- The Washington Times - Monday, August 16, 2004

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — Scott Peterson continued to pursue his former mistress even a week after his wife disappeared and the search for her continued, according to telephone recordings played for jurors yesterday at his double-murder trial.

As Mr. Peterson’s lies unraveled and the mistress, Amber Frey, questioned him about the disappearance, Mr. Peterson was apologetic but evasive about his untruths.

Jurors heard Miss Frey pressing Mr. Peterson on how she could ever trust him in the future.

“I can only hope that that’s a possibility,” he tells her. “We can have a relationship.”

Yesterday was the fourth day jurors listened to the recordings, taped by Miss Frey at the request of police in the days after the pregnant Laci Peterson vanished.

On the tape, Miss Frey asks Mr. Peterson to appear before the press to plead for his wife’s safe return and to express his innocence.

“If there’s any truth in what you say in what you tell me about you and I, then you will do this for us,” Miss Frey tells him.

Mr. Peterson says he needs to check with police before he can do interviews.

At one point, as Miss Frey presses him about hiding the affair, it appears as if Mr. Peterson accuses her of being involved in Mrs. Peterson’s disappearance.

“You know, Scott, when people find out, and they will, no one will think your behavior is innocent,” Miss Frey says.

“I had nothing to do with this … and I just, you know, I hope that you … are not … involved to any degree,” Mr. Peterson replies.

On the tapes heard by jurors last week, Miss Frey repeatedly questions Mr. Peterson about his wife’s disappearance. He denies any involvement, even sounding hurt to the point of tears.

Prosecutors say Mr. Peterson killed his wife in their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, then drove to the San Francisco Bay and dumped her weighted body from a small boat he had purchased weeks earlier. The badly decomposed remains of Mrs. Peterson and the couple’s fetus washed ashore from the Bay in April 2003, not far from where Mr. Peterson said he began a solo fishing trip the day she vanished.

His defense attorneys claim he was framed after the real killer learned of his widely publicized alibi.

Authorities want to show jurors that Mr. Peterson’s motive for killing his wife and their unborn child was to be with Miss Frey.

Miss Frey has testified that she called police after discovering her lover was not only married, but suspected in the disappearance of his pregnant wife. Officers asked her to record Mr. Peterson’s calls.

Judge Alfred A. Delucchi said the tapes would continue to be played today and Miss Frey would retake the stand to answer questions tomorrow.

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