Scott Peterson Officially Resentenced to Life in Prison for Murder of Laci Peterson and Their Unborn Son

Scott Peterson is no longer on death row. On Dec. 8, a judge resentenced him to life in prison without possibility of parole for the 2002 murders of pregnant wife Laci Peterson and their unborn baby.

By Corinne Heller, Ryan Gajewski Dec 08, 2021 7:19 PMTags
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UPDATE: Scott Peterson has been resentenced to life in prison for the 2002 murders of pregnant wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son Conner, after spending more than 15 years on death row.

The new sentence was handed down on Wednesday. Dec. 8. Scott, who has maintained his innocence, had originally been sentenced to die by lethal injection in 2005. In 2020, the California Supreme Court reversed his death sentence due to problems with jury selection.

For the murder of Laci, Scott was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. For killing their unborn son, he received 15 years to life in prison. Sharon Rocha, Laci's mother, spoke at the hearing directly to Scott.

"Scott, 19 years ago today, you were in the midst of planning Laci's murder," she said, per KRON4 TV news reporter Amy Larson. "You can bat your eyes but it's the truth. I see no sorrow and no remorse from you at all."

Scott's attorney, Pat Harris, said at the hearing, "This man cares a great deal, this man cares a lot," according to FOX 40 TV news reporter Katelyn Stark.

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The journalist quoted Laci's mother as saying to Scott, "Although you absolutely deserve the death penalty, we chose life without parole for your sentencing. We chose not to completely reopen those wounds...There are two things that will never change: Laci and Connor will always be dead and you will always be their murderer."

"You didn't want the baby or the responsibility of being a father," Sharon said, per the reporter. "You're a coward."

She continued, "Laci would have been a good mother. I often envision what Connor would have looked like."

Had they lived, Laci would have been 46 today and Conner would have been 18.


(The following is from E! News' original story from Sept. 23, 2021)

Scott Peterson will be resentenced to life in prison following his 2005 sentencing to death by lethal injection for the 2002 murder of pregnant wife Laci Peterson

During a Wednesday, Sept. 22 hearing attended by E! News, a judge said the court will resentence Scott to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the killings of Laci, 27, and the couple's unborn son, Conner.

E! News has reached out to Scott's attorney for comment and has not heard back.

Prosecutors previously told the court they will not seek the death penalty if Scott, 48, receives a new trial.  

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Back in 2020, the Supreme Court upheld Scott's 2004 conviction but reversed his death sentence over alleged problems with jury selection. Scott had been on death row since 2005 without the possibility of parole but has maintained his innocence and hopes to receive a new trial.

Laci was eight months pregnant when she disappeared from the couple's Modesto, Calif. home in December 2002, and her body was found washed ashore of the San Francisco Bay in April 2003. According to Scott, he had embarked on a solo fishing trip, and Laci was killed while walking their dog. 

Prior to Laci's death, Scott had an affair with massage therapist Amber Frey, who testified she didn't know he was married at the time. Amber stated in the trial that Scott had told her his wife had died.

During the trial, the defense posited the theory that Laci had confronted three men who were robbing a neighbor's house. The men denied involvement in the murder case, and a police investigation cleared them. 

This past August, Scott Peterson's sister-in-law, Janey Peterson, told the Today show she believes Scott is innocent and that authorities are at fault for the conviction. Janey, whose comments have not been corroborated by law enforcement, said she believes the three burglars framed Scott by placing Laci's body in the vicinity of where Scott was fishing. 

(This story was originally published on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 at 4:35 a.m. PT)