Scott Peterson's new attorneys from Innocence Project seek DNA testing

Attorneys with the Los Angeles Innocence Project on Tuesday went before a San Mateo County judge, arguing for DNA testing to help prove Scott Peterson did not kill his pregnant wife.

The hearing was mostly procedural with Judge Elizabeth Hill setting dates in the next few months to hear motions by Peterson's attorneys and deadlines for both sides to file court documents. 

"This is a last ditch effort for Scott," KTVU legal analyst Michael Cardoza said before the hearing. "If they find new evidence, then they will ask for a new trial." 

The closely watched hearing was to have started at 9 a.m. in Redwood City, but a court bailiff indicated there were "technical difficulties" setting up a Zoom link for Peterson from Mule Creek State Prison. A few minutes later, Peterson, 51, wearing a blue shirt, appeared on screen and began speaking but was on mute.

After unmuting himself, Peterson said, "Absolutely," when the judge asked if he consented to appear remotely.

Several of Peterson's attorneys from the LA Innocence Project appeared in person. 

Paula Mitchell, director of the LA Innocence Project, told the judge her team had been requesting discovery, or evidence, from prosecutors since November. Much of that evidence had not been turned over to his original attorneys, Mitchell said.

"Mr. Peterson's been waiting 20 years to try to find police reports, video recordings and other recordings that should have been provided," Mitchell said. s 

Peterson's brother, Joe, and his wife, Janey Peterson, sat in the front row of the gallery and left the courtroom afterward without commenting to a crush of media outside.

David Harris and Birgit Fladager, the original trial attorneys from the Stanislaus County DA's office, were among those in court.

Peterson is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury convicted him of killing Laci Peterson and their unborn son Connor in 2002. 

The family lived in Modesto. 

Laci Peterson's body surfaced along the Richmond shoreline in 2003 after Modesto police say Scott Peterson took her body aboard his boat and dumped it in San Francisco Bay. 

Peterson maintained his innocence throughout the case and said he had been going fishing in the bay.

Lawyers with the project are asking the judge to approve DNA testing of items in the original case.

The Christmas 2002 disappearance of Laci Peterson drew national headlines. 

With evidence mounting against him, Peterson did a sit-down with Court TV anchor and former KTVU reporter Ted Rowlands and pleaded his case to the public.

The trial was held in San Mateo County because of extensive publicity in the Modesto area, but Stanislaus County prosecutors pressed their case against Peterson before the late Judge Alfred Delucchi in Redwood City.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at and follow him on Twitter at @henrykleeKTVU and