The Scott Peterson (search) murder trial was postponed for at least a week Friday while a new judge is appointed and the case is transferred to the San Francisco Bay area.

The case was supposed to get under way on Monday with jury selection.

But Judge Al Girolami set proceedings for Feb. 2 in San Mateo County, where he ordered the case moved earlier this week because of hostility toward Peterson in Modesto.

Peterson, 31, could get the death penalty if convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci. In April, her remains and those of the fetus washed ashore two miles from where her husband said he was fishing on Christmas Eve 2002 when she vanished.

Earlier this week, 82-year-old retired Judge Richard Arnason was selected to preside over the trial. But on Thursday prosecutors exercised their authority to remove him. California's chief justice will appoint a new judge.