The Scott Peterson preliminary hearing is finally "moving." On the stand on Thursday was the lead detective. There were some funny moments - they occur even in the tragic cases. For instance the D.A. [District Attorney] started to ask the lead detective if he "interviewed" the Peterson dog. The entire question did not get out since the audience started laughing.
Yesterday court was dark because Peterson's lawyer had to be in another courtroom. I took advantage of the free time and took a camera and Laura Ingle out to all the relevant scenes in order to better understand the testimony already presented. As we stood in the street - public property--Scott's parents Lee and Jackie--drove up. We talked for a short time. Without going into too much detail, they were not "thrilled" to see us walking the street in front of the house. Frankly, I understand and try and balance my job with good taste. Like Laci's family, and especially Sharon Rocha (search), I have had a good relationship with Scott's parents. These are extremely tough times for two sets of very decent parents. Incidentally, we do not violate the gag order and don't get into a very deep conversation when I happen to bump into them. They all know they have an open invitation to our show.
We also took a "field trip" to the warehouse where Scott stored his boat. I asked a woman in the adjacent warehouse if she knew Scott. She said "he once almost ran me over." I said, "accidentally or deliberately." She responded, "accidentally...he is a bad driver." She also told me she knew others in the warehouse area who knew him and thought he was nice.
I am surprised at how the local media has thinned out here in Modesto. There is still the presence of national media - FNC has more than one correspondent and lots of others -but there are the recognizable faces are gone. CNN's Jeff Toobin is gone as are Catherine Crier of Court TV, and Cynthia McFadden of ABC. I don't think any of them has been here all week.
I am also told that many networks will be in Eagle, Colorado next week covering the Kobe Bryant (search) hearing so I may be one of the few in Modesto.
I am going to focus on the Laci Peterson case - unless my seniors tell me otherwise. I am not going to travel to the Kobe Bryant case. We have correspondents who are covering it who do a great job and who will report the facts.
Tonight we do the show and hope it does not rain. It looks like rain and rained earlier. We have a tarp like set up to fight off the rain but it certainly is leak proof.
As soon as the show ends, we are racing to Oakland to catch the red eye back to DC since the court is closed tomorrow (Friday.) I am going to try and sleep before the show Friday night. I didn't last week. I don't know if anyone noticed, but last week I slurred my words on the show on Friday having been on the red eye flying all night. At one point during the show, I also told my panel to "stand by" as we went to break. As soon as we were in the break Ted Williams said to me, "I thought we were finished.". I looked down at my notes and said, "you are." The guests laughed at my mistake and left. I was so so tired.
But, as I drove home exhausted after the show, my luck did not change. The DC police had a sobriety checkpoint - it was Halloween and they suspected drunk drivers -and stopped and search every car. Of course it created a traffic jam at near midnight so my trip home took three times as long as usual. When it was my turn, the police office approached my car, stuck his light in my face and said, "hey, I know you."
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