Inside the Peterson Courtroom

Dear Viewers,

Wednesday the preliminary hearing started in the Scott Peterson (search) case.

To get into the courtroom you must stand in the public line, or be a member of the media who has won the seat lottery. I did win and thus have been inside. To give you a little more background, we all entered the courthouse and went through a metal detector -- like at an airport. On the second floor where the courtroom is we had to go through a second one. Once inside the courtroom you must stay -- meaning if you get up and leave, you cannot return until a break.

I grabbed a seat next to a former CNN colleague of mine, Rusty Dornan.  Next to her was seated Ted Rowlands who works for a Fox affiliate and has been on our show as recently as Tuesday night. Across the aisle was ABC's Cynthia McFadden.

During one break I spotted Gloria Allred on a payphone in the hall and thought it seemed odd. In this day, almost everyone has a cell phone. She said her battery was dead so I offered her one of my phones. Yes, I carry two phones. And yes, my husband thinks I am nuts to do so, but hey, this is a business where communication is everything.

Families of both Laci and Scott were in the courtroom. After the public and media was seated, the sheriff brought in Laci's family and sat them in front rows on left. Then Scott's family was separately brought in and seated in front rows on right. The seating -- and I don't mean to be insensitive -- has the touch of a wedding to it in that there are obvious "sides." At one point during the proceedings there was a loud clang and we all jumped. Scott Peterson's mother is on oxygen and her tank got knocked over.

Scott was brought in last, after we were all seated but before the judge took the bench. I thought he looked very tan but others in the media thought his skin color yellow/green. I took a closer look and he does not look healthy.

Still no sign of Amber, but I will keep you posted…


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