The Los Angeles Innocence Project is getting behind convicted mur*derer Scott Peterson, arguing in legal papers that new evidence will show he didn’t ki*ll his pregnant wife more than two decades ago.
Peterson, who is serving a life sentence for the mur*der of Laci Peterson, received renewed hope Thursday when the legal organization confirmed to outlets it had taken up his case.
He was convicted in 2004 of k*illing his wife and their unborn child after Laci’s body was found the year prior.
Innocent Project lawyers argued in a recent court filing that “new evidence now supports Mr. Peterson’s long-standing claim of innocence and raises many questions into who abducted and k*illed Laci and Conner Peterson,”.
The attorneys are now looking for numerous items they couldn’t find after combing over his trial files including evidence from investigations into a December 2002 burglary across the street from where the couple lived, a missing watch that Laci Peterson wore and a van fire in the area around the time the mom-to-be went missing as well as docs tied to witness interviews, the outlet reported.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office replied to the non-profit’s request for information late last year, claiming the project’s argument didn’t pass muster.
The DA’s special prosecutor, Birgit Fladager, alleged the project intentionally held back information about exoneration efforts.
“The fact that you have chosen to withhold items you claim to possess that support some of your assertions is troubling,” she reportedly wrote.
Peterson, 51, has always maintained he was innocent of the mur*ders.
His lawyer, Pat Harris told the Los Angeles Times in a statement he was excited the LA Innocence Project is “lending their considerable expertise to helping probe that Scott Peterson is innocent.”
One juror told ABC News Thursday he supports the fresh review of the case.
“If they think they’re going to find something different, that sheds light on something new, I fully support it,” Mike Belmessieri said, adding he thinks about the case daily.
A California judge denied Peterson’s bid for a new trial in 2022 after he argued a single juror’s bias tainted the rest of the jury when coming to a verdict.
The juror, Richelle Nice, deliberately hid her own domestic abuse case during jury selection, his lawyers argued, but the judge found no misconduct by her.
Peterson was initially sentenced to de*ath but that punishment was scrapped and he was instead issued a life sentence.
The Innocence Project provides pro-bono legal help to inmates convicted of c*rimes in Central and Southern California.