A California man who has spent 15 years living on Death Row for the murder of his pregnant wife will be resentenced in November to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, a judge said Wednesday.
Scott Peterson, 48, was sentenced to death in 2005 for the 2002 murder of his wife, Laci, and unborn son, Connor.
The California State Supreme Court overturned the sentence in 2020, and Peterson has been living on death row without a sentence ever since.
Peterson’s lawyers are seeking a new trial rather than a resentencing, claiming a juror committed misconduct by falsely answering questions during the selection process.
But Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo said she wants to sentence Peterson in November before deciding whether he deserves a new trial over alleged juror misconduct
The court ordered for Peterson to be formally sentenced once again on Wednesday in order for the state to keep him locked up at San Quentin State Prison.
‘This case has become more complicated. Sentencing Mr. Peterson should not be delayed,’ the judge said.
Peterson will be re-sentenced in November regardless of all other legal battles currently underway pertaining to the case, KRON 4 reported.
Scott Peterson was sentenced to death in 2005, pictured, for the murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, in 2002, whose body was found in the San Francisco Bay. The body of their unborn son, Connor, was also found mutilated in the bay
Laci and Scott Peterson married in 1997. Peterson allegedly had an affair and was said to have been angry when he found out Laci was pregnant
Peterson, center, with his lawyers Mark Geragos, left, and Pat Harris during court in 2004
Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager had previously announced that she would not be seeking the death penalty against Peterson after Laci’s family said another trial would be too painful to go through.
Laci had vanished from their home in Modesto while pregnant on Christmas Eve 2002.
The 27-year-old’s corpse was found floating in San Francisco Bay in April 2003, with Conner’s fetus found to have been mutilated.
Investigators said Peterson took the bodies from their home and dumped them from his fishing boat.
Peterson was convicted of his wife’s murder in 2005 after jurors were told how he had a masseuse mistress called Amber Frey. Frey did not realize Peterson was married when they first began dating.
He is also said to have dreaded becoming a father.
Peterson maintains his innocence, and claims Laci was killed after disturbing a burglary.
‘He’s innocent. It’s time to get him out,’ said defense attorney Pat Harris.
Peterson was said to have had an affair with masseuse Amber Frey
Richelle Nice, second from the right, was said to have not disclosed that she was a victim of domestic abuse while pregnant during the jury selection process
Defense attorneys claimed Nice, known as ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ had a bias against Peterson
The defense has also mounted a case against one of the jurors in the case, Richelle Nice, who is known as ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ due to her bright red hair.
The defense alleges Nice committed juror misconduct by failing to mention that she was a victim of abuse while pregnant during the jury selection process and may have had a bias against Peterson.
Nice also allegedly wrote letters to Peterson while he was in jail, asking him to confess to the murder of his pregnant wife.
Fladager called the move a ‘witch hunt’ to try and discredit the juror in an attempts to throw out the original case against Peterson and trigger a retrial.
Superior Court Judge Christine Massullo will rule on whether or not Nice performed juror misconduct.
Nice has asked for immunity from testifying in Peterson’s trial and plans to plead the fifth, KRON 4 reported.
Peterson will return to court on October 6 to set a precise date for the re-sentencing, which is expected in November.