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Scott Peterson’s unwitting mistress, who served as a key witness for the prosecution in his trial for the murder of his wife, is willing to testify again if he’s granted a new trial, her attorney said.
Amber Frey was a star witness in the highly publicized trial nearly 20 years ago that sent Peterson to prison for killing his pregnant wife Laci, and their unborn son. But that conviction was called into question last year when the California Supreme Court ruled the murder conviction should be re-examined and also ordered a new trial for the penalty phase of the case.
While it's still unclear whether Peterson will receive a new trial for the murder conviction, Frey’s attorney Gloria Allred said in an interview on CNN’s HLN that her client is ready to testify if necessary.
“Amber has said, ‘The truth is the truth’ so if, as in when, the court decides to grant [a] habeas corpus petition of Scott Peterson and decide that there should be a new trial, in other words not only on the death penalty case but essentially the case in chief, the guilt phase, she’s willing to testify and she will testify,” Allred said.
Frey became the subject national headlines after it was revealed that Peterson had been having an affair with the single mom that began shortly before Laci disappeared in December of 2002.
Frey said she believed Peterson was single at the time of their relationship and contacted the Modesto Police as soon as she learned he was embroiled in the missing person case, later agreeing to secretly record conversations she had with Peterson for investigators. He was convicted in 2004.
“It was clear that she was telling her truth, that she was hurt, that she was caught up in something so big that she definitely needed support,” Allred said of initially meeting Frey nearly two decades ago.
Frey is willing to once again take the stand against her former love interest to tell her story, Allred said.
“Is she looking forward to it? No. Nobody is looking forward to being a witness in a high-profile case, but you know, she will do it and she knows that it’s important to the cause of justice and that’s why she will do it, if asked to do it,” she said.
The California Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence in the case in August after determining that the trial judge “made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection” and “undermined” Peterson's right to an impartial jury during the penalty phase of the trial, according to a court decision obtained by Oxygen.com.
A few months later, the California Supreme Court also ruled that Peterson’s murder conviction should be re-examined after possible juror misconduct.
The misconduct claims center around a juror who did not report that she had once been harassed by the ex-girlfriend of her current boyfriend or divulge that she had feared for the life of her unborn child at time, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Peterson appeared in court via Zoom from San Quentin Tuesday morning for several hearings held on the ongoing legal matters, local station KPIX-TV reports.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo approved a continuance to June 28 in the first hearing, which centered on the re-trial for the penalty phase portion of the case.
In the second hearing, regarding the petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging the overall murder conviction, the judge granted Peterson’s legal team a 60-day extension to further investigate the juror misconduct claims.
Peterson’s defense attorneys had asked for more time, arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic had impaired their ability to fully investigate the issue. The judge urged the defense team to complete their investigation and set another status hearing for June 21.
The court is expected to rule whether to grant a new trial for the murder conviction later this summer.
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