REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Scott Peterson's (search) double-murder trial won't be moving from this San Francisco suburb, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Defense attorney Mark Geragos (search) argued for a second change of venue for the highly publicized case, claiming that an impartial jury cannot be found because the trial is taking place too close to the alleged murder scene.
"We've moved laterally to a county that is in the same television market," Geragos told the judge.
"Is it going to be inconvenient (to move the trial)? Yes. Is it going to be costly? Yes. But it's certainly not going to be more costly that retrying" this case, Geragos said, indicating he would appeal if Peterson were convicted.
The case is being heard in Redwood City, just 93 miles from Modesto, the alleged crime scene, and about 40 miles from where the bodies of Peterson's pregnant wife, Laci, and her fetus, washed ashore along San Francisco Bay (search) just over a year ago.
Geragos wanted the case moved to Los Angeles, where he practices law. He said the state's most populous county would be ideal for the trial that has attracted an enormous amount of publicity in Northern California.
In denying that motion Tuesday, Judge Alfred A. Delucchi said he felt confident Peterson could get a fair trial in Redwood City.
"He's not a politician.... He's a fertilizer salesman who's been accused of this crime," Delucchi said. "And there is no showing this case would receive less publicity in any other venue, let alone Los Angeles, the media capital of the world."
A judge in Modesto moved the case to San Mateo County after finding an impartial jury could not be seated in the couple's hometown.
Peterson could face the death penalty or life without parole if he is convicted.
Jury selection has been ongoing for more than two months with many potential panelists being excused for various reasons, including opposition to the death penalty or opinions that Peterson is guilty.
The process has slowed so much that Delucchi delayed opening statements a week. They are now set for May 24.