New DNA Test Allowed for One Piece of Evidence in Peterson Case

Most of the requests in Scott Peterson case denied by judge
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2024 12:58 AM CDT
New DNA Test Allowed for One Piece of Evidence in Wife Killer Case
Scott Peterson unmutes his connection to address to Judge Elizabeth Hill during a status conference at San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City, Calif., Tuesday, March 12, 2024.   (Andy Alfaro/The Modesto Bee via AP, Pool)

A new round of DNA testing will be allowed for just one piece of evidence in the case of Scott Peterson, the California man convicted in 2004 of the 2002 murders of his pregnant wife Laci and their unborn son. The Innocence Project in Los Angeles has taken up Peterson's case, and the group requested new DNA testing for more than a dozen pieces of evidence from the original investigation, CBS News reports. The judge on Wednesday largely denied that motion, however, with one exception: the 15.5-inch-long piece of duct tape that was recovered from Laci Peterson's pants when her autopsy was done, ABC News reports.

A portion of that tape was DNA tested at the time and human DNA was found, but it "was not of an acceptable quality to generate a profile," per the Innocence Project's motion. As for the other items the lawyers requested be retested, the judge said they were either not in a condition to undergo testing, were never in the custody of police, or would not have changed the outcome of Peterson's conviction at his original trial.

Innocence Project attorneys also wanted a possibly blood-stained mattress, found in a stolen, burned-out van near the Peterson home the day after Laci went missing, to be retested, but the judge ruled defense lawyers did not prove the van had any relation to Laci's murder, NBC News reports. The LA Innocence Project, which is trying to get Scott Peterson a new trial, says Laci may have witnessed a robbery on her street and been killed in the van by the perpetrators, People reports. (More Scott Peterson stories.)

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