Peterson jurors start third day of deliberations after asking to review evidence

Friday, November 5th 2004, 8:28 pm
By: News On 6

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) _ Jurors in Scott Peterson's murder trial deliberated for a third day Friday before retiring to a hotel for the weekend.

They are forbidden from discussing the case until Monday, and are only permitted to watch sports and movies from a court-approved selection on television. They are not allowed visitors.

Judge Alfred A. Delucchi has reversed course and barred live television coverage of the verdict, citing concern for the families of Peterson and his wife, Laci, whom he is accused of killing around Christmas Eve 2002.

The verdict will be captured on a live audio feed, which radio and TV stations will be allowed to broadcast.

On Friday, jurors sought to review some evidence as part of their deliberations, but the judge declined to offer details.

The judge also said he would not release transcripts from the many private meetings with attorneys held in the judge's chambers throughout the trial. ``The defendant's right to a fair trial trumps the public's need to know,'' Delucchi said.

The judge had earlier said he would allow live TV coverage of the verdict. His reversal came after attorneys on both sides objected.

``I think we're interested more in this verdict as a spectacle rather than for the public's confidence in the judicial system,'' Delucchi told an attorney for the media. ``I'm not here to orchestrate this trial. I'm here to try this case.''

Peterson is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his pregnant wife and her fetus. Defense lawyers say someone else abducted and killed the Modesto woman, then placed the bodies in the water. Peterson could get the death penalty.