Peterson Detective Left Out Key Evidence
POOL-Bart Ah You/ZUMA
The prosecution was delivered what is being perceived as a crushing blow in the Scott Peterson double-murder trial on Thursday.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Mark Geragos, Modesto police Det. Allen Brocchini admitted that his report omitted that witnesses said they spotted Laci Peterson the day before her December 2002 disappearance at the warehouse where Scott kept his boat.
If the witness reports are true, it would deflate the prosecutors' contention that Laci Peterson was not aware her husband had a new boat.
Geragos also got Brocchini to confirm that the Laci sighting by the boat came from a warehouse neighbor. She was a woman who let Laci use her restroom and even reported that Laci complained that Scott's warehouse space was so crowded with his work supplies and the boat that she could not easily get to his restroom.
Prosecutors maintain that Peterson, 31, dumped the body of his pregnant wife, Laci, in San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve 2002. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It could also explain away another piece of key prosecution evidence: a hair belonging to Laci that was found in a pair of pliers taken from Peterson's boat when investigators searched it for evidence after her disappearance.
Under cross examination by defense attorney Mark Geragos, Brocchini reluctantly admitted he had "excised" the notes about Laci's reported visit while writing his transcript, however the fact was still on Brocchini's recorded tape.
Earlier in the afternoon, Geragos also played up Brocchini's mistake regarding Peterson's claims that he and Laci watched a Martha Stewart segment on the morning of Dec. 24 (around the time Laci was reported missing), during which Stewart spoke about making meringue.
After reviewing tapes of the program, Brocchini claimed to have found no reference to meringue on the Dec. 24 episode, but did find several references to it on a segment that aired on Dec. 23. Brocchini cited this fact in the paperwork police filed to get permission to tap Peterson's phone.
Geragos, however, also reviewed the tapes and found that Brocchini had overlooked Stewart's mention of meringue on her Dec. 24. When he asked Brocchini about the matter, the detective replied: "I wrote that (in my report), but I was wrong."
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