The Laci Peterson case will return to the spotlight this week as a preliminary hearing is set to begin Wednesday in Modesto, Ca. USA Today reports that the hearing will provide the first look at how prosecutors will try to tie former fertilizer salesman Scott Peterson to the murder of his wife and unborn son.
Peterson’s attorneys will try to persuade Judge Al Girolami to throw out evidence investigators obtained from wiretaps, bloodhounds, hypnosis, DNA analysis and tracking by global positioning systems.
USA Today explains the case’s fascination this way: “The attractive mother-to-be missing on Christmas Eve, the tight-knit community’s anguished search, the stunning revelation that her husband had been having an affair, his lawyers’ theory that a Satanic cult was involved and fresh allegations from a jail inmate in Fresno that Scott had tried to hire neo-Nazi gangsters to kill his wife.”
Peterson’s lead lawyer, Mark Geragos, may try to discredit the police investigation and float other scenarios of how Laci died. Prosecutor David Harris is expected to present just enough to persuade the judge to hold Peterson for trial. Peterson has been jailed since April. Prosecutors seek the death penalty.
The judge has issued a gag order on participants, hoping that it will avoid the need for a change of venue.