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Scott Peterson Faces Hurdle as Judge Rules One Piece of Evidence Will Be Retested for DNA in Wife Laci’s Murder

Scott Peterson faced a new hurdle this week in his bid to be retried for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, after claiming that new evidence proved he was innocent, can reveal.

Peterson has been in prison serving a life sentence without parole since his conviction in 2004 for the killings of Laci, 27, and their unborn son, Conner. Laci was eight months pregnant when she was killed, and the local medical examiner was unable to determine a cause of death due to the condition of her body when it was found in San Francisco Bay, a mile away from her son’s fetus.

Peterson was arrested days after her body was found, and was initially sentenced to death, but a court resentenced him to life without parole in 2021.

As reported, the Los Angeles Innocence Project took on the notorious case this past January, claiming new evidence supported the defendant’s longstanding denial of guilt. The nonprofit also argued his constitutional rights were violated during the initial trial.

After his legal team requested that more than a dozen pieces of evidence be retested for DNA, San Mateo County Judge Elizabeth M. Hill ruled in a crucial development this week that only one single item would be reanalyzed: a piece of duct tape found with Laci’s body, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The 15-inch piece of tape was stuck to the right leg of Laci’s pants, and a DNA test in 2013 yielded no definitive results. Peterson’s lawyers noted that “a section of the duct tape that was folded over onto itself underwent DNA testing and the presence of human DNA was found, but no DNA profile could be obtained.”

But Judge Hill said in her ruling that advances in technology may reveal new information, calling it a “no-brainer.”

During the initial trial, Scott’s attorney, Mark Geragos, suggested Laci’s death may have been linked to a burglary near the couple’s Modesto home. Peterson’s lawyers claimed that a blood-stained mattress was found in a burned-out stolen van that was used in the burglary.

The LA Innocence Project was pushing for the court to allow DNA testing of the mattress, claiming the owner of the van said that it hadn’t been in the vehicle before it was swiped. The judge denied this request, arguing that testing of the item in 2012 turned up no results.

The court will discuss how it will order the new evidence to be reanalyzed at a hearing scheduled in July.

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