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Convicted Murderer Scott Peterson Appears in Court Via Video as He Seeks New Trial

Scott Peterson, 51, claims there is new evidence showing he didn't kill his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son, Conner

<p>Andy Alfaro/The Modesto Bee via AP</p> Scott Peterson during 2024 hearing

Andy Alfaro/The Modesto Bee via AP

Scott Peterson during 2024 hearing

Convicted murderer Scott Peterson took his first steps toward seeking a new trial at a status hearing Tuesday morning in a Northern California court.

Scott, 51, appeared via livestream video from the Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Calif., while his new lawyers from the Los Angeles Innocence Project began the process of seeking a new trial for their client, who was convicted in 2004 of killing his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son, Conner.

The hearing — the first regarding new evidence the LAIP claims to have — was mostly procedural, Dan Noyes of KGO reported on X.

<p>Andy Alfaro/The Modesto Bee via AP</p> Scott Peterson

Andy Alfaro/The Modesto Bee via AP

Scott Peterson

He smiled when he was asked if he could hear what was going on in court via Zoom, KGO reported.

Scott appeared on Zoom in a blue prison jumpsuit, KCRA and KGO reported.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Hill granted the hearing last week. During Tuesday's hearing, she scheduled future hearings about DNA testing motions, KCRA reports.

Related: The L.A. Innocence Project Believes Scott Peterson May Be Innocent: What to Know About Wife Laci's Murder

Scott's brother, Joe Peterson, and his sister-in-law, Janey Peterson, attended the hearing.

The LAIP took on Scott as a client last year. A new piece of evidence they claim they have revolves around a van that was set ablaze on Dec. 25, 2002, in Modesto, the day after Laci, 27, vanished. Scott's lawyers claim the van is where Laci was killed by two men after she witnessed them robbing a house on her street on the morning of Dec. 24, 2002, which was the day she disappeared.

<p>SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN MATEO</p> The van in question

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN MATEO

The van in question

Inside the van was a mattress with what appeared to be blood stains. The LAIP claims it has new evidence showing that the van didn't have a mattress inside it before it was stolen prior to Laci's killing, KRON4 reports.

Related: Why Scott Peterson’s Former Defense Attorney Thinks He Could Be Exonerated

Scott told police he was fishing in the San Francisco Bay on Dec. 24, 2002, 90 miles away from the couple's Modesto home, when Laci disappeared.

<p>SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN MATEO</p> The interior of the burned out, stolen van

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN MATEO

The interior of the burned out, stolen van

Related: L.A. Innocence Project Takes Scott Peterson's Case, Says New Evidence 'Supports' Claim He Didn't Kill Wife Laci

Scott became a person of interest when massage therapist Amber Frey came forward in Jan. 2003 saying she had been romantically involved with him for a month before Laci vanished. Frey said she had no idea he was still married, and that Scott had told her he was a widower.

He was arrested on April 18, 2003, four days after the bodies of Laci and Conner turned up in San Francisco Bay. He pleaded not guilty when charged with their murders.

On Nov. 12, 2004, a jury found Scott guilty of two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Laci and Conner.

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In 2005, he was sentenced to death. But in 2020, that sentence was overturned and the following year he was resentenced to life in prison without parole.

Related: Here Was Scott Peterson's Defense at His 2004 Murder Trial in Death of Pregnant Wife Laci

The next hearing for a motion to seal proceedings is scheduled for April 16, KCRA reports.

The judge scheduled a hearing on the DNA motions for May 29.

She scheduled a hearing about discovery proceedings on July 15.

Scott will attend all the hearings via Zoom from prison, KCRA reports.

In the summer of 2023, Scott reached out to the nonprofit LAIP, asking it to consider taking his case.

The LAIP and Laci’s family did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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