Scott Peterson Wants a New Trial in His Murder Case
Scott Peterson, who was convicted of killing his wife and unborn child in 2004, is asking for a new trial in his murder case, citing juror misconduct.
In their bid for a new trial, Peterson's lawyers said Friday that a woman who eagerly sought to be a juror in Peterson's murder trial committed misconduct by not disclosing she had been a crime victim.
Juror 7 reportedly voted to sentence Peterson to death. The defense attorneys said Juror 7 failed to disclose that her boyfriend beat her in 2001 while she was pregnant, according to an Oxygen report.
She also allegedly failed to disclose that while pregnant with another child, she obtained a restraining order against the boyfriend's ex-girlfriend as she feared that she would hurt her unborn child.
A judge is reviewing if Scott Peterson should get an entirely new trial due to juror misconduct by falsely answering questions during the selection process.
The juror was not identified in court papers. However, she was previously identified as Richelle Nice, who co-authored a book regarding the case with six other jurors.
Juror Misconduct on Scott Peterson's Murder Case
The Stanislaus County district attorney's office refused to comment on the new allegation of misconduct. They said that they would address the issue in court, ABC 7 News reported.
Prosecutors have brushed off accusations of misconduct in court filings. They included a declaration by Nice that indicated that she either misinterpreted or misunderstood the questions on other legal proceedings she had been involved in.
Considered jurors were asked if they had ever been involved in a lawsuit or took part in a trial as a witness or party. They were also asked if they had ever been a crime victim or witness. Nice answered "no" to those questions, and the defense lawyers said those answers were false.
According to court papers, Nice declared that she did not interpret the circumstances leading to the petition for a restraining order as a crime.
But the defense lawyers argued that by hiding facts and giving false answers, the juror undermined the jury selection process and carried out misconduct that harmed Scott Peterson's right to a fair trial.
The defense lawyers added that Scott Peterson was entitled to be tried by "a jury of 12 impartial jurors, not 11."
Scott Peterson's Murder Case
Scott Peterson was sentenced to death in the 2002 murders of his pregnant wife, Laci, and the son she was carrying. However, the California Supreme court was ordered to re-examine his murder convictions last October due to irregularities in the juror's statements during the selection.
The Stanislaus County district attorney's office earlier said it has decided it would not be seeking the death penalty.
Peterson's attorney Pat Harris said the district attorney's office has the right if the habeas comes back to put the death penalty on the table. Harris noted that they had changed their mind once and so they could change their mind again.
However, he stressed that they did say on the record that the death penalty is off the table, another ABC 7 News report said. Harris expressed hope that a new trial will allow them to present new evidence that will reveal who killed Laci Peterson.
Laci Peterson was reported missing on Christmas Eve 2002 while she was eight months pregnant with their son.
Scott Peterson caught the attention of investigators because he seemed to be lacking concern over his wife's disappearance and became hesitant to cooperate with police in ways that might prove his innocence, such as taking a polygraph test, Rolling Stone reported.
Peterson was reported to have an affair with a massage therapist named Amber Frey, who contacted the police on Dec. 30, 2002 after realizing Peterson's connection to the missing woman in the news.
Scott Peterson was arrested in La Jolla, California on Apr. 18, 2003. It was the same day when the two decomposed bodies washed ashore in the San Francisco Bay were identified as Laci Peterson and their son, Conner.
WATCH: Convicted Killer Scott Peterson Seeks New Trial - From ABC 10 News
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