Convicted murderer Scott Peterson appeared in a San Mateo, Calif. court via video conference on Friday when he spoke briefly to the judge and waived his right to a speedy trial, effectively pushing his court date back to January 2021.
“Yes, your honor,” Peterson told the judge when asked if he was indeed waiving the right to the expedited proceedings. If he had not done so, his trial would have been set to have begun on Nov. 29. Instead, it will now be held starting on Jan. 21, 2021.
Peterson’s Friday court hearing was held at 10 a.m. PT in California Superior Court in San Mateo County, rather than the Stanislaus County Superior Court where he appeared in October for the first time in more than a decade.
Photographs from the courthouse, captured by KCRA News, show the 47-year-old’s sister-in-law, Janey Peterson, was also in attendance. On Friday, Peterson appeared from San Quentin State Prison.
Peterson’s attorney, Pat Harris, said Friday morning was the first time he had spoken to his client since the October court appearance.
“I have been unable to get in contact with Mr. Peterson until this morning,” Harris said. “It’s been difficult, to say the least.”
According to ABC10 News, Peterson and his attorney hope to address concerns surrounding allegations of juror misconduct and the ability for the convicted murder to receive a fair trial, despite the widely publicized nature of the case.
During the Oct. 23 hearing, prosecutors revealed they intend to retry the death penalty phase of Peterson’s case.
On Oct. 14, the California Supreme Court ordered his conviction to be reexamined to determine whether Peterson should receive a new trial. And in August, the Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence, citing “significant errors” in the jury selection process.
The case was called to be reexamined after the court said a juror committed “prejudicial misconduct” by failing to disclose that she had been involved with other legal proceedings.
According to officials, the juror, Richelle Nice, had filed a lawsuit in 2000 to obtain a restraining order after her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend harassed her while she was pregnant.
Peterson was convicted in 2004 of murdering Laci Peterson, 27 at the time, and their unborn son, Connor. Laci was eight months pregnant at the time of her death.
In 2003, Stanislaus prosecutors charged Peterson with double homicide, but the case was later moved to San Mateo County, nearly 90 miles away from the couple’s Central Valley home in Modesto.
Investigators say Peterson took the bodies from their Modesto home and dumped them from his fishing boat into San Francisco Bay, where they surfaced months later. Peterson was arrested after Amber Frey, a massage therapist living in Fresno, told police that they began dating a month before his wife’s death, but that he had told her his wife was dead.
He has maintained his innocence.
Fox New’s report Laura Ingle and The Associated Press contributed to this report.