REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Scott Peterson's (search) murder trial will be delayed until early next week so the defense can investigate recently discovered evidence, the judge announced Thursday after a closed-door session with the lawyers.
Defense lawyer Mark Geragos (search) said outside court that the evidence is "potentially exculpatory" and was "reluctantly" turned over by the prosecution. No details about the evidence were announced.
Trial testimony is expected to resume on Tuesday.
The announcement about the trial delay came after Judge Alfred A. Delucchi (search) consulted with defense and prosecution lawyers in his chambers Thursday morning.
A separate evidence debate led to a shouting match between attorneys Tuesday afternoon after jurors were removed from the courtroom.
Geragos loudly complained that prosecutors had failed to inform the defense about a problem with the testimony of a woman who said Peterson seemed "nonchalant" as he searched through photos of his missing wife. The problem was that on the eve of her testimony, the woman failed to identify any of the photos she later testified about.
"How many times am I going to have to get discovery by cross-examination?" Geragos shouted.
The judge, clearly angry, upbraided the apologetic prosecutor, Rick Distaso, and struck the woman's testimony from the record.
Prosecutors allege Peterson killed his wife, Laci, in their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, then drove to the bay and dumped her weighted body from a small boat he had purchased just weeks earlier. The badly decomposed remains of Laci Peterson and the couple's fetus washed ashore in April 2003, not far from where Peterson said he went on a solo fishing trip the day she vanished.