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

Courtroom observers say he will concentrate on showing that police neglected the possibility that Laci could have been abducted and killed by others while walking the family dog while Peterson was fishing. Geragos may also use the debate over when the fetus died to try to prove Peterson's innocence. Prosecutors believe Peterson killed Laci on either Dec. 23 or 24, 2002, and dumped her body in the bay, using concrete anchors to sink the body. They believe the fetus, a boy the couple had named Conner, was expelled from Laci's body after her death, explaining why the bodies washed ashore separately.

However, the prosecution's current and tidal expert could not give a precise trajectory path for the remains. He could only estimate that Laci and her unborn son were dumped near the area where Peterson said he was fishing.

Peterson's defense contends Laci was kidnapped and that the unborn son could have been born alive and subsequently killed after Dec. 24 and then dumped in the bay. This, Geragos argues, would prove that Peterson could not have killed his wife and child because he was under too much scrutiny by the media and police after he reported her missing.

Still, experts say, Geragos will not be able to escape Peterson's philandering ways. But he will not try to make him likable to jurors, either. Toward the end of the prosecution's case, Geragos had a detective reveal to jurors under cross-examination that Peterson had other extramarital trysts, suggesting that he would not have killed Laci because of a desire to continue an affair.

Geragos has admitted Peterson was a liar and a philanderer, but he hopes to convince jurors he is not a murderer.

"The defense is not going to try to rehabilitate Scott Peterson," Pixley said. "What they are going to do is try to prove a few key facts that started ... with the fact that Laci was physically fit. We heard during the prosecution's case that she was shopping the day before her disappearance, and now Mark [Geragos] puts on evidence of her physical activity, showing a week before the disappearance, she was basically combing the beaches and the shops. This was a woman who was active and that forces the prosecution to deal with the fact that they have just dismissed all of the eyewitnesses who saw her walking her dog on Dec. 24, and they did so on the theory that she was just too tired to be out walking."

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