REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – One of Laci Peterson's (search) relatives testified Wednesday that he was so disturbed by her husband's behavior in the days after her disappearance that he followed Scott Peterson (search) at least twice.
Harvey Kemple, who's married to Laci's mother's cousin, said Peterson told him he'd been golfing before coming home to find his wife missing on Christmas Eve 2002. He told Kemple's wife he'd been fishing, Kemple testified.
"I was very suspicious from that first night," Kemple said on the stand, adding that he followed Peterson twice in January — once to a mall parking lot where he sat in his car and once to a Modesto golf course.
Prosecutors contend Peterson killed his wife in their Modesto home, dumped the body from his small boat in the San Francisco Bay (search) and used the fishing trip as a cover story.
Peterson says he came home to find his wife missing. The remains of Laci Peterson and her fetus washed ashore in April 2003, several miles north of Berkeley's marina.
Kemple also testified about Peterson's lack of emotion at his wife's disappearance. He said Peterson got more upset when he burned chicken at a barbecue than when his wife disappeared.
All five witnesses who testified Tuesday — Laci Peterson's stepfather, brother and sister-in-law, and her mother's best friend and cousin — indicated Scott Peterson was emotionless throughout the search for Laci and shunned friends and family who tried to help.
Prosecutors have tried to portray his indifference as the attitude of a guilty man. But defense lawyer Mark Geragos (search) downplayed that, saying Peterson rarely showed emotion at all — a characterization Laci Peterson's stepfather, Ron Grantski, affirmed.
Grantski said Peterson explained why he shied from media attention: "This isn't about me, this is about Laci."
Grantski said he confronted Peterson about his alibi, which he called "a fishy story."
"I said, 'I think your ... fishing trip is a fishy story. Did you do something else? Do you have a girlfriend?"' Grantski said. "He said, 'No,' and he turned around and walked away."
Prosecutors claim Peterson's affair with a massage therapist drove him to murder. If convicted, Peterson, 31, could face the death penalty or life without parole.
But Grantski acknowledged that he, too, went fishing on Christmas Eve.
"Almost exactly the time that Scott Peterson went, correct?" Geragos asked Grantski during testimony.
"That is correct," Grantski replied.
Laci Peterson's sister-in-law, Rose Marie Rocha, later testified that when police began looking at Scott Peterson, she remembered a strange comment he made after Laci became pregnant.
"'I was kind of hoping for infertility,"' she testified Scott told her, adding that she didn't take it as a joke.
Prosecutors have said Peterson was not ready to be a father and was looking for a way out.
However, Rocha acknowledged under questioning from defense lawyers that in a January 2003 interview with detectives, she said Scott and Laci seemed happy together.