California

Will Scott Peterson get a new trial? Immunity deal opens door for juror to speak on possible misconduct.

Friday, Scott Peterson’s two-decade-long legal drama will return to a San Mateo County court to determine if he will be re-tried for the 2003 slaying of his wife, Laci, and unborn son, Connor, that captured national notoriety.

Peterson, who saw his death sentence reduced to life without parole in 2021, is seeking a new trial over claims that Juror 7, Richelle Nice, lied on a jury questionnaire during the trial.

Friday, Nice is set to testify to her actions heading into the 2004 trial.

The announcement comes weeks after Stanislaus County prosecutors offered immunity to Nice in exchange for her testimony in an evidentiary hearing ordered by the California Supreme Court.

Peterson’s lawyers accuse Nice of lying on a jury questionnaire ahead of the high-profile trial, alleging she had an ax to grind as a woman who had also faced domestic violence while pregnant.

In her jury questionnaire, Nice denied having been the victim of a crime or having been involved in a prior lawsuit, according to Peterson’s defense team. But they say she hid the fact that she had been beaten while pregnant by a boyfriend in 2001 and that another occasion, pregnant with a different child, she obtained a restraining order against a boyfriend’s ex – which Peterson’s lawyers say amounts to a type of lawsuit.

The evidentiary hearing is set to last through March 4, with Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo set to tender a decision within 90 days of the conclusion of the hearing.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.