Judge Nixes Peterson's Mistrial Request

Judge Nixes Peterson's Mistrial Request
Scott Peterson
POOL-Bart Ah You/ZUMA

07/30/2004 08:00AM

It what came as no surprise, Judge Alfred Delucchi on Thursday denied the defense's motion for a mistrial as well as the request for a dismissal in the Scott Peterson double-murder case, reports PEOPLE.

"You can't make chicken out of fish," quipped Delucchi before the proceedings even got underway.

In seeking a mistrial, Peterson defense attorney Mark Geragos listed the errors in testimony by Stanislaus County Detective Al Brocchini, "from the meringue incident to the incident with Peggy O'Donnell's interview being magically excised, and then the duct tape."

O'Donnell is the woman at Peterson's warehouse who saw Scott's pregnant wife Laci the day before she disappeared.

Despite his litany of complaints, Geragos failed to convince the jurist that it was anything beyond what Assistant Stanislaus County DA Rick Distaso called "a simple mistake."

"This was all a negotiation," Daniel Horowitz, a San Francisco defense attorney and legal analyst, told PEOPLE. "Everything was show and the necessary moments you have to make as a lawyer. It was the dance, that's all, just the dance. Everybody knew where it was going to go."

In other rulings, Delucchi is permitting the jury to view what could be harmful media reports. One is an interview with Diane Sawyer for ABC, in which Peterson said he told police of his affair with massage therapist Amber Frey and that he had told Frey he was married. Neither claim was true.

Another bit of evidence is a photo of Peterson taken by the Modesto Bee newspaper, showing the fertilizer salesman smiling during a candlelit vigil held when Laci was considered missing.

Peterson, 31, is accused of murdering his pregnant wife in their Modesto home on Christmas Eve 2002, then dumping her body into San Francisco Bay. He has pleaded not guilty.

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