Scott Peterson's prosecutors are expected to play their trump card this week -- an expert who will trace the path of Laci's and Conner's bodies to where the defendant was fishing the day his wife disappeared.But the prosecution theory -- that the bodies lay anchored underwater until a storm on April 12, 2003 -- appears to contradict their own expert witnesses and consultants.-- Contra Costa coroner Dr. Brian Peterson -- no relation to Scott -- testified two weeks ago that he had discovered mineralization in Laci's clothes when her body washed ashore April 14.The stone-like mineral deposits likely formed because the body spent a substantial amount of time exposed to air and sunlight, Dr. Peterson hypothesized.That conflicts with the prosecution's belief that Laci's body stayed underwater in the spot where it was dropped until the storm dredged it from the San Francisco Bay floor and freed Conner.And raised questions as to why no one spotted the floating body despite scores of search boats, dive teams,sonar surveys and helicopter flyovers in that area.-- Both Dr. Peterson and bone expert Dr. Alison Galloway said Laci's head, arms and legs parted from the body as her corpse floated along the bottom of the bay. That is a common occurrence for submerged bodies, the experts said.But if the body moved along the bay floor, it would not likely be in the spot where it was allegedly dropped more than three months earlier.-- As the Daily News previously reported, lead Modesto police Detective Craig Grogan consulted San Francisco Medical Examiner Boyd Stephens two weeks before the bodies washed ashore.Stephens also told Grogan it was not likely the body would have stayed in one place, in part because of currents in the bay. Bodies have moved as much as 5 miles along the bay floor, Stephens said.The current around Brooks Island where Scott was fishing is a strong 4 knots, Grogan reported -- so strong that divers said it made underwater searches difficult.-- Stanislaus County prosecutors and Modesto police have never reenacted the placement of Laci's body in the bay.That may be because Stephens warned police that the 35 pounds of concrete anchors they theorized were used to sink Laci's 153-pound body was not enough to do the job.The medical examiner said bodies have been found floating with 80 pounds of weight attached.
Stephens' caution was born out during a test performed by Phil and Dan DeVan, who have worked with several media organizations and consultants during the trial.Phil DeVan showed the Daily News a videotape he made intended to demonstrate Scott could easily lift Laci's body, plus 50 pounds of weight, out of his boat without capsizing.The DeVans filled two cloth bags with 153 pounds of material and wrapped them in a tarpaulin, as police theorized Scott had done. They then attached two 25-pound concrete weights.Phil DeVan maneuvered the mock body and weights out of his 12-f00t boat with little difficulty.But the videotape then showed the "body" bobbing on the top of the water. It never sank, DeVan said.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
The State's "trump card" is a Joker
More common sense from Richard Cole, September 27, 2004, as he notes how the State disproves its own theory.