- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2004

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — In the first detailed description of their case, prosecutors charge in court filings that Scott Peterson’s affair with a massage therapist drove him to murder his pregnant wife.

Defense attorneys said yesterday the document contained “out-and-out falsehoods.”

Prosecutors wrote that Mr. Peterson’s affair and his conflicting statements about it to police and reporters were sufficient to show a motive.

However, the prosecution documents filed Monday do not provide full details to support the prosecution theory, and even with jury selection scheduled to start next week, prosecutors have revealed little about their case, parts of which they described in the filing as “circumstantial.”

Prosecutors sketched the broad outlines of what they believe led Mr. Peterson to kill his pregnant wife, Laci, after Mr. Peterson’s attorney asked a judge to disregard statements Mr. Peterson made to reporters after his wife’s disappearance.

The document cites Mr. Peterson’s “romancing” of masseuse Amber Frey in the period before Mrs. Peterson disappeared on Dec. 24, 2002.

The bodies of Mrs. Peterson and her unborn son later washed up on a San Francisco Bay shore.

During a heated exchange in court Tuesday morning, defense attorney Mark Geragos called the filing “scurrilous” and “replete with … out-and-out falsehoods” designed to grab headlines.

“There’s something completely wrong with what they did,” he told Judge Alfred A. Delucchi. “It looked like it was right out of the National Enquirer.”

Prosecutors detailed a series of reportedly conflicting statements Mr. Peterson made in television interviews. The document said he tried to cast suspicion away from himself but ended up coming across “quite strongly, as someone who is lying about his involvement in Laci’s disappearance.”

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