Peterson lawyer vows to find 'real' killer

MODESTO, Calif., May 5 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles lawyer who last week took over the high-profile case of accused double-murderer Scott Peterson vowed Monday to not only prove his client's innocence, but to also find the trail of the real killer of Laci Peterson and her unborn child.

Mark Geragos argued in court Monday against the release of search warrants used in the investigation and then told a crowd of reporters outside the Modesto courthouse that his goal was more than just avoiding a conviction that could lead to the death penalty for the 30-year-old Peterson.


"We're not into just arguing for reasonable doubt," said Geragos, whose list of previous celebrity clients includes actress Winona Ryder, Whitewater figure Susan McDougal and former Congressman Gary Condit. "We have set the bar extremely high."

During his frequent guest appearances on television talk shows, Geragos was of the opinion that there was enough evidence to at least arrest Peterson in the alleged slayings of Laci and the couple's unborn son, Conner. On Monday, however, he decried the "voodoo" investigation by Modesto police that led to Peterson's arrest.


He added that the aim of his case would be to "prove not only Scott's factual innocence, but to prove exactly who did this horrible thing."

Laci Peterson's partial remains were found washed ashore in San Francisco Bay April 14 not far from the marina where her husband had claimed to have been fishing on Christmas Eve day when his wife disappeared. The remains of her unborn son, Conner, had been found a short distance away.

Scott Peterson told police his wife, who was nearly eight months pregnant at the time, had planned to walk the couple's dog on a nearby trail while he was gone. Modesto police and Stanislaus County prosecutors believe Peterson was actually disposing of his wife's body.

No other possible suspect was ever identified by police, although even Peterson was not publicly named as a suspect prior to his arrest in San Diego on April 18. Authorities have not released details of their evidence against Peterson.

Geragos argued in court Monday to keep those details under seal because of their alleged weaknesses and the alleged "voodoo-type" nature of the investigation, which he said included the use of psychics. Prosecutors Monday did not deny that self-styled psychics had offered to assist in the high-profile search for Laci, although they would not say what role they had actually played in the investigation.


Superior Court Judge Roger M. Beauchesne agreed to keep the documents sealed for the time being, although he did not rule out lifting the seal, as requested by area media outlets, at a later date.

(Reported by Hil Anderson in Los Angeles)

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