REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Scott Peterson's murder trial will be delayed until early next week so the defense can investigate recently discovered evidence, the judge announced yesterday after a closed-door session with the lawyers.
A defense lawyer, Mark Geragos, said outside the court that the evidence is "potentially exculpatory." He also said it had been "reluctantly" turned over by the prosecution. No details about the evidence were announced.
Trial testimony is expected to resume on Tuesday.
Judge Alfred A. Delucchi consulted with defense and prosecution lawyers in his chambers morning. He made his announcement after the meeting.
On Tuesday, a debate on other evidence led to a shouting match between lawyers after jurors were removed from the courtroom.
Geragos loudly complained that prosecutors had not informed the defense about a problem with the testimony of a woman who said Peterson seemed "nonchalant" as he searched through photos of his missing wife. The problem was that on the eve of her testimony, the woman had not identified any of the photographs for which she later gave testimony to the court.
"How many times am I going to have to get discovery by cross-examination?" Geragos shouted.
The judge, clearly angry, upbraided the apologetic prosecutor, Rick Distaso, and struck the woman's testimony from the record.
Prosecutors allege that Peterson killed his wife, Laci, in their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, then drove to the bay and dumped her weighted body from a small boat he had bought weeks earlier.
The badly decomposed remains of Laci Peterson and the couple's fetus washed ashore in April 2003, not far from where Peterson said he went on a solo fishing trip the day she vanished.