the gag order, there were two words he wanted to tell reporters: “Trust us.” “We would have liked the talking heads to say, ‘Well, maybe these guys do know what they are doing,'” he says. Distaso agrees. “My mom would call and say, ‘They are just saying terrible things about you.'” He also reveals that he believes Scott Peterson plotted the murder carefully, deciding on December 23, 2002, to carry out the act. “I think he did mean to do it that night,” Distaso says. Kim Petersen tells reporters that Sharon Rocha and Ron Grantski, expected to attend, had bowed out because they were drained. “They are exhausted today—both emotionally and physically,” she explains. Det. Al Brocchini and Det. Jon Buehler address the gathering, saying they had an inside joke that Scott Peterson, a college graduate, thought he was “smarter than everybody” and could deceive them. “I want him to know I have a high school diploma only,” Brocchini remarks. “His major concerns weren’t Laci at the beginning of this case. He is very calm, cool, nonchalant, polite, arrogant. He thinks he’s smarter than everybody.” Buehler praises Amber Frey. “Geragos wasn’t able to lay a mark on her,” he says. He echoes the sentiment that Scott Peterson underestimated the authorities. “I think he judged not only us, but probably you guys, too, and the efforts you were going to put into it,” Buehler tells reporters. The district attorney says he holds out little hope that the convicted murderer will ever confess. “I think he’ll go to his grave with his mouth tightly sealed,” Jim Brazelton predicts.
March 18 Lt. Vernell Crittendon appears on The Early Show, noting that Scott Peterson has already received proposals from women. He reports that switchboard operators at San Quentin State Prison took almost three dozen calls to Scott Peterson from women across the country. “It’s a very common practice that happens,” Crittendon explains. “Many of the men on death row that have found wives have met those young ladies after they had received their death sentence and after they arrived here at San Quentin on death row.”
March 19 In an Associated Press article, Reid Meloy comments on Scott Peterson being an emotionless psychopath. “The most intense emotion he’s derived through his whole trial was the excitement he received when he darkened the doors of San Quentin,” Meloy remarks.
March 20 The New York Post runs an article based in part on a letter received from death-row inmate Richie Roldan in San Quentin State Prison. In the story, Roldan suggests Scott Peterson may end up paying protection money to some of his fellow prisoners. “He’ll be a paycheck canteen punk to some crew,” Roldan predicts. The article states that inmates can purchase items at the canteen and at any of 13 approved vendors, including Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Music by Mail, JC Penney, and various mail-order companies selling gifts, office supplies, vitamins and supplements, electronics and typewriters. The San Jose Mercury News reports that jurors are considering writing a book together.
March 21 On The Abrams Report, Dan Abrams reads comments from viewers about the formal sentencing of Scott Peterson. In Newsweek, Mark Geragos gives his first interview since Scott Peterson was found guilty. “I truly believe he’s innocent,” Geragos says. “And if I didn’t convince 12 people of that, then I didn’t do enough.” He says he has no regrets about taking the case, even though it cost him the Michael Jackson case. “I’m still pulling and fighting for Scott,” he insists. CBS announces it has started production on Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution, its movie based on Amber Frey’s bestseller Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson. According to CBS, Paget Brewster, Nora Dunn and Terry Kinney have joined the cast, which includes Janel Moloney and Nathan Anderson as as Amber Frey and Scott Peterson, respectively.
March 22 Members of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors learn that Larry Haugh, under a court order, transferred $229,000 to Scott Peterson’s defense team to pay for his expert witnesses. Supervisors move $123,350 from a contingency fund to the Office of the District Attorney to cover costs associated with the prosecution, including $3,550 to pay for Jim Brazelton, Rick Distaso, Dave Harris and Birgit Fladager traveling to North Carolina in April 2005 to accept the National District Attorneys Association’s Home-Run Hitter’s Award. “It’s a high achievement, and a real honor to be presented with this award,” Brazelton remarks. “We’re over a barrel here,” Jeff Grover complains. “Every other county that has had a trial like this, they’ve been reimbursed for it…we don’t even know what the costs are.” MediaWeek runs a story about the upcoming movie Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution. The Modesto Bee runs a story about Scott and Laci Peterson’s former business, The Shack, being offered for sale. The article quotes agent Jack Hirsch as saying that the Redwood City office space owned by Mark Geragos is “temporarily” off the market. The story also mentions that three eBay sellers are offering copies of the March 17, 2005, edition of the newspaper, with the current high bid being $10.00.
March 23 Larry Haugh tells the Associated Press that Stanislaus County ended up paying $229,000 for expert witnesses for Scott Peterson’s defense. In an article on the subject, Laurie Levenson states the obvious: “I think, at some point, Peterson and his family just ran out money.” The Associated Press contacts Mark Geragos concerning the revelation, but he provides no comment. The New York Post runs another article about Scott Peterson receiving letters and telephone calls from female admirers. In the report, Tracy Lamourie, co-founder of the Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty, states that she has already received several e-mail messages from women wanting to get in touch with Scott Peterson. CBS News also reports on the strange phenomenon, with Lloyd Garver’s editorial citing the Internet as helping to fuel what he terms “weird” romances: “There is a whole new meaning to the term ‘pen pal,'” he puns. The Modesto Bee reports that budget overruns, related to the housing and prosecution of Scott Peterson, totaled $408,000 as of December 31, 2004. According to the story, the Modesto Police Department’s current estimated cost for the investigation is $1 million. The story also notes that officials from San Mateo County say that Stanislaus County still owes their county $117,040.
March 25 The Stanislaus County Office of the District Attorney reports spending $672,507 for the prosecution of Scott Peterson, excluding $742,000 in court costs and more to pay the salaries of prosecutors and support staff personnel, but including $265,000 for hotel rooms and meals when they had to relocate to Redwood City.
March 26 A Modesto Bee article reports that the total cost to investigate and prosecute Scott Peterson is estimated at more than $2.64 million. In the article, Marc Klaas downplays the expense, saying it is about what it would cost to purchase a couple of new homes in the area. “From that perspective, it’s money well-spent,” he notes. “Because they put a stone-cold killer behind bars for the rest of his life at worst, and at best, we’ll see him get a lethal injection someday.” The article reveals that prosecutors paid $61,600 to Jennifer Franz, $30,083 to Ebbe Ebbesen, $125,771 to Howard Varinsky and $14,600 to Phil Trompetter, who was cited in a recommendation by Jim Brazelton to provide compensatory time off to Rick Distaso, Dave Harris and Birgit Fladager. The story also notes that Amber Frey was reimbursed $580 for expenses.
March 28 Dennis Rocha joins in the lawsuit against Scott Peterson. The amount being sought is raised from $5 million to $25 million. Gary Davis, representing Dennis Rocha, files papers arguing that the large judgment “would send a message to all persons in the United States and throughout the world that such vicious and outrageous savagery shall be met with the severest of civil penalties.”
March 29 Johnnie Cochran, frequent commentator on the Scott Peterson case, dies after a long illness. In a KTVU report, Adam Stewart states that winning a civil suit against Scott Peterson “may be a symbolic victory, but one that gives some peace of mind to Sharon.” The article states that the next hearing concerning the case is scheduled for April 22, 2005.
March 30 Mike Harden, responding to reports that the cost to investigate and convict Scott Peterson has topped $3 million, states, “You can’t put a dollar [amount] on justice.” In a Modesto Bee article concerning the Rocha family’s civil suit against Scott Peterson, Gary Davis promises, “If he ever thinks of doing anything to line his own pockets, we’ll be all over it.” In the same article, Adam Stewart says he is researching the assets of Scott Peterson, but admits winning the suit “may be a symbolic victory” being as Scott Peterson sits on death row, but does not totally dismiss the idea that the convict could secure a movie deal. “His lawyer is from L.A.,” Stewart points out. “He’s close to people there. Crazier things have happened.” The attorney contends that he and Davis, though from different law firms, are “united” in the effort against Scott Peterson. Davis notes that Sharon Rocha and Dennis Rocha, long ago divorced, still “have great respect for each other.” The ever-subtle New York Post runs a headline screaming “Laci Folks $lap Scott.”
March 31 The Modesto Bee reports that the cost of bringing Scott Peterson to justice has exceeded an estimated $3 million, noting that the Modesto Police Department recently upped cost estimates from $1 million to $1.55 million. According to the article, prosecutors listed their costs as $672,500, excluding salaries. The story states that the Modesto Police Department followed up on some 10,000 tips and furnished the majority of about 42,000 pages of reports used by prosecutors. The March 31, 2005, National Enquirer, announces that there is a plot within San Quentin State Prison to kill Scott Peterson. The article quotes former inmate Art Walters, Sgt. Eric Messick, Terry Thornton and an unidentified “law enforcement source,” who notes that Scott Peterson’s shredded letters filled “three garbage bags” when they had to be destroyed at the time he left San Mateo County Jail.