The Verdict Is In - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/12/04-Redwood City, CA

The Verdict Is In

Some breaking news to tell you about this afternoon. The jury in the Scott Peterson double murder trial has found Peterson guilty of First Degree murder in the death of his wife Laci Peterson and guilty of Second Degree murder in the death of his unborn son, Conner.

Now, Peterson will face the same jury the week of Thanksgiving as the punishment phase begins.

Peterson's pregnant wife, Laci disappeared on Christmas Eve of 2002.

On January 24, 2003, there was a dramatic development in the case, Amber Frey stepped up to the microphones and the secret was out, Peterson had a mistress.

In mid April of 2003, two bodies washed ashore in the San Francisco Bay. They were identified as Laci Peterson and her unborn son.

Peterson told police he went fishing in the San Francisco Bay the day Laci went missing, but police didn't seem so sure of his story. And the day Laci and her unborn son's body washed ashore, Scott Peterson was tracked down and arrested in San Diego. He had $15,000 in cash on him, two different ID's and had changed his hair color.

The trial for Peterson began over a year later. All eyes were on the prosecution's star witness Amber Frey. Jurors heard tapes of phone calls secretly recorded between Frey and Scott Peterson. In several calls to Frey, Peterson lied, pretending to be a jet setting bachelor just days after his wife disappeared.

The prosecution said Peterson was a liar, a cheat and a man who would murder his wife to avoid the responsibility of a child.

But, defense attorney, Mark Geragos tried to poke holes in the prosecutions case and the police investigation by accusing police of not following up leads or other suspects. No murder weapon, no evidence of a crime scene and no cause of death was found surrounding the death of Laci Peterson. Geragos urged jurors not to convict Peterson just because they hate him. He told them reasonable doubt is their only option.

Some legal experts say the verdict is anything but a slam dunk for either side.

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