Peterson Lawyer Accuses Juror of Lying

03/31/2004 AT 01:00 PM EST

Routine questioning of potential jurors for Scott Peterson's murder trial took a nasty turn on Tuesday, as Peterson's attorney, Mark Geragos, accused one prospective panelist of being a "stealth juror," PEOPLE reports.

When it came time to question the unidentified woman, who had just been sworn in by Judge Alfred A. Delucchi, Geragos dispensed with the niceties with which he had treated the other potential jurors.

"Do you attend a senior center in Redwood City?" Geragos barked. When she said that she did, the defense attorney then asked if she had recently taken a bus trip with other members to Reno, Nev.

The woman said that she had, and Geragos let loose with a barrage of questions. "Didn't you tell people on that bus that you were trying hard as hell to get on the jury?" he asked. "Didn't you say you'd been following the case for a year? Didn't you say you were going to be the foreperson? Didn't you say ... Scott Peterson is guilty as hell?" the attorney pressed.

With that, Delucchi stopped the questioning and sent the woman outside the courtroom. Geragos then explained that he had received a call from a person who accompanied the woman on the bus trip during which she had made the comments that Geragos alleged.

Geragos said the caller told him the woman wanted to get on the jury in order to see Peterson executed. Delucchi plans to subpoena the unknown whistleblower for questioning May 10. The woman was asked to return to court May 11.

After court adjourned for the day, Geragos made a brief statement outside the courthouse where he accused the woman of being the "embodiment of a stealth juror" -- someone who lies to intentionally gain entrance to a jury pool. Geragos said he has been gravely concerned about this type of juror since the beginning.

"It's extremely distressing to think that anybody would lie their way onto a jury in order to execute someone," he said. "It's mind-boggling." Geragos threatened to pursue perjury charges against the woman if the judge finds that she lied.

This is the second week of jury selection in the Peterson case. The lawyers and judge need to select 12 jurors and six alternates before the trial can begin. Peterson is charged with murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and the couple's unborn son.

From Our Partners