Peterson: Preliminary Trial

June 26, 2003

Peterson hearing delayed until September

Sept. 9 is the new date for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to try Scott Peterson for the murders of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami granted the delay today after asking Peterson is he agreed to postponing the hearing.

"It's not my wish, but yes," Peterson answered.

Peterson's attorney, Mark Geragos, said the delay was necessary because there is still some evidence that hasn't been shown to the defense team.

Laci Peterson was nearly eight-months pregnant when she was reported missing on Christmas Eve. Her body and that of Conner were found in early April on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay.

The hearing today also covered whether a search warrant should remains sealed. The warrant was issued after Peterson's arrest April 18 just north of San Diego. Girolami ruled that the warrant should remain sealed. He has said that opening the warrant and other documents could make it difficult for Peterson to get a fair trial.

Eight more search warrants are set to be unsealed July 8 unless an appeals court reverses Superior Court Judge Roger M. Beauchesne's order.

Also today, Geragos argued that attorney Gloria Allred should be held in contempt of court for violating Girolami's gag order prohibiting attorneys, investigators and witnesses from talking to the media about the Peterson case.

Geragos argued that Allred, who is the attorney for prosecution witness Amber Frey, meets with prosecutors to get inside information on the case. Then she gives the media her personal opinion on how the case is going, Geragos said. He argued that Allred can't have it both ways and should be cited.

Girolami recessed the hearing then returned to rule that Allred had not violated the gag order, and he said the order will not be lifted.

It also is expected that Geragos later today will urge Girolami to issue a contempt order against District Attorney James Brazelton for comments he made to The Bee during an interview last week.

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