MODESTO, Calif. – Laci Peterson's mother was awarded the proceeds from her slain daughter's life insurance policy after a lengthy court dispute with son-in-law Scott Peterson, the convicted killer.
Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne on Friday sided with Sharon Rocha, awarding her the proceeds from the $250,000 policy.
He had previously awarded Rocha the funds in October, but set aside his ruling after attorneys for Scott Peterson, Laci Peterson's husband, sought more time to argue their case.
On Friday, Peterson's attorney, Pat Harris, argued the insurance proceeds should not be transferred while his client's death penalty case is on appeal.
Peterson was convicted in the killings of his pregnant wife, who was last seen on Christmas Eve 2002, and the fetus she carried. He maintains his innocence.
Under California law, people who kill their spouses forfeit their inheritance rights. Death penalty cases are automatically reviewed by the California Supreme Court in a process that can take decades.
Rocha's attorney, Adam Stewart, argued that Rocha shouldn't have to wait.
The Petersons had taken out life insurance policies on each other on June 25, 2001, a year and a half before she disappeared. The remains of Laci Peterson and the couple's fetus were found on the shore of San Francisco Bay in April 2003, not far from where Peterson said he was fishing.