Tape, cut found on Laci Peterson fetusBy Associated Press,
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 30, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Prosecutors in the Scott Peterson murder case filed a motion Thursday to unseal autopsy results after news reports surfaced that the body of the fetus Laci Peterson was carrying had a significant cut and plastic tape wrapped around its neck.
The information was first reported by MSNBC, which said it received a portion of the autopsy report done by the Contra Costa County coroner's office.
The information on the autopsy also was reported by the Associated Press, but prosecutors responded later in the day by saying it was misleading.
"The information being leaked has clearly been skewed in favor of the defense," wrote Deputy Stanislaus County District Attorney David Harris. "By releasing the autopsy reports the court will allow the media to see what the actual facts are and then accurate information may be reported to mitigate recent adverse publicity."
MSNBC said the autopsy report indicated the fetus had 11/2 loops of plastic tape around its neck.
Autopsy results were sealed by court order after Stanislaus County prosecutors said releasing the reports would jeopardize Scott Peterson's right to a fair trial.
In a statement, District Attorney James Brazelton decried the news reports, saying evidence should not be "selectively leaked to the news media by unknown persons whom the press will not identify."
The Contra Costa County coroner's office refused to comment on the autopsy report.
Scott Peterson, 30, is accused of killing his wife and their unborn son, whom the couple had planned to name Conner, on Dec. 23 or 24 in their home. His 27-year-old wife was eight months pregnant. The bodies washed up on the shore of San Francisco Bay last month.
Peterson's attorney, Mark Geragos, would not comment on the MSNBC report.
Geragos has suggested that the victims were killed by members of a satanic cult.
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