REDWOOD CITY - Scott Peterson called his lover shortly before he attended a New Year's Eve candlelight vigil for his missing wife, telling her he was in Brussels, prosecutor Rick Distaso told jurors today.
Peterson later approached two people about selling the couple's home, Distaso added.
Distaso wrapped up a methodical opening statement that lasted most of the court day by telling jurors the case against Peterson was "common sense."
Peterson has pleaded not guilty to charges he murdered his wife, Laci, and unborn son, Conner, on or just before Dec. 24, 2002. His attorney, Mark Geragos, is scheduled to present his opening statement Wednesday. Distaso's opening statement ran about three and one-half hours. It incorporated two of Peterson's phone calls, part of a televised interview with Diane Sawyer, maps of trips he allegedly took to the Berkeley Marina and graphic autopsy photos that triggered audible gasps from some jurors.
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Family members on both sides of the packed courtroom looked down or appeared to avert their eyes. Some appeared to cry.
"It could be intense days for you," Peterson's former lover, Amber Frey said in the New Year's Eve call, six days after Laci Peterson was reported missing. Frey recorded the call at police request.
"I'm sorry, I don't understand," Peterson replied in the recording.
He sat largely motionless as the recording was played, but turned to look at the jury after an exchange in which he told Frey their "relationship will grow."
Prosecutors have pointed to Frey as a motive for Peterson's to kill his wife.
In another recorded call, Peterson asked his friend Brian Argain, a real estate agent, about selling his and Laci's home, saying he wanted to "keep it quiet, obviously."
Notably absent from today's presentation was an explanation for exactly how, where or when prosecutors believe Laci Peterson was killed.