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Laci Peterson's Son Had Tape Around Neck, Big Cut

May 30, 2003|From Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — An autopsy revealed that the body of Laci Peterson's son had a significant cut and a short length of plastic tape wrapped around his neck, Associated Press has learned.

The information was first reported by MSNBC, a cable news channel that said it had received a portion of the autopsy report by the Contra Costa County coroner's office. Stanislaus County prosecutors responded with an announcement that they will file a motion to withdraw their opposition to releasing the autopsy reports.

In a statement, Dist. Atty. James Brazelton said "evidence in this case should be presented in court through the testimony of witnesses and not selectively leaked to the news media by unknown persons whom the press will not identify."

The coroner's office said it would have no comment on the report. Part of the autopsy report indicated that the boy had 1 1/2 loops of plastic tape around his neck, MSNBC reported.

Scott Peterson, 30, of Modesto is accused of killing his wife and son, whom the couple had planned to name Conner, on Dec. 23 or 24 in their home. His 27-year-old wife was eight months pregnant when last seen alive. The bodies washed up on the shore of San Francisco Bay last month.

Contra Costa County authorities concluded their autopsy report earlier this month, but said they were unable to determine a cause of death. The autopsy results have been sealed by a Stanislaus County court order.

It is possible that the baby's body was cut shoulder to shoulder or became wrapped in the tape because of its long submersion in San Francisco Bay, MSNBC reported, adding that the portion of the coroner's report it received "doesn't prove anything one way or another."

Peterson's defense attorney, Mark Geragos, would not comment on the report. He said Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami, during a closed meeting in his chambers Tuesday, "more than telegraphed that he does not want us commenting on the case."

Girolami had said he was considering a gag order in the case.

Geragos has suggested that members of a satanic cult were the killers.

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