REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — One of the first police officers to search Scott Peterson's house in the hours after his wife vanished described a "model home" with little out of place and a husband whose fishing story didn't quite impress.
Officer Derrick Letsinger testified Monday that the Petersons' Modesto home was well-ordered, though several dirty white rags on top of the washing machine did stand out.
"The rest of the room was almost like a model home," Letsinger said as the third week of Peterson's capital murder trial began.
What also stood out was Peterson's recounting of his trip to San Francisco Bay -- what would turn into his alibi after authorities charged him with murdering his pregnant wife.
Letsinger said that when another officer asked Peterson, 31, what he had been trying to catch, the response was that he didn't know, though Peterson did say that he used a 7-inch silver lure.
Peterson, who was described by his in-laws as eerily devoid of emotion starting that Christmas Eve 2002, also had a small outburst, Letsinger testified.
As he walked outside the house, "Mr. Peterson threw his flashlight down on the ground and I heard something under his breath like a curse word," Letsinger said.
Prosecutors charge that Peterson killed his wife in their home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, then dumped her body from his small boat into San Francisco Bay.
His attorneys have speculated that someone else abducted her as she walked the dog in a nearby park.