A former defense attorney for California man Scott Peterson accused prosecutors of targeting her ex-client in their push to retry him for the death penalty -- but Fox Nation host and longtime legal analyst Nancy Grace was having none of it.
Peterson, convicted in the Christmas Eve 2002 murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, returned to court for the first time in more than a decade last week, after California's Supreme Court overturned his death sentence citing “significant errors” in the jury selection process.
On Oct. 23, however, prosecutors announced that they would once again seek the death penalty for the 47-year-old, a move that came as little surprise to his former defense attorney.
"I was expecting them to do that. They'd invested a lot of time and energy in getting the conviction and, of course, the death penalty. I was just surprised at the way they did it," Lara Yeretsian, who helped represent Peterson during his initial trial, tells Grace in Fox Nation's new episode titled "Nancy Grace: Wife - Baby Killer Scott Peterson To Face New Jury?"
Investigators say Peterson took the bodies of Laci and their unborn son from their Modesto home and dumped them from his fishing boat into San Francisco Bay, where they surfaced months later. Peterson was arrested after Amber Frey, a massage therapist living in Fresno, told police that she and Peterson had begun dating a month before his wife’s death, though he had told her his wife was dead.
Yeretsian said that while she believes Peterson to be "stone-cold innocent," she recognized prosecutors "were going to do everything possible to get Scott, and they're not just not going to walk away" from the overturned death sentence.
Grace, a former prosecutor herself and current host of the Nancy Grace crime stories on Fox Nation, took issue with Yeretsian's analysis.
"Woah, Woah Woah ... hold on," she interjected. "You think the state was out to get Scott?"
"Well, I mean they're prosecutors and if they go after somebody, the idea is that they would put them in prison," Yeretsian argued. "If it's a murder, they'd want him to go away for life, or get the death penalty.
"But," Grace retorted, "when you say they're out to get him ... some people would call this seeking justice.
"I don't think they're out to get anyone like some sort of vendetta, I think they're out to seek justice to convict the person that committed a double murder," she added.
"Of course I think they're out to get him," Yeretsian maintained before arguing that "a defendant, by the way, also deserves justice.
"I think Laci and Connor deserve justice because the people who really perpetrated this crime should be arrested and tried," she asserted, "not the wrong person. "
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Fox News' Laura Ingle and Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.