Convicted killer Scott Peterson will remain in California’s San Quentin State Prison as a judge weighs whether or not he’ll get a retrial in connection with the 2004 murders of his pregnant wife and their unborn son.
There was a chance the judge could have sent him to the San Mateo County Jail to make it easier for his attorneys to meet with him. But Peterson’s lawyer Pat Harris said Thursday that San Quentin was a better place to hold him because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a better situation than what would occur in San Mateo,” Harris said, while leaving open the possibility that Peterson’s team would seek to have him moved “down the line.”
The judge agreed.
It marks a reversal from just a week ago when Harris told the court that he was having difficulty communicating with his client. Sedertdien, San Quentin has provided Peterson with a typewriter and allowed him to write letters.
Harris also confirmed that Peterson has remained on death row even though California has halted executions.
The hearing was held virtually, with Peterson and attorneys for both sides appearing remotely rather than in the courtroom physically. Peterson again waived his right to a speedy trial.
California’s Supreme Court had ordered Peterson’s case be scrutinized in mid-October after claims of “significant errors” in the jury selection process.
The court ordered his conviction to be reexamined to determine whether he should receive a new trial. And in August, the Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence.
The case was called to be reexamined after the court said a juror committed “prejudicial misconduct” by failing to disclose that she had been involved with other legal proceedings. According to officials, the juror, Richelle Nice, had filed a lawsuit in 2000 to obtain a restraining order after her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend harassed her while she was pregnant.
Peterson was convicted of murder in connection with the 2004 killing of his 27-year-old pregnant wife, Laci Peterson.
Investigators said he took the bodies of his wife and unborn son out on his boat and dumped them in the San Francisco Bay.
Peterson has maintained his innocence.
Fox News’ Michael Lundin and Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.