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Scott Peterson case back to courtroom after LA Innocence Project takes it on

Scott Peterson, the Modesto man convicted 20 years ago of killing his wife and unborn child, has a status hearing in Redwood City Tuesday. 

This is after the Los Angeles Innocence Project decided to take up his case in January. Four motions were filed in San Mateo County Superior Court claiming that new evidence now supports Scott’s claim of innocence.

“They have exonerated many people throughout the years by using up-to-date DNA technology and other forensic information and they’re going to bring that expertise to Scott Peterson’s case,” said legal analyst, Steven Clark. “The Innocence Project is going to start from the ground up and they’re going to look at the case as to whether there’s any alternative theories as to what happened to Laci and Conner Peterson.”

He said that among the things attorneys will be focused on, is a van that was burned near Laci’s home. 

“What they want to do is go through that van with a fine tooth comb and analyze whether any DNA was there from Laci Peterson,” said Clark. “That will be a very big deal.”

He said they’ll also focus on the burglary that occurred across the street from Laci’s home, and they’ll want to talk to witnesses. 

Scott told investigators he left the morning of Christmas Eve in 2002 to fish in Berkeley. The remains of Laci and their unborn son surfaced months later a few miles from where Scott said he was fishing. 

Clark says the key in this case for the Los Angeles Innocence Project will be –  can they establish that Laci may have still been alive when Scott went fishing?

As far as Tuesday, Clark says the court will likely set a timetable. 

“So that all the information is made available to the Innocence Project and that they can get their forensic teams in to actually do the testing,” said Clark. “And then it’ll be up to the prosecution to review that information and to see whether there’s any merit to it.”

He also says it’ll likely take many months to draw any significant conclusions as to whether Scott will get a new trial. But he says this is Scott’s last and best hope for a new trial. 

Scott will not be at court in person. He will appear via live stream from Mule Creek State Prison in Amador County.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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