*Scott Peterson was resentenced on Friday, two days after a California Supreme Court order dropped the manslaughter conviction of the man convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson.
The Associated Press obtained a transcript of some of the first arguments Peterson’s defense attorneys and prosecutors made Friday before he was re-sentenced on charges of murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn son.
The televised arguments took place inside the courtroom before Laci Peterson’s mother, Sharon Rocha, said: “I’m absolutely livid.”
“He’s a psychopath. He raped her and he murdered her,” Rocha told the judge. “Why does he have any punishment at all?”
Rocha used unusually bitter language, accusing Peterson of being “a coward” and warning that even a long prison term “can’t bring back her.”
Rocha was particularly angry about an event last month in which a program was presented in Scott Peterson’s honor at a wedding in San Diego County.
Peterson is being resentenced in the case.
“This is the issue that killed the marriage,” he said.
Judge Stephen G. McManus set a date of Sept. 16 for a date to set penalty phases of the case.
Peterson’s appellate attorney, Stephen Larson, did not oppose McManus’ hearing or ruling, saying in a letter to the judge that the death penalty phase, which he opposed, likely would be heard during the regular court schedule later this summer.
Larson has said Peterson was deprived of his right to a jury trial by the now-defunct California death penalty process.
Judge McManus allowed Peterson to re-try his case as soon as he wants. “There will be no delay,” the judge said.
Scott Peterson, 33, was initially sentenced to death in the Christmas Eve 2002 slayings.
Prosecutors argued that Peterson used Laci’s placenta as a ligature and stabbed her in the neck to stop her from screaming, but an appeals court overturned that conviction because the jury heard too little of a juror’s testimony that he questioned when jurors should have returned to deliberations.
Laci Peterson disappeared Christmas Eve 2002 after visiting her parents in Modesto. Her body was found four months later, strangled and drowned in San Francisco Bay.
Her fetus also was discovered.
Curtis S. Akins, the public defender representing Peterson, said the acquittal by the eight-woman, four-man jury on the first-degree murder charge indicates the jury believed Peterson acted “in cold blood,” but made a mistake.
“We respectfully ask you to take the unusual step and grant the defendant a new trial,” Akins said.
The judge indicated he wouldn’t grant the new trial, calling Akins’ arguments “substantially different” from those made before the original trial, and suggesting they were “due to a new set of facts.”