Investigators find no evidence against Scott Peterson in search of San Francisco Bay
Friday, July 16th 2004, 6:18 am
By: News On 6
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) _ Scott Peterson's defense attorneys continued to pick apart the murder case against him as an exhaustive search for hard evidence that has turned up nothing incriminating.
Attorney Mark Geragos launched a barrage of insinuations Thursday that authorities abandoned reason in their zeal to get Peterson.
At nearly every turn of his cross examination, Geragos forced Modesto police Detective Henry Hendee to acknowledge that searches of San Francisco Bay yielded nothing to link Peterson to the killing of his pregnant wife, Laci.
Geragos attacked the prosecution's theory that Peterson crafted homemade cement anchors to sink his wife's body in San Francisco Bay.
On Wednesday, prosecutors showed jurors pictures of a wooden flatbed trailer inside the warehouse where Peterson stored the boat authorities allege he used to ferry his wife's body onto the bay.
A white powdery substance covered the trailer in patchy spots. Hendee pointed out five circles in the dust, voids in the powder where Peterson allegedly placed molds to make the anchors. The circles were barely distinguishable.
``It looks like a triangle to me,'' Geragos said, pointing with a long stick to the large display screen.
``If you look carefully,'' Hendee replied.
``How carefully am I supposed to look?'' Geragos retorted. ``Is that a circular pattern there? How about over there? ... Is this one of those circles right there, the one with the square edges?''
Geragos continued over repeated objections from prosecutors.
``Sustained, sustained, sustained,'' Judge Alfred A. Delucchi said.
Geragos then began to attack each piece of evidence authorities collected in their search of Peterson's home and warehouse _ from stained boots to black maternity pants to a boat cover.
``And what did you find?'' Geragos asked repeatedly.
``Nothing,'' Hendee replied.
Prosecutors allege Peterson murdered his wife in their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, then drove to the bay and dumped the body.
Peterson acknowledges being on the bay that Christmas Eve day, but said he went fishing alone and returned to an empty home. Geragos asserts that someone else abducted and killed Laci Peterson, then framed her husband.
The remains of Laci Peterson and the couple's fetus washed ashore just two miles from where Peterson claims he was fishing.
Peterson, 31, could get the death penalty if convicted.
The trial resumes Monday.