Skip to main content International
The Web      Powered by

Key dates in the Peterson trial

more videoVIDEO
A jury is deliberating Scott Peterson's fate.
• Court TV:  Juror profilesexternal link
• Court TV:  Evidence galleryexternal link
• Audio Slide Show: Laci Peterson's disappearance
• FindLaw:  People v. Petersonexternal link
Scott Peterson

(CNN) -- Here are the key dates in the Scott Peterson trial:

  • December 24, 2002: Laci Peterson, 27, is reported missing from her home in Modesto, California. She was 8 months pregnant at the time.
  • December 26, 2002: Police search the Peterson home.
  • January 24, 2003: Amber Frey, a massage therapist from Fresno, comes forward at a police news conference to say she was having an affair with Scott Peterson. The affair began November 20, she said, after he lied and said he was single.
  • February 18, 2003: Police get a second search warrant and remove 95 items from the Peterson home.
  • March 5, 2003: Modesto police say they are treating the investigation as a homicide case.
  • April 13, 2003: The remains of a male infant are found on the shore of San Francisco Bay.
  • April 14, 2003: A decapitated female body washes up on the shore of San Francisco Bay near where the infant's body was found the day before.
  • April 18, 2003: The remains are identified as Laci Peterson and her baby. Scott Peterson is arrested in San Diego.
  • April 21, 2003: Peterson is charged in Stanislaus County Superior Court before Judge Nancy Ashley with two felony counts of murder with premeditation and special circumstances. Peterson pleads not guilty.
  • June 12, 2003: Judge Al Girolami imposes a gag order on participants, saying the restrictions are necessary to preserve Peterson's right to a fair trial amid "massive" publicity.
  • June 26, 2003: A California Superior Court judge orders that 176 recently discovered wiretaps of Peterson's telephone calls be handed over to the defense as part of discovery.
  • August 6, 2003: Defense attorneys say Peterson was offered a plea bargain and threatened with the death penalty three months before he was charged.
  • November 17, 2003: The judge decides to bind Peterson over for trial on murder charges in the deaths of his pregnant wife and their unborn child.
  • December 3, 2003: Peterson pleads not guilty.
  • January 8, 2004: Girolami permits a change of venue.
  • February 2, 2004: Newly appointed Judge Alfred Delucchi bars cameras from the San Mateo County courtroom for the duration of the trial.
  • March 4, 2004: Jury selection begins.
  • May 27, 2004: The jury is seated in the case. There are six men and six women, and six alternates.
  • June 1, 2004: The trial begins.
  • June 21, 2004: Delucchi tells jurors they must take care to ensure their actions in and around the courtroom are not misconstrued. Delucchi's warning came after Juror No. 5 said something on June 18 to Brent Rocha, the brother of Laci Peterson, as the two passed through a security checkpoint at the entrance to the courthouse.
  • June 23, 2004: Juror No. 5, Justin Falconer, is dismissed from the jury.
  • August 10, 2004: Frey testifies that Peterson told her he was a widower, and that he lied about where he lived and traveled. Jurors started hearing tape recordings of her conversations with Peterson, made by police after she discovered the truth and went to authorities shortly after Laci Peterson disappeared.
  • August 18, 2004: Delucchi sends the jury home after a lengthy conference with lawyers in his chambers over an evidentiary dispute. A source close to the case told CNN that prosecutors tried to block Peterson's defense from using taped conversations that have not been introduced into evidence. But the source said Delucchi allowed the defense to use the tapes if they directly pertain to Frey's testimony over the past week and a half.
  • August 24, 2004: Frey finishes her testimony.
  • October 5, 2004: The prosecution rests.
  • October 26, 2004: The defense rests.
  • November 1, 2004: The prosecution makes its closing arguments.
  • November 2, 2004: The defense makes its closing arguments.
  • November 3, 2004: Jury deliberations begin.
  • November 9, 2004: A juror is replaced by an alternate.
  • November 10, 2004: The alternate juror who replaced Falconer is replaced by an alternate.
  • November 12, 2004: The jury finds Peterson guilty on both counts.
  • December 13, 2004: The jury sentences Peterson to death.

  • Story Tools
    Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
    Top Stories
    CNN/Money: Ex-Tyco CEO found guilty
    Top Stories
    EU 'crisis' after summit failure


    CNN US
    On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
       The Web     
    Powered by
    © 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
    A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
    external link
    All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
     Premium content icon Denotes premium content.