Peterson Defense Loses Two Rulings

03/03/2004 AT 01:00 PM EST

The prosecution in the Scott Peterson murder trial in Northern California scored two major victories Tuesday.

First, the judge in the case decided to permit jurors to hear some details gathered by tracking dogs that picked up Laci Peterson's scent at the marina four days after her husband reported her missing on Christmas Eve 2002, reports the Associated Press.

As for the other victory, the judge ruled that the jury will be allowed to hear wiretapped phone calls collected by police, who bugged Scott's phone line in the days after Laci's disappearance.

Prosecutors say police dogs picked up the pregnant Laci's scent in several places in the days following her disappearance. One such location was the Berkeley Marina, where Peterson told investigators he was alone when he launched his fishing boat. (Four months later, Lacis's headless body and the remains of the couple's unborn son washed up on shore about two miles from the marina.)

According to AP, experts are saying the dog-tracking evidence could be the most damaging to the defense assertion that Laci Peterson was at home the morning of Dec. 24, 2002, before she vanished later that day -- when Scott Peterson claims he was fishing alone on San Francisco Bay. (The slain woman's family has said that Laci was unaware her husband had purchased a boat.)

The two rulings come just two days before jury selection is scheduled to begin. Peterson, 31, could face the death penalty if convicted of the double murders of his wife and unborn child.

Lead defense attorney Mark Geragos reportedly called the dog-tracking evidence "complete voodoo" and argued that the wiretap evidence should be tossed out because authorities accidentally taped portions of conversations between his client and his first attorney.

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