Space for news organizations is coming at a high price near the county courthouse in Redwood City, Ca., where former fertilizer salesman Scott Peterson soon will be on trial for allegedly killing his wife and unborn son. The trial may last six months. The Los Angeles Times says that more than 300 reporters, producers, photographers, and cameramen from dozens of news agencies are credentialed to cover it.
Television outlets are being asked to put up at least $51,000 each for an area in a tent encampment outside. The city is charging $7,500 a month for on-street parking for television microwave and satellite trucks.
The state should pick up court costs of the trial, said an official, but that will not cover extra security, electrical generators, trash bins, portable toilets, road striping, and wiring to handle the influx of media and the public.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi denied a request by news media to televise the trial live. The defense and prosecution opposed the request. An attorney representing broadcasters urged Delucchi to allow cameras. “The case affects people because it involves a regular family,” Rochelle Wilcox said. “It’s important for the public to see what goes on here.” Delucchi said, “This isn’t the Super Bowl,” and that the main reason he banned cameras was so “Mr. Peterson gets a fair trial.”
Pre-trial proceedings are delayed a week while defense attorney Mark Geragos handles a homicide case. The sheriff’s office had issued courtroom seats to 34 news agencies, chosen in a lottery, as of yesterday.