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Court date set: Scott Peterson will learn next month whether he will get a new trial

Sacramento Bee 11/4/2022 Erin Tracy, The Sacramento Bee

The judge who will decide if Scott Peterson gets a new trial will announce her decision in court during a hearing next month.

Judge Anne-Christine Massullo has scheduled the hearing for Dec. 2 in San Mateo Superior Court, where Peterson in 2004 was convicted of killing his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner.

The case went back to the court in 2020 after the California Supreme Court ordered that a juror misconduct claim by Peterson required further review.

Peterson’s attorneys allege that juror Richelle Nice was biased against him and lied on a jury questionnaire in order to serve on a jury.

Nice answered on the questionnaire that she had never been the victim of a crime or party in a lawsuit.

But a few years prior, she obtained a restraining order, a type of lawsuit, against her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, who had threatened her while she was pregnant. Another time, that boyfriend was arrested for domestic violence after a fight that she testified was “probably” about him cheating on her. Peterson had been having an affair at the time of the murders.

During an evidentiary hearing in March, Nice testified that her boyfriend never hit her and that she was the aggressor. “When I filled out that questionnaire — honestly and truly — nothing of this crossed my mind.”

She said she didn’t know the restraining order she got against her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend was a type of lawsuit and didn’t consider a lawsuit she later filed against the ex-girlfriend for lost wages because she ultimately dropped it.

Prosecutors say Nice made mistakes on the questionnaire but didn’t intentionally lie.

The Dec. 2 hearing will be live-streamed on the court website.

Regardless of which side wins, either can appeal the decision.

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