11:50 a.m., PST: REDWOOD CITY — Laci Peterson's scent at the Berkeley Marina stopped at a waterside pier, a dog handler testified this morning in Scott Peterson's double-murder trial.
"End of the trail," summed up Eloise Anderson, a dog handler with the Contra Costa Sheriff's Department who was summoned to work with Modesto police. Her dog smelled Laci Peterson's scent at the marina Dec. 28, 2002, she said.
Authorities believe the defendant killed his pregnant wife on or shortly before Christmas Eve that year and drove her body to San Francisco Bay. Peterson later that day told police he launched a fishing boat at the marina and briefly fished alone, returning to an empty house.
The bodies of mother and unborn son were recovered in mid-April along the shoreline two miles from the spot Peterson said he fished. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
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Anderson said her Labrador retriever, Trimble, also picked up Scott Peterson's scent along Highway 132, the route police believe he took to the bay on Dec. 24, 2002.
Another handler testified Tuesday that her dog picked up Laci Peterson's scent on the same stretch of road.
Anderson said she took Trimble about 50 yards south of Highway 132 on Jan. 4 and, using Scott Peterson's slipper, asked the dog to find his scent. Trimble went to the highway and headed west, Anderson said.
Trimble veered at Highway 33, she said, apparently because Peterson — who wasn't arrested until April — had driven there that day to observe the tracking dogs. He was stopped at a roadblock thrown up by Modesto police, Anderson said.
Under questioning by prosecutor Dave Harris, Anderson said her dog is trained to follow the freshest scent of the tracking subject. When she took Trimble back to Highway 132, the dog continued west, she said.
Also this morning, defense attorney Mark Geragos said he may call more witnesses than previously indicated to argue wiretap evidence. Judge Alfred Delucchi said he expects to begin selecting jurors March 4, a process expected to last several weeks. After that, the trial could take five months, he said.
People who can't afford to serve that long would be excused. "That may eliminate a lot of people," the judge said.