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Judge Moves Peterson Case Out of Modesto

January 8, 2004

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) _ A judge ruled Thursday that Scott Peterson can’t get a fair jury in his dead wife’s hometown and ordered the case moved out of Stanislaus County.

Prosecutors argued that news coverage of the case, which gained national notoriety after a pregnant Laci Peterson disappeared on Christmas Eve a year ago, is so widespread in California that there is no point in moving the trial.

Defense lawyer Mark Geragos said in court papers that Peterson has been demonized and that the prosecution’s argument ``can be boiled down to the old adage, ’Sure we can give him a fair trial, then we will take him out and hang him.‴

Peterson, 31, is charged with two counts of murder in the killings of his wife and unborn son. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The trial is scheduled Jan. 26, but would most likely be postponed if there is a change in location.

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