The Los Angeles Innocence Project has taken up the case of Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson.
The nonprofit organization, which represents people convicted of crimes who want to prove their innocence, is seeking new evidence in Peterson’s original trial. ABC News was first to report the news.
“The Los Angeles Innocence Project (LAIP) represents Scott Peterson and is investigating his claim of actual innocence,” a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement.
Laci Peterson, 27, was eight months pregnant with their son, Conner, when she was killed in December 2002five years after they married.
Peterson was convicted of murder in 2004 and sentenced to death the following year. The California Supreme Court overturned his sentence in 2020 and in 2021 he was resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In April 2023, Peterson filed a petition to be seen before a judge claiming juror misconduct and that “new evidence” in the case would support his innocence, according to a motion filed in the case Wednesday and obtained by NBC Bay Area.
Peterson and the Los Angeles Innocence Project are seeking new materials to be presented in court to prove his innocence in the case in an effort to eventually overturn his conviction, the filing stated.
Prosecutors said Scott Peterson dumped his wife’s body in Berkeley Marina on Christmas Eve of that year and tried to cover up the crime by making it appear as if she was missing, according to online court records. Her body later washed ashore.
Attorneys for Peterson have argued his wife was killed after she stumbled upon a burglary.
His team had sought to get him a new trial, arguing that one of the jurors, a woman named Richelle Nice, hid details and had been untruthful about her personal life.
She was accused of “prejudicial misconduct” after she failed to disclose that she was the victim of domestic violence and had sought a restraining order in 2000 over fears that her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend would harm her unborn baby.
Nice, who co-wrote a book about the case with other jurors, previously denied that her personal experiences influenced her during the trial.
Court documents stated that several of her answers in a juror questionnaire were “false in certain respects” but said her answers were not “motivated by pre-existing or improper bias against Peterson” and “were the result of a combination of good faith misunderstanding of the questions and sloppiness in answering.”
In 2022, Peterson was denied a new trial.