REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Scott Peterson (search) continued to pursue his former mistress even a week after his wife disappeared and the search for her continued, according to telephone recordings played for jurors Monday at his double-murder trial.
As Peterson's lies unraveled and the mistress, Amber Frey (search), questioned him about the disappearance, Peterson was apologetic but evasive about his untruths.
Jurors heard Frey pressing Peterson on how she could ever trust him in the future.
"I can only hope that that's a possibility," he tells her. "We can have a relationship."
Monday was the fourth day jurors listened to the recordings, taped by Frey at the request of police in the days after the pregnant Laci Peterson (search) vanished.
On the tape, Frey asks Peterson to appear before the media to plead for his wife's safe return and to express his innocence.
"If there's any truth in what you say in what you tell me about you and I, then you will do this for us," Frey tells him.
Peterson says he needs to check with police before he can do interviews.
At one point, as Frey presses him about hiding the affair, it appears as if Peterson accuses her of being involved in Laci's disappearance.
"You know, Scott, when people find out (about the affair), and they will, no one will think your behavior is innocent," Frey says.
"I had nothing to do with this ... and I just, you know, I hope that you ... are not ... involved to any degree," Peterson replies.
"How ... back up! ... Back up to that statement," Frey says angrily.
"You know, what I mean by that is obviously you're not involved ... but I mean I don't want ... you to have any repercussions from people," Peterson says.
On the tapes heard by jurors last week, Frey repeatedly questions Peterson about his wife's disappearance. He denies any involvement, even sounding hurt to the point of tears.
Prosecutors allege Peterson killed his wife in their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, then drove to the San Francisco Bay and dumped her weighted body from a small boat he had purchased weeks earlier. The badly decomposed remains of Laci Peterson and the couple's fetus washed ashore from the bay in April 2003, not far from where Peterson said he launched a solo fishing trip the day she vanished.
His defense attorneys claim he was framed after the real killer learned of his widely publicized alibi.
Authorities hope to show jurors that Peterson's motive for killing his wife and their unborn child was to be with Frey.
Frey has testified that she called police after discovering her lover was not only married, but suspected in the disappearance of his pregnant wife. Officers asked her to record Peterson's calls.
Judge Alfred A. Delucchi said the tapes would continue to be played Tuesday. Defense attorneys said they expect to begin cross-examining Frey by Tuesday afternoon.
Frey took the witness stand twice Monday morning simply to affirm that the tapes were made by her. She remained in court the rest of the time.
Like a detective, Frey pressed Peterson for answers on the tapes, interrogating him about what he and Laci had done the day before she vanished.
Peterson said they ate pizza and watched a movie, "The Rookie," before going to sleep. Frey asked him if they slept in the same bed.
"Amber, please don't ask ... I can't ... I can't tell you these things," Peterson says. "I can't tell you everything right now."
Peterson maintains he told Laci about his affair with Frey after the pair's first date.
"Are you telling me Laci was OK with me?" Frey asks.
"Yeah," Peterson says.
"That's really hard for me to believe," Frey replies, before calling him a "pathological liar."
Meanwhile, Peterson continues to romance her, telling Frey he wants to be with her eventually.
"The only way that you'll ever know that's true is through time. And I hope I get a chance to show you that," Peterson says. "I'm hoping ... there's always been hope in the future for us ... I hope at some point you can allow me to try to take care of you."
Peterson also doesn't try to talk Frey out of telling police about their affair.
"If you want to go to police, that's, you know, fine," he says.