Two Sides of Peterson Could Help, Hurt the Prosecution and Defense

Geragos has presented an explanation for the questionable circumstances of Peterson's arrest. Peterson, police detectives testified, looked like someone trying to elude authorities when he was arrested. In addition to the altered appearance, he had purchased a car under his mother's name, had $15,000 cash, a large backpack, and an overnight bag stuffed with hunting knives, a water purifier, snorkeling and fishing equipment, a shovel, and duct tape. Peterson also had several changes of clothes, four cell phones, two driver's licenses and six credit cards. Geragos argued his client was trying to evade the media and normally traveled with camping equipment.

Despite the explanations, some courtroom observers say, Peterson may not be believable to jurors. Geragos, some experts believe, will not focus on the seemingly contradictory portrayals of Peterson or put him on the stand because his lies and behavior are problematic and he may appear to lack credibility.

"You ask yourself a simple question: 'Is it necessary to win an acquittal to put my client on the stand?' " Atlanta defense attorney Chris Pixley said on ABC News' Good Morning America. "In this case, I don't think Mark Geragos believes it is necessary. And he should be afraid to put him [Peterson] on."

Not Necessarily a Criminal Genius

Still, other courtroom observers say the lack of physical evidence does not prove that Peterson is a criminal mastermind. Prosecutors have not presented a theory on how Peterson killed Laci and he may not have had much physical evidence to allegedly cover up.

"It doesn't take much -- it doesn't take a genius -- to cover up a crime scene. Maybe we watched too many episodes of 'CSI,' but strangling someone would require much less of a cleanup than killing someone by stabbing," said Pat Brown, investigative criminal profiler and head of The Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency. "The amount of cleanup you have depends on the way a person was killed. And if you kill someone in your home and you both live there, it'll be difficult to gather fingerprint and hair evidence because the suspect and victim live there. It's [the hair and fingerprints] supposed to be there."

Brown said that very few alleged murderers consider long-term scenarios in their killings. Many, she said, are shortsighted psychopaths who think they can get away with any lie, no matter how illogical.

"The thing about psychopaths is that they tend to be very arrogant," Brown said. "They know what they want and they want it now. They think they can pull the wool over everyone's eyes. They tell people almost anything because they believe they can get away with it, that people will believe it. And it doesn't even come to their mind that their behavior is abnormal because they don't even think their behavior is abnormal."

A Question of Evidence, Not Character

Geragos will likely focus on countering the prosecution's evidentiary theories, not Peterson's character, as he presents the rest of his defense. He, courtroom observers say, will likely focus on the lack of physical evidence linking Peterson to the slayings.

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