REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Scott Peterson looked for used boats on the Internet a day after a friend of his mistress confronted him about being married, prosecutors showed yesterday, apparently hoping to convince jurors that the computer searches were an early step in a plot to kill Peterson's pregnant wife.
Scott Peterson also searched websites for information on fishing, currents in San Francisco Bay, and details on boat ramps in the area, said Lydell Wall, an investigator with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department.
Prosecutors say Peterson killed his wife, Laci, in their home around Dec. 24, 2002, then drove to the bay and dumped her body from a boat he had bought weeks earlier. The remains of Laci Peterson and the couple's fetus washed ashore in April 2003, not far from where Scott Peterson said he launched a solo fishing trip the day she vanished. Wall testified he examined five hard drives from computers seized from Peterson's home and office. He said he found that Peterson searched sales ads for used boats on Dec. 7-8, 2002.
Peterson had been having an affair with Amber Frey. Shawn Sibley, who introduced Peterson to Frey, testified earlier in the trial that she confronted him Dec. 6 after learning he was married.
Wall said Peterson researched how to fish for sturgeon and striped bass. Peterson told police that was what he was fishing for the day his wife disappeared, but prosecutors say his gear was not suited for catching such fish.
During his cross-examination of former Modesto police officer Kirk Stockham, defense lawyer Mark Geragos noted that a printout of the website Peterson visited regarding bay currents had different times and dates on it, one showing it was checked by Peterson on Dec. 5, a day before Sibley confronted him. But Wall testified that the date had not been updated by the website's manager.