10:58 a.m., PST: REDWOOD CITY -- Two defense witnesses, both wiretap experts, immediately went behind closed doors this morning with the judge and attorneys on both sides of the Scott Peterson double-murder trial.
Judge Al Delucchi is expected to rule this week, perhaps as soon as today, whether prosecutors can use evidence gathered from tapping Peterson's phones before his arrest in April.
Peterson, 31, faces the death penalty if convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner.
Delucchi and attorneys recently spent more than two days in private meetings discussing the phone bugging. This morning's announcement of yet more nonpublic arguing drew groans of frustration from a bevy of reporters and trial observers.
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"We should be done hopefully this morning with testimony" behind closed doors, Delucchi said, "but we'll see."
Peterson's attorney, Mark Geragos of Los Angeles, wants more than 3,000 recordings of phone conversations barred from the trial because investigators listened to parts of three calls between the defendant and his defense team. Such monitoring is off-limits by law.
In addition to ruling on wiretap evidence, Delucchi this week is expected to decide whether dog tracking evidence is reliable enough for use in court. He already ruled that global positioning system technology used to track Peterson's movements before his arrest is scientifically sound enough to present to jurors.
Delucchi also decided last week against defense requests to sequester jurors and to empanel a second jury to weigh a death sentence if the first jury convicts Peterson. Instead, the same 12 jurors - with six alternates - will handle both duties.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday and expected to last several weeks, followed by a trial of several months.