Scott Peterson re-sentenced to life in prison without parole for murder of his pregnant wife


Convicted killer Scott Peterson was re-sentenced to life in prison without parole on Wednesday for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife Laci, then 27, and their unborn son, Conner.

Peterson, 48, has spent 15 years living on death row after being sentenced in 2005. 

Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo re-sentenced Peterson to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his pregnant wife and 15 years to life to be served concurrently to his other sentence. He was denied bail ahead of the re-sentencing trial at the San Mateo County courthouse.  

Laci’s mother Sharon Rocha, half-sister Amy Rocha and brother Brent Rocha spoke in court on Wednesday addressing Peterson directly in their emotional testimonies. The family made it clear that while they believe he deserves to be put to death, they decided not to seek the death penalty again to refrain from putting themselves through another grueling trial. 

Amy broke down in tears as she questioned how Peterson continues to live after his heartbreaking crime. Brent shed tears as he insisted the family has been ‘devastated and traumatized’ by Peterson’s crimes and wishes he receives the ‘most severe sentence possible.’ 

Peterson sat in a red jumpsuit never appearing to express any reaction or emotion as the hearing and testimonies proceeded.  

Scott Peterson, 48,has been re-sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on Wednesday at the San Mateo County courthouse in California

Scott Peterson, 48,has been re-sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on Wednesday at the San Mateo County courthouse in California

He was sentenced to two counts of murder, one for the death of Laci for he was sentenced to life without parole and another for the killing of Conner for which he was sentenced to 5 years to life to be served concurrently

He was sentenced to two counts of murder, one for the death of Laci for he was sentenced to life without parole and another for the killing of Conner for which he was sentenced to 5 years to life to be served concurrently 

Peterson sat next to his legal defense on Wednesday never appearing to display emotion or reactions to the testimonies or proceedings

Peterson sat next to his legal defense on Wednesday never appearing to display emotion or reactions to the testimonies or proceedings  

Laci's family made it clear on Wednesday that while they believe Peterson deserves death they do not want to endure another trial

Laci’s family made it clear on Wednesday that while they believe Peterson deserves death they do not want to endure another trial 

Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo re-sentenced Peterson before his next hearing to relocate him after he was removed from death row

Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo re-sentenced Peterson before his next hearing to relocate him after he was removed from death row 

Laci Peterson's family addressed her husband and killer in court on Wednesday in three emotional testimonies filled with grief and anger (Pictured: Brother Brent Rocha, left, half-sister Amy Rocha, center, and mother Sharon Rocha, right, enter the San Mateo Superior Courthouse after the lunch break during the first day in which Scott Peterson's lawyers began mounting its defense October 18, 2004)

Laci Peterson’s family addressed her husband and killer in court on Wednesday in three emotional testimonies filled with grief and anger (Pictured: Brother Brent Rocha, left, half-sister Amy Rocha, center, and mother Sharon Rocha, right, enter the San Mateo Superior Courthouse after the lunch break during the first day in which Scott Peterson’s lawyers began mounting its defense October 18, 2004)

‘No matter what happens, no matter what transpires in the future, there were two things that will never change, Laci and Conner will always be dead and you will always be their murderer,’ Sharon said through tears as she addressed Peterson in court on Wednesday. 

‘Scott, nineteen years ago today you were in the midst of planning Laci’s murder,’ the grieving mother said. ‘I see no sorrow, no remorse from you at all…I still feel the grief every day.’ 

‘Laci’s dead Scott because she loved you and trusted you and believed you,’ Sharon said before claiming ‘you just didn’t want them anymore.’

The distraught mother stayed strong and confident as she spoke to her daughter’s husband and killer. Laci’s siblings were a bit more overcome with emotion as they spoke both breaking down in tears 

‘I honestly don’t know how you go on living,’ Amy said as she repeatedly broke down during her testimony becoming overwhelmed by emotions. 

She expressed her heartbreak over her siblings murder and all the ‘special occasions’ she has missed with her family over the past 19 years. 

‘It makes me sick being in front of you today,’ Amy concluded as her shaking voice rose in anger.   

Peterson  Pictured: His 2021 mugshot

Peterson  Pictured: His 2021 mugshot

Peterson's mugshot in 2018

Peterson's mugshot in 2005

Peterson (pictured) has spent 15 years living on death row after being sentenced in 2005

Peterson (left) was sentenced for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, (right) and their unborn son, Conner

Peterson (left) was sentenced for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, (right) and their unborn son, Conner

Laci's body washed ashore in the San Francisco Bay in April 2003, with Conner's fetus found to have been mutilated

Laci’s body washed ashore in the San Francisco Bay in April 2003, with Conner’s fetus found to have been mutilated 

Peterson (pictured in 2005) and his counsel are seeking a new trial due to alleged juror misconduct. Laci's family has expressed concerns that he will be exonerated if given a re-trial

Peterson (pictured in 2005) and his counsel are seeking a new trial due to alleged juror misconduct. Laci’s family has expressed concerns that he will be exonerated if given a re-trial

Sharon Rocha spoke directly to Peterson in court during her emotional testimony during his re-sentencing on Wednesday (Pictured: Sharon Rocha in 2004 with Ron Grantski- Laci's stepfather who died in 2018)

Sharon Rocha spoke directly to Peterson in court during her emotional testimony during his re-sentencing on Wednesday (Pictured: Sharon Rocha in 2004 with Ron Grantski- Laci’s stepfather who died in 2018)

The California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence last year after the court found that jurors who disagreed with the death penalty, but were willing to impose it, had been improperly dismissed. 

The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office has said that after speaking with Laci’s family they agreed not to pursue the death sentence again. 

Massullo chose to re-sentence Peterson before the hearing the to decide if he will be granted a re-trial in order to sort where he will remain until then- since he is no longer on death row. 

Laci Peterson's family also previously said they have 'no doubt' that Scott killed her and their unborn child. The couple is pictured on their 1997 wedding day

Laci Peterson’s family also previously said they have ‘no doubt’ that Scott killed her and their unborn child. The couple is pictured on their 1997 wedding day

Laci Peterson was eight month pregnant with her son Conner when she was murdered on Christmas Eve 2002

Laci Peterson was eight month pregnant with her son Conner when she was murdered on Christmas Eve 2002 

A week long hearing has been scheduled for February 25- May 4 to hear the defense’s claims of juror misconduct.

Last year, the state’s high court ordered Massullo to decide if Peterson should be granted a new trial and if the alleged juror misconduct did take place during his 2004 trial. 

The death penalty was thrown out after a court ruled jurors should not have been excluded from Peterson’s murder trial for being anti-capital punishment.

The defense is also arguing in favor of a new trial after they say a juror, Richelle Nice, failed to disclose her own history of domestic abuse while pregnant in order to convict Peterson.

According to Peterson’s counsel, Nice did not disclose that she had filed a lawsuit in 2000 to obtain a restraining order after her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend harassed her while she was pregnant.

The juror said in her lawsuit that she feared for her unborn child.

Peterson’s attorneys previously said that when asked as a potential juror whether she had ever been a victim of crime or involved in a lawsuit, she responded ‘no.’

His attorneys have also claimed that Nice deceived the judge to get on the jury for the high-profile case.

Peterson maintains his innocence and claims Laci was killed after disturbing a burglary at the couple’s home in Modesto, California (pictured)

Investigators say Peterson took Laci's corpse out on his fishing boat, pictured, after killing her, then dumped the body in the San Francisco Bay

Investigators say Peterson took Laci’s corpse out on his fishing boat, pictured, after killing her, then dumped the body in the San Francisco Bay

Peterson was convicted of his wife's murder in 2004 after jurors were told how he had a masseuse mistress named Amber Frey (pictured)

Peterson was convicted of his wife’s murder in 2004 after jurors were told how he had a masseuse mistress named Amber Frey (pictured) 

Nice, who was among the jurors to jointly publish a book about the case, has denied the allegations that she lied just to get on the jury.

The defense also accused Nice of writing letters to Peterson while he was in jail, asking him to confess to the murder of his pregnant wife.

Fladager has called the move a ‘witch hunt’ to try and discredit the juror in an attempt to throw out the original case against Peterson and trigger a retrial.

Superior Court Judge Christine Massullo will rule on whether or not Nice performed juror misconduct.

Nice has asked for immunity from testifying in Peterson’s trial and plans to plead the fifth.

His attorneys have continued to push for a new trial due to alleged juror misconduct. Peterson and his legal team maintain his innoncene, saying in October that ‘it’s time to get him out.’

Lara Yeretsian, who was on Peterson’s original defense team in 2005, also claimed Wednesday that there is new evidence that will prove Peterson did not kill Laci and Conner.

‘There is new evidence that Scott’s not the one. It will show who the true suspects are,’ Yeretsian told Fox News.

Yeretsian declined to provide specifics about the alleged new evidence, pointing out that Peterson is not currently her client. She did note, however, that she may join his defense team if a new trial is granted. 

The basis for re-examining the conviction comes after the court found a juror committed 'prejudicial misconduct' for not disclosing prior legal proceedings. The juror Richelle Nice (pictured) didn't disclose that she filed a lawsuit in 2000 to obtain a restraining order after her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend harassed her while pregnant

The basis for re-examining the conviction comes after the court found a juror committed ‘prejudicial misconduct’ for not disclosing prior legal proceedings. The juror Richelle Nice (pictured) didn’t disclose that she filed a lawsuit in 2000 to obtain a restraining order after her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend harassed her while pregnant 

Defense attorneys say they have new evidence that nearby burglars may have committed the crime, though investigators say they were ruled out as suspects.  

Peterson was convicted in San Mateo court after his trial was moved from Stanislaus County due to the massive pre-trial publicity that followed the Christmas Eve 2002 disappearance of 27-year-old Laci, who was eight months pregnant with Conner at the time.

Her corpse was found floating in the San Francisco Bay in April 2003, with Conner’s fetus found to have been mutilated.

Investigators say Peterson took the bodies from their Modesto home and dumped them from his fishing boat into the bay.

Peterson was convicted of his wife’s murder in 2004 after jurors were told how he had a masseuse mistress named Amber Frey. Frey did not realize Peterson was married when they first began dating. Peterson is also said to have dreaded becoming a father.

Peterson maintains his innocence and claims Laci was killed after disturbing a burglary.

Laci’s family has ‘no doubt’ Peterson killed his wife and unborn son and deserves the death penalty but doesn’t want to pursue that punishment because ‘this process is simply too painful to endure once again,’ District Attorney Birgit Fladager said in her filing in San Mateo Superior Court in May.



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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