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Laci Peterson's Stepfather Testifies to His Own Christmas Eve Fishing Trip

Revelation undermines prosecution contention that Scott Peterson's outing was suspicious.

June 09, 2004|From Associated Press

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Though prosecutors in Scott Peterson's double-murder trial have said that his Christmas Eve morning fishing trip seemed unusual and was a cover-up to dispose of his wife's body, Laci Peterson's stepfather acknowledged Tuesday that he too went fishing that morning.

"Almost exactly the time that Scott Peterson went, correct?" defense lawyer Mark Geragos asked.

"That is correct. Ninety miles closer," Ron Grantski replied tersely from the witness stand.

Scott Peterson's father, Lee, marveled at the revelation.

"I think Ron's comment early on was, 'Who goes fishing on Christmas Eve?' and lo and behold, he went fishing," Lee Peterson said later.

Scott Peterson claims he went fishing at the Berkeley Marina the morning of Dec. 24, 2002, then came home to find his wife missing. His lawyers say someone abducted her from a nearby park, then framed Peterson after learning his alibi.

But prosecutors contend Scott Peterson killed his wife in their Modesto home, drove her body to San Francisco Bay and dumped it from his small boat.

The remains of Laci Peterson and her fetus washed ashore in April 2003 near where Scott Peterson said he went fishing.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty or life without parole.

Grantski testified that he was suspicious of Scott Peterson early on and asked him if he had a girlfriend.

"I said, 'I think your Berkeley fishing trip is a fishy story. Did you do something else? Do you have a girlfriend?' " Grantski testified. "He said, 'No,' and he turned around and walked away."

Prosecutors claim Peterson's affair with a massage therapist was his motive for murder, but Grantski testified that Peterson and Laci appeared to have a loving relationship.

Grantski took the stand a day after Laci Peterson's mother, Sharon Rocha, who also spoke of a seemingly loving relationship.

All five witnesses who testified Tuesday -- Grantski, Laci Peterson's brother and sister-in-law, Rocha's best friend and Rocha's cousin -- indicated that Scott Peterson was nearly emotionless throughout the search for Laci.

Prosecutors have tried to portray his attitude as indifference and a sign of a man who is guilty.

But Geragos showed Peterson as a man who rarely displayed emotion.

"His personality was such that he was not an overly emotional person?" Geragos asked.

"That is correct," Grantski replied.

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