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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Awaiting Scott Peterson Verdict

Aired November 12, 2004 - 14:53   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: There is the scene. Redwood City, California. And there is the courthouse where in just over an hour we will have a verdict in the Scott Peterson murder trial.
Let's get back to our analysts and get the latest on what is going on in Redwood City, California. Let's bring in Chuck Smith, our legal analyst, and Ted Rowlands.

And gentlemen, you know, we just saw a piece from Rusty Dornin that pretty much gave us the chronology of the events over the past two years.

And I'm wondering, Chuck, let me start with you. What are some of the lasting images, impressions that you have as you think back over the last nearly two years?

CHUCK SMITH, LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the most lasting impression that no one who saw it will ever forget are the autopsy photographs of what was a beautiful woman and her unborn child and just -- it was awful to watch those things. I mean, that was compelling, just very, very difficult to -- for all of us to look at, all of us to watch. That's No. 1 in my mind.

HARRIS: How about you, Ted?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of jurors -- a lot of jurors broke down during that, as well. It was a very difficult time in the courtroom. A lot of folks in the media actually broke down, as well, because they were horrific. And you -- you counter that with the photographs of Laci Peterson with the smile and all.

What -- the lasting image and the question I have is what happened? I mean, I still don't think anybody knows exactly what happened and how it happened to the minute. And the motivation, if Scott Peterson did kill his wife and son, why? If he didn't, what else...

HARRIS: Well, Chuck -- Chuck, let me ask you a question on that, because that's a very important point that Ted just makes. I mean, in some way, shape or form, this may come down to the attorney who told the best story, who was able to string together the best narrative. Is that correct?

SMITH: Oh, sure, Tony. And we all said so at the time of the closing argument, the importance of the closing argument.

In the opening statements way back six months ago, Mark Geragos clearly stole the show, much better than Rick Distaso. And that's what we expected at the time of the closing arguments some three weeks ago now.

But Rick Distaso far exceeded expectations. He gave an emotional, passionate, animated argument, which in essence said to the jury, "In your heart, in your soul, you know he's a killer."

Mark Geragos, by contrast, gave a methodical piece of evidence by piece of evidence type of argument, as he should. But it didn't have the emotion. It didn't have the punch. And a lot of us thought at that point that, you know, Distaso may have pulled this one out.

You know, it's interesting. And we, of course, as lawyers want to believe what we say does have an impact more than the evidence.

HARRIS: Yes. And Ted, having watched that, give me a sense of how this prosecutor really sold this. And is it your sense that this prosecutor -- you can't pick your cases, but that this prosecutor really believed in this case?

ROWLANDS: Oh, definitely. The prosecution team believed in it. The investigators involved in the investigation back in Modesto truly believe that Scott Peterson is guilty, and they -- they thought he was guilty from the very beginning.

And the one thing that they kept doing in court throughout this trial is sort of defending that, rather than embracing it. There were very few times that an investigator got up there and said, "Well, yes, I ignored the homeless people in the park, because I think he did it."

And I think that Geragos was able to exploit that throughout the trial to give this sort of rush to judgment feel to the investigation.

But if you talk to investigators, the ones that were on it from the very beginning, they believe that Scott Peterson was guilty because he lied to them on numerous occasions and because of the way he was acting. And they do it for a living, and that's what centered them on Scott Peterson, for better or for worse.

The problem is they didn't get the evidence that they thought they would get that they normally get when somebody kills their wife and they're on to them. You know, typically, it's just a matter of tapping the phones and Luminoling the house, and, boom, you have him.

SMITH: And you have him.

ROWLANDS: not -- not at all was that the case here. In fact, there was very little, if any pure, hard evidence against this man.

SMITH: It was all feelings, behavior.

But you know, when I hear you talk about that, one of the top moments and Tony, going back to your question, about what were the good moments, was Craig Grogan.

When Craig Grogan, Detective Craig Grogan was on the stand, he was a compelling witness. And with the assistance of prosecutor Bertram Fladiger (ph), who again, came out of the woodwork and did a heck of a job, he -- and we all remember this -- he talked about a meeting that the investigators had, I think, in early January, early on in the investigation.

And they put together 41 facts which they knew at that point to be facts. And they concluded, Detective Grogan concluded, "based upon these 41 facts, I concluded we're going to find those bodies in the San Francisco Bay."

HARRIS: I see. Is see.

SMITH: And lo and behold, three months later, they did. Powerful stuff for the prosecution.

ROWLANDS: Yes. And obviously, the most compelling bit of evidence, the fact that the bodies washed up in the same spot where Scott Peterson put himself. And the prosecution did an excellent job in closing, in asking the jury who else would have done this? Who else could have done this? Use your common sense.

HARRIS: And Ted, let me -- Ted, let me ask you. Let me -- we're going to talk a lot about sort of the legalese of all of this. But you know, in watching Rusty's piece, I'm struck by Laci's folks. By her folks.

And -- and I'm wondering just over these months, as you've watched this trial unfold, how have they held up? And then, Chuck, take a turn at that.

SMITH: Sure.

ROWLANDS: Well, they, you know, have been through an unbelievable two years now, trying to cope with this and doing the best they can and holding up -- I guess they're holding up as best as someone could expect that they would hold up.

But they've had to endure this trial. And it is not a case where a stranger killed their daughter. They truly believe Scott Peterson killed their daughter. It's someone that they loved. And if you look back, when Laci was first missing, they defended Scott Peterson...

HARRIS: Yes.

ROWLANDS: ... all the way to the core, until they found out about Amber Frey, until they found out about his lies and until they found out that investigators truly thought he was guilty. They were behind this young man, and they loved him. They truly did love him.

So, they have to sit here and not only go through the arduous journey that -- in this trial for 5 1/2 months, but they have to basically look at this young man that they loved. And I'm sure they still have feelings for him. And it must be horrific. There is no good verdict for the Rocha family. I think, no matter what, the pain is still going to continue for years -- for the rest of their lives.

(CROSSTALK)

ROWLANDS: Yes. Go ahead, please.

SMITH: Yes, Tony, and that -- I talk about the drama of the moment that we're about to see at 1:00, our time.

Those two families are going to be sitting there. And, again, for them, when that ultimate word is uttered, whether it be guilty or not guilty, one of those families is just going to be devastated and destroyed, maybe to the point that they can never recover.

And then, certainly, the Peterson family, if it's not guilty, will have a degree of elation that's just remarkable, impossible to describe. If it's guilty, the Rocha family will have that comfort that justice was done, but they have nothing to celebrate.

But what I've -- I've seen these people a lot around town during the five or six months, because my office is right here. This is my courthouse. This is my place.

There's been a marked contrast. They really are two nice families. The Rocha family, remarkably dignified and very little public presence, very little public presence. You don't see them around town much. They're just -- they come to the courthouse. They sit in the trial, and they are gone.

The Peterson family have almost like taken a page out of their attorneys' book in terms of having a public presence. I see them all the time. In fact, one of the local restaurants where Ted and I have gone, a couple of times, I've been in there at night, because I go there often. It's right across the street from my office. And the Peterson family has come in, and I have felt uncomfortable, because I don't want to be close to either side you're or identify with either side. I have got up and left.

So I'm going to get my restaurant back, but they are very public. And they are trying to exhibit to everyone, we're good people. Our son is a good boy. We're going to get justice here and it's going to be not guilty. A real contrast.

HARRIS: Yes.

ROWLANDS: And the bottom line is, there's a lot of emotion in the courtroom. There will be. And the judge is very, very concerned that there may be some sort of an outburst or reaction, that they are going to line bailiffs across the rail, so that neither family member -- no family members can get to Scott Peterson, assuming that, if he were to be found not guilty, they are truly concerned about his safety.

HARRIS: Sure.

All right, Ted and Chuck, I'm going to have you stand by. There's much more to talk about as we get very close here.

But let's go to Kyra for kind of a reset of where we are right now.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to recap our viewers here at the top of the hour.

Breaking news continues now. Less than an hour away, we are going to find out what is going to happen to Scott Peterson. Will he go home? Will he face the death penalty? Will he life in prison? A verdict has been reached. And we'll hear by audio in less than an hour what will happen to Scott Peterson.

Sort of leading you through with video elements. I'm sort of -- I'm going to kind of give you a tick-tock of how we got to where we are today just within the past week to remind you. Remember, in the past few days, that this verdict follows back-to-back dismissals of jurors on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and a day off of deliberations that took place, as you know, on Veterans Day.

The two dismissed jurors were replaced with alternates and each time that panel was told to begin deliberations anew. Well, within six hours, that new group of jurors decided whether Peterson killed his pregnant wife, Laci, who vanished, as you remember, December 24 of 2002. We've been covering the story ever since.

Now, prosecutors, just to remind you if you haven't been following the case to this point, continue to claim that Peterson killed Laci, then dumped her weighted body into San Francisco Bay. The remains of Laci and the fetus, a boy that the couple planned to name Conner, were discovered a few miles from where Peterson says he went fishing alone that day. His wife vanished. The defense contends that someone else killed Laci Peterson.

Now, jurors were given the option of finding Peterson not guilty or convicting him of first- or second-degree murder, each one, of course, carrying out a different sentence, the first being the death penalty, the second, 15 years to life in prison.

And then, as deliberations went on earlier this week, you'll remember the drama shifted a bit, Rusty Dornin telling us about this with video elements today. And that is, it moved out of the courtroom into the parking lot just a few blocks away, where defense attorney Mark Geragos had parked a replica boat there Monday after the deliberating jurors viewed the actual boat that prosecutors allege Peterson used to dump his wife's body.

But this is what happened with that replica that you are looking at right now and its contents. The contents, we'll remind you, coveralls stuffed with weights and concrete anchors tied to the arms and legs representing a body. And it quickly became a makeshift shrine to Laci Peterson and her unborn child Conner, candles, flowers, handwritten letters, signs reading rot in prison and justice for Laci and Conner, Rusty Dornin even telling us that flowers were being sent to just the boat in Redwood City and they would be delivered there to this replica, even flowers coming from overseas and letters from overseas.

Since then, that -- of course, that boat has been moved. But, once again, the breaking news has come out. In less than an hour, about 55 minutes from now, we should hear the verdict on what happens to Scott Peterson and the allegations of murder that stand against him.

We're going to bring in our Ted Rowlands once again, who has been covering this story for a couple of years now.

Ted, it's sort of interesting. When we first started talking to you, you were covering this story working at a local affiliate. And since then, you've come on board here with us. This story has sort of become your life for the past couple of years. I can just imagine it's a bit of -- I guess sense of relief for you, too, that finally a verdict has been reached.

ROWLANDS: Yes, a definite sense of relief professionally.

But, yes, I met Scott Peterson on December 26, 2002. I walked up to his house and knocked on his door and was reporting on a missing woman in Modesto. I was working for a station up in the San Francisco Bay area. And this was about an hour and a half drive. I mispronounced her name as Lucy Peterson the first day while covering it.

And since then, it has been constant. And the reason for that is because this story has drawn so much attention for whatever reason. Everybody has their different ideas of what it was that was so compelling about this story. First, I think it was the fact that there was a pregnant woman missing around the holidays and people felt genuine empathy.

From the first few hours, neighbors that didn't know this woman were canceling their plans and going out to look for her. And then it snowballed. People around the small community started to search and then it became a nationwide sort of search, if you will, for this pregnant woman.

And then it went international. And then, at some point, with the Amber Frey disclosures, the attention centered on Scott Peterson. And it has stayed there ever since, with reminders, of course, of Laci. But people, I think, are genuinely intrigued by this man who claims he has absolutely nothing to do with his wife's disappearance.

And yet, the way he was acting in the days and weeks afterwards would lead the average person to think that somebody just wasn't right. And I guess today we'll find out in less than an hour what a jury of his peers thinks of his story that he's not guilty.

(CROSSTALK)

PHILLIPS: Chuck Smith, we want to recognize you as well of course, also, legal analyst right there next to Ted.

Chuck, maybe I can get you to respond to this. And then, not long after this story broke, Scott Peterson not talking to reporters, not wanting to talk to anybody. And, all of a sudden -- OK, hold on just a second, you guys. We'll get right back to you, Chuck Smith, legal analyst, and Ted Rowlands, our correspondent there outside the courthouse.

What you got, Tony?

HARRIS: Well, you remember that we have up to three jurors that were dismissed. The first of those jurors was Justin Falconer. And Justin joins us on the phone.

Justin, are you there? Justin, you there?

JUSTIN FALCONER, FORMER PETERSON JUROR: Yes, I'm here.

HARRIS: How are you? How are you?

FALCONER: I'm doing good.

HARRIS: OK, let me first get your reaction to the news that so quickly after kind of a tumultuous week to this point, where two jurors were booted off the jury panel and then replaced, how surprised are you that we're less than an hour away from a verdict in this case?

FALCONER: I'm shocked. I'm really surprised.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: Well, tell us why.

FALCONER: Well, I knew that juror No. 6 was going to get them together. And I knew that he'd be able to corral them in and then he wanted to take a shot at the verdict.

I think it's been pretty obvious since day one that he's wanted to get this over with as fast as possible. So, he's -- I have no doubt he won the popular vote. That's why he's the foreman. He and I both got along very well with everybody in the room. And so I am not surprised he did.

I just want to say hi to Chuck and Ted there, too.

HARRIS: OK. We're taking a look at some pictures of you now on the screen there, Justin.

But why did you feel so confident that this new foreperson would be able to bring all of the forces together?

FALCONER: Just because of his personality, the way he is.

Obviously, he's a fireman. He's a team player. I think he knows how to take control of situations and get the best out of them. And I'm sure everybody wanted to go home. I'm sure there was a lot of people in that jury that were ready to take a verdict. And obviously they got rid of the person that was taking too long, in the doctor, and I am still not too sure why No. 7 was dismissed.

But I'm not surprised. I'm surprised it kind of came this soon, but I'm not surprised that he was able to take a shot this quick. HARRIS: What is your take on, your read on that juror, the previous foreperson that was booted off that jury, the doctor/lawyer? What was your take on him?

FALCONER: Well, I guess 19 notebooks was too many. I guess he wanted to go over the evidence bit by bit. And I guess everybody else kind of had their feelings. So whether it's innocent or guilty, I think we're going to find out here shortly.

And I think he just wanted to take too much time. I think everybody else had their mind made up and they decided arguing about it was getting nowhere, and so there you have it.

HARRIS: So, Justin, what is your sense. I mean, you know this case. Well, and you were on this jury. What is your sense of how this might break in less than an hour?

FALCONER: You know, I am not too sure. Like I said, we're going to find out.

But I think, you know, like I said, if it was me still on there, I'd still go for the acquittal. I think there's just too much doubt. There's too many questions unanswered. I think there's too much speculation. But you never know. They might come out and convict. And if they do, I was wrong. And maybe I would have been the person that would have hung this jury.

HARRIS: Well, that's interesting.

But, Justin, give me a sense of what it is you heard early on in the presentation and certainly the opening statements from both of these attorneys that leads you even now to this view that, if you were there, you would still probably be voting for an acquittal.

FALCONER: Well, one of the big ones is, if this case was so strong, why are the police lying on the stand? Why did they have two police officers make up a story on the stand that the prosecution had to come out and apologize for? Why did Brocchini go on the stand and embarrass his department? Why did they have that other woman walk up there and just completely bald-faced lie to the jury?

There was just -- there were so many people that went up there. And it was just, why are you putting these people up here? These people are tearing up your case? Geragos got so many points out of every single witness that it was impossible to not have some sort of doubt.

HARRIS: OK, Justin, hang on just a second.

I want to bring in Chuck Smith and Ted Rowlands, who have some thoughts and questions for you.

Who's wants to go first? Chuck, Ted, which one?

ROWLANDS: Well, Justin, I'd like to ask you simply, is it a matter of you don't think that Scott Peterson had anything to do with his wife's disappearance or you don't think the state was able to prove it? And, of course, that's what the jury has to answer, the second question. What's your gut on both questions?

FALCONER: You know what? My gut on the first one, whether or not he had anything to do with it, you know what? I really don't.

I think, if he did, I don't think he would have been good enough to get away with it. I think that if he had something to do with it, I think he would have been caught. I think they would have had a ton more evidence. I think they would have found her body in the bay after four months of searching with the sonar and the dogs and the divers and everything else. And he would have screwed up.

We know he's a liar. And I just don't think he's that good. He would have stumbled somewhere. Secondly, for the prosecution, I don't think they convinced -- I don't think they looked to convincing. I think there were still too many questions. Every single time, like I said before, they showed us one piece of evidence, Geragos was able to show us three pieces of the same evidence that pointed to innocence.

So -- and not to mention the fact that the, you know, like I said, too, and I think everybody knows, that Geragos got 10 points for every one point that a prosecution witness gave them. So that's my feelings on it.

HARRIS: Chuck, you have a question?

SMITH: Yes, Justin, this is Chuck.

Sure.

Justin, it's Chuck Smith. Nice to hear from you again.

FALCONER: Yes. How you doing?

SMITH: And, Justin, first of all, I think -- sure. Good.

I think your analysis of the early portion of the trial when you were there is right on. I mean, the performance of Geragos compared to the prosecutors and the way you have analyzed this is beautiful. And I agree with you. I said so at the time that you were being dismissed by some people, but I said, no, this guy knows what he's doing.

But I have to ask you -- I mean, it's OK to say so now. It's not going to affect the outcome. It's a done deal. Don't stand on the fence. Tell us. You know these people better than anybody else. Which way is it going to go? No one is going to criticize you if you are wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

FALCONER: Well, yes, they are. They're going to sit there on national television all night long, but -- they're going to criticize me. But -- no, you know what? I think it's going towards acquittal. I ask myself, is there enough evidence to convict him? I have to say no. There was a second-degree murder charge. Was there anything in this case at all that warranted a second-degree murder charge? And there really wasn't. And, you know, to put him in jail and to put him -- or possibly to death for speculation, which is all this case is, you know what? I think it's going towards acquittal. But I think we're going to find out.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: Justin, Justin, he lied about so much.

FALCONER: You're right. He did.

HARRIS: So many things time and time again to so many different people.

FALCONER: Yes, he did.

HARRIS: And so what makes you think he didn't lie about the answer to the ultimate question?

FALCONER: Whether or not he lied -- well, you know what? That's the whole point. He's a liar. And they proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now, if that was what the case was about, then he'd be guilty and we'd be in the -- we wouldn't even be there right now.

HARRIS: Yes.

FALCONER: But the thing is, that's not what they are asking us. They are asking us if he murdered his wife. And you know what? Even though he did lie, he had all these issues, they still never bridged the gap between adulterous liar and murderer. They never did.

And the only evidence that they did have was Laci's body showing up where it did, and that was even sketchy, too. So, as much as you want to hate the guy because of what he did, you know, Laci was absolutely beautiful. There's no excuse for him to have been out there having an affair. But I can't defend it. I won't defend it. But I just never saw anything that bridged the gap.

(CROSSTALK)

PHILLIPS: Justin, Kyra Phillips here. I've got a question for you, just listening to this conversation and you feeling not enough evidence. You believe possibly this could move toward an acquittal.

Let's look at the other options.

FALCONER: OK.

PHILLIPS: Who else could have killed Laci Peterson?

FALCONER: You know, what is funny, is that that's -- whenever -- I have had so many, you know, debates over this issue that it's not even -- I can't even -- I'm blind with the thought.

Every single time somebody gets stuck and they can't account for the evidence not pointing to Scott, they automatically turn to, well, then, who did it? And you know what? I think that that is -- you know what? That is what the police department should have found out. They should have gone to Tracy and they should have looked in that rural area. They should have followed up on all the leads. They shouldn't have focused so hard on him that they just forgot about everything else.

I'm not saying Scott made it easy on himself, because he's a -- he did. He lied. He made himself look as guilty as he possibly could. But that I think is what -- I think the police department focused so hard on him, they said, you know what? This guy is having an affair. We nailed him.

(CROSSTALK)

FALCONER: And then, when all this other stuff came in, they didn't check it out. They should have check it out. And when Geragos put those police officers on the stand and said, hey, you flew a FLIR, which is heat-seeking device, over this area, you knew that there were people there, but you didn't want to go in because you were, what, scared, and the guy went, yes, that right there was just the biggest bunch of -- there was a report that she was there, that she was there and being abused.

That right there, that was one of the things that just threw me right over the fence and said, wait a second. What the heck is going on here?

PHILLIPS: So, at any point, did anyone put the thought, a thought into your mind of, it could be this person or that person, anything specific that, at any time, you thought, yes, that makes sense; it could have been this individual or this individual?

FALCONER: You know what?

The only time that I thought it could make sense that it could be an individual is that when they got the report, like I said, in Tracy where somebody actually called in and said, you know what? This woman is being abused. She's being held in a storage container behind the house in Tracy. And then the police went in there. They searched around. They couldn't find the exact area, but they knew what area it was.

They flew a FLIR over it. They saw that there were people there. Yet, they didn't go and act on it, yet, they did not go in and check it out. And so, the only time that I ever thought, well, there could be people that did it, it was right there.

And if you think about the kind of people that are in that area, that the testimony said were in that area, that matches the kind of people that were hanging out in the park that could have easily robbed her. And maybe they thought -- I don't know. I can't solve the case myself. But that's just -- that's reasonable doubt and that's all you need.

PHILLIPS: Justin Falconer on the line with us.

ROWLANDS: Hey, Justin.

PHILLIPS: Go ahead. Go ahead, Ted.

ROWLANDS: Justin, I have a question for you.

As a juror, were you to some degree offended that you were being asked to possibly put Scott Peterson to death in a case that had so little evidence? And do you think that it was a mistake for the state to seek the death penalty in a case like this, and do you think there's any chance that this jury will come back with a death verdict?

FALCONER: I don't think they will. And, yes, I was.

I was surprised with so little information and with so much hearsay being thrown in there, well, we think he did this, we think he did that -- it was all speculation. I was surprised they were asking us to put him to death. I was waiting for that -- everybody called it the Perry Mason moment, where the prosecution would come out with ta- da, this is what we've got. And it never, ever, ever happened.

And, yes, Geragos, his defense went flat in the end. But you know what? He didn't really have to put a defense on, because every single juror -- or every single witness that the prosecution put on, Geragos got unlimited amount of points on, 90 percent of them. So, you know, I was. I was surprised that they were asking for such a steep penalty for something they had no idea how it happened.

(CROSSTALK)

PHILLIPS: Justin Falconer -- just to recap.

We just want to let our viewers know, if you're just tuning in, once again, we're continuing to follow breaking news; 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, just less than 45 minutes away, we are going to find out the fate of Scott Peterson. After a couple of years now of covering this story and the deliberations and the jurors that have been taken off this case and the new panel that's been brought in, a decision has been made.

There is a verdict. In less than 45 minutes, we'll find out what will happen to Scott Peterson. Will he go home? Will he be found guilty? Will he face life in prison? Will he face the death penalty? We'll finally find this out after a number of years of covering this story.

We have Justin Falconer on the line. You'll remember he was a juror in this case taken off and replaced. We also have Chuck Smith, legal analyst, with us there just outside the courtroom, along with our Ted Rowlands, who has been covering this story since the very beginning.

And, Ted, you were talking about just what you remember from when this case started.

Chuck, I just am curious. From the side of Scott Peterson and all this talk -- and Justin brought this up -- about witnesses and questions within the testimony and the interviews, when Scott Peterson was interviewed, what sticks out in your mind? Anything here that helped or hurt him in those four major interviews that he did not long after being criticized for not talking?

SMITH: Well, what the prosecution focused on and what struck me was, he sat across from Ted Rowlands and lied. He sat across from Gloria Gomez and lied. He sat across from Diane Sawyer and lied.

But then, most importantly in my mind, when he sat with the detective -- and I forget if it was Grogan, but one of the early detectives who interviewed him.

ROWLANDS: Brocchini.

SMITH: Yes. He lied to the detective.

Specifically, the detective showed him a picture of Scott Peterson and Amber Frey.

(CROSSTALK)

SMITH: And his remark to someone was, you know, they did a real good job of making that look like me.

Well, that was him. And he also -- after he lied to Diane Sawyer -- he told Diane Sawyer, oh, I told the police on the night of the 24th that I was having an affair. Well, that's a lie. He didn't tell the police that. And later on, when the police confronted him with that, he said, well, yes, I guess I did lie, because I never really did tell you folks about that.

You know, it's just too much. Rick Distaso, in his closing argument, I thought did a nice job of dealing with the issue of, well, just because he had an affair doesn't mean he killed his wife. Just because he had an affair and lied about it doesn't mean he killed his wife.

The way Distaso handled it, he said, friends of mine say to me just because he had an affair doesn't mean he killed his wife. But you know what, ladies and gentlemen? It puts him in the race. It puts him as a candidate. And when friends of mine say just because he had an affair and then lied about it to everybody under the sun doesn't mean he killed her, yes, but it puts him in the race and it puts him pretty far ahead.

PHILLIPS: Chuck Smith?

SMITH: And then when you start putting all this other circumstantial -- yes?

PHILLIPS: Chuck Smith, we're in a race against time. Hold that thought. Ted Rowlands, hold your thought.

ROWLANDS: Yes.

PHILLIPS: We've got to take a quick break, less than 35 minutes away from a verdict in the Scott Peterson trial.

Stay with us. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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