Peterson judge to hear arguments on wiretaps, autopsies, gag order

MODESTO, California -- Wiretaps, autopsies and a gag order are the main considerations at Friday's hearing in the Scott Peterson murder trial, where media requests for ringside seats have prompted the judge to allow a television monitor outside the courtroom for journalists who can't get inside.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami issued strict orders, however, that none of the proceedings could be recorded or broadcast.

The media has a keen interest in Friday's proceedings: Along with the gag order, which would limit what participants in the trial could say, attorneys for several journalists have filed a motion asking that the reporters be allowed access to wiretap recordings of their conversations with Peterson -- and that the content of the recordings be sealed.

Peterson faces two counts of murder in the deaths of his pregnant, 27-year-old wife and their unborn child. The victims' bodies were discovered about 80 miles from their home in early April, near the marina where Scott Peterson said he had launched his boat on a Christmas Eve fishing trip the day his wife disappeared.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

Peterson has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers have insisted that the real killers remain at large.