Laci's Family Drops Wrongful Death Suit Against Scott Peterson

The family of murdered pregnant teacher Laci Peterson quietly dropped a lawsuit against her husband Scott Peterson, who is on death row in the killings of the young expectant mom and her unborn child.

Laci Peterson's mother and stepfather, Sharon and Dennis Rocha, withdrew the wrongful death suit against their former son-in-law last week in court in Modesto, Calif., according to a Stanislaus County Superior Court official.

A hearing had been scheduled for Thursday, and the civil trial was on tap to begin next month, according to the Modesto Bee.

Peterson, a former fertilizer salesman, is on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California. He was found guilty in 2004 of the double murders after a lengthy investigation and search for his missing wife's body.

Peterson was sentenced to death in 2005; his conviction is on appeal in the state Supreme Court.

In his videotaped deposition for the civil trial, he denied killing Laci Peterson, and asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 195 times.

"I love my wife… I love my son," he told attorneys in the deposition. "I will always love them. I have always loved them. I should be able to hug them right now. I should be able to hold my son."

He blamed his conviction on a botched police investigation.

Attorneys involved in the case could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

There was no immediate word on why the wrongful death claim was dropped. The Bee reported that the latest lawsuit didn't bring anything new to light in the lurid, high-profile case.

It wasn't known whether some sort of settlement had been reached in the civil case.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.