SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Scott Peterson’s convictions for the murder of wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son, Connor, may be overturned if a judge rules that there was prejudicial misconduct.
At issue now is one juror, who was nicknamed, “strawberry shortcake” for her red hair.
Now the question is whether she withheld information about her past and whether it was intentional.
“It opens up a can of worms,” said Defense Attorney Candice Fields.
Fields weighed in on another twist in the Scott Peterson case, less than two months after the California Supreme Court overturned his death penalty ruling.
On Christmas Eve 2002, Peterson dumped Laci and their unborn son Connor’s bodies into the San Francisco Bay where they surfaced months later.
Now, his case will be reexamined because the State Supreme Court found that juror Richelle Nice, didn’t tell the court she was the victim of a crime while pregnant, and had filed a restraining order against her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.
Peterson’s former Defense Attorney Lara Yeretsian said, “Had we known some of that information, she would’ve been challenged for cause.”
She believes Nice intentionally hid that information from the court.
“She was the typical stealth juror who went under the radar and none of us picked up on it,” Yeretsian said.
The San Mateo Superior Court will now consider whether there was jury misconduct.
If the judge decides there was, the conviction can be overturned and there could be the possibility of a new trial. But any decision could be appealed.
Mike Belmessieri said, an original juror in the case, said he stands by the decision the jury made, 16 years ago, and now can’t imagine putting Laci’s family through another trial.
“A Christmas Eve doesn’t go by that I don’t think about this. I can’t imagine the hell it is for her family,” he said.