Scott Peterson

Convicted Killer Scott Peterson Appears in Court in Death Penalty Retrial

Preliminary hearing via Zoom is related to "criminal matter" in his 2004 murder conviction

NBC Universal, Inc. Seventeen years after Scott Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son, Conner, the condemned inmate made another appearance in court. Cierra Johnson reports.

Seventeen years after Scott Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son, Conner, the condemned inmate made another appearance in court regarding his death penalty conviction.

Peterson, who has spent the past 17 years on death row at San Quentin State Prison, appeared Tuesday via Zoom for two conference hearings related to the "criminal matter" in his 2004 conviction.

Last year, the California Supreme Court ordered a second look at the case after the original trial judge excluded jurors from the juror pool after they expressed they were personally opposed to the death penalty. The ruling upheld the conviction but struck the death penalty case, prompting a retrial of the penalty phase.

The judge Tuesday agreed with a motion allowing 60 days of discovery and ordered the sides to reconvene in court on June 21.

Laci and Conner were killed in December 2002, and their bodies were discovered in April 2003, washed up along the shore of San Francisco Bay north of Berkeley.

The second part of Peterson's appearance Tuesday relates to a new trial hearing over juror misconduct. Peterson filed a separate challenge to his conviction, claiming juror No. 7 in the 2004 trial lied during pretrial questioning. When asked if she had ever been a victim of a crime, the juror did not disclose a restraining order she filed after being harassed by a boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, Peterson's lawyers said.

The judge for the second part granted the same discovery motion and follow-up court date.

Laci Peterson would have turned 46 next week, and Conner would be 18.