Peterson Jurors May See TV Interviews

03/23/2004 AT 12:00 PM EST

Jurors in the double-murder case of Scott Peterson will be allowed to view TV interviews that the suspect gave in the weeks after his wife's disappearance in which he discussed the search for Laci Peterson and admitted having an affair, a judge ruled Monday.

Although Peterson's attorney, Mark Geragos, argued that the interviews have no relevance in the case, Judge Alfred A. Delucchi decided that they can "show consciousness of guilt" and the "defendant's state of mind," reports the Associated Press.

"The statements do not amount to admissions or confessions since they relate to collateral matters rather than the crime for which Mr. Peterson now stands falsely accused," Geragos reportedly wrote in a court filing.

Prosecutors allege that Peterson lied repeatedly during the interviews, of which there are four: one by Diane Sawyer of ABC News and three by Northern California stations.

Authorities claim Peterson, now 31, killed his pregnant wife Laci on Dec. 23 or 24, 2002 because he was having an affair with massage therapist Amber Frey, then dumped Laci's body in San Francisco Bay. The bodies of his wife and unborn son washed ashore nearly four months later.

Peterson could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted.

During the interviews, says prosecutor Rick Distaso, Peterson told "a whole host of lies to shift the blame from himself" as he discussed his relationship with his wife and about being cooperative with police.

Among the falsehoods Peterson allegedly told Diane Sawyer was that Frey was the only woman with whom he cheated on his wife. Police learned of at least one other affair early in the Peterson marriage, Distaso claims.

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