Peterson Trial: Amber Frey Cross-Examined

Peterson Trial: Amber Frey Cross-Examined
Amber Frey
PAUL SAKUMA/POOL/EPA/landov

08/24/2004 09:00AM

Prosecution star witness Amber Frey returned to the stand Monday in Scott Peterson's double-murder trial, facing what may be a tough cross-examination from defense attorney Mark Geragos.

The questioning started on a lighthearted note. Geragos addressed Judge Alfred A. Delucchi and said: "No questions, your honor. Just kidding."

Everyone chuckled, and Frey smiled – though it was the only time she did during her much-awaited cross-examination by Geragos.

Geragos, relying on Modesto police transcripts of conversations with Frey, asked the witness about the times she and Peterson had unprotected sex, and her statement to police: "He doesn't know that I've had my period."

"So you're suggesting that we could probably use that as a ruse or something like that?" replied an investigator in the case of the missing Laci.

"Yes, oh yeah," said Frey, though it appears the plan never went through.

Legal experts note that Frey, despite being a massage therapist and Peterson's former mistress, has proven to be a credible witness, and Geragos would be wise to tread lightly when questioning her. That did appear to be his approach, though the slant was to portray Frey as being obsessed with Peterson.

Frey's testimony, which is expected to continue on Tuesday, essentially recapped how she and Peterson met in late November 2002 – on a blind date set up by her friend.

Prosecutors maintain that Peterson, wanting to be free of his pregnant wife Laci so he could take up with Frey, killed Laci in the couple's Modesto home around Christmas Eve 2002 and dumped her remains into San Francisco Bay. He has pleaded not guilty, and his defense contends that although Peterson was unfaithful to his wife, she was abducted and killed by someone else.

Last Wednesday, the trial was suspended so both sides could review, in the judge's words, a "potential development." No mention was made of that during Monday's session.

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