California judge rejects new murder trial for Scott Peterson after juror claim

California judge rejects new murder trial for Scott Peterson after juror claim

Updated: 3 months, 7 days, 20 hours, 3 minutes, 46 seconds ago

Almost 20 years to the day Scott Peterson murdered his pregnant wife, a California judge rejected his bid for a second chance to have his case tried.

Peterson will continue serving life in prison for the Christmas Eve 2002 slayings of his wife, Laci, and their unborn child who they planned to name Conner, although he can appeal the decision.

The convicted killer argued a single biased juror in the highly sensationalized original 2004 trial tainted her peers’ views of him. Peterson and his lawyers claimed Richelle Nice intentionally concealed her own domestic abuse case during jury selection. Once in the jury box, Nice influenced her fellow jurors against Peterson and directly led to his guilty verdict, he claimed.

After months of litigation, Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo, the same judge who committed his death sentence to life imprisonment in 2020, found there was no evidence Nice committed misconduct during jury selection.

A California judge on Tuesday rejected a new murder trial for Scott Peterson.


Nice did not intentionally conceal information about her life on the jury questionnaire or misrepresent her financial situation to stay on the jury and did not appear vengeful toward Peterson in letters she later wrote him in prison, Massullo wrote.

Prosecutors admitted Nice failed to disclose her civil domestic dispute case during jury selection, but argued it was a simple error rather than a deliberate attempt to exact revenge for Peterson’s unborn baby, as his team claimed.

She had filed a restraining order four years before the trial during her own pregnancy because her boyfriend’s ex had made threats to her life, but she didn’t disclose it while filing the 20-plus page juror questionnaire as she didn’t think it was relevant.

Peterson was convicted of dumping the bodies of his pregnant wife, Laci, and the unborn child into the San Francisco Bay.


“I didn’t write it on the questionnaire because it never crossed my mind, ever. It wasn’t done intentionally,” she swore in February.

Nice testified that potential financial gain was not an incentive for her participation in the trial either. She and the other jurors did not discuss writing their joint book, “We, the Jury,” until after the trial had ended.

Peterson was found guilty of strangling Laci, who was eight months pregnant, in their Modesto kitchen on Christmas Eve in 2002. Prosecutors said he secretly bought a boat ahead of her killing and searched the San Francisco Bay’s tides and currents to choose where to dump her body at sea.

Peterson’s mistress said he claimed his 27-year-old wife was gone a month before her actual disappearance.

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Peterson alleged the trial was tainted by a rogue juror who lied about her own history of abuse.

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He was arrested after his mistress came forward in April 2003 claiming she told her his wife was gone a month before her actual disappearance.

Peterson was originally sentenced to death, but Massullo commuted the punishment to life in prison in 2020 after a judge ruled the jury wasn’t correctly screened for opinions on capital punishment during his conviction.

With Post Wires