Scott Peterson Back in Court After L.A. Innocence Project Claims Evidence Suggests He Didn't Kill Wife Laci

Scott Peterson was convicted in 2004 of murdering his wife Laci and their unborn son Conner in 2002

<p>ZUMA Press/</p> Laci Peterson and Scott Peterson

ZUMA Press/

Laci Peterson and Scott Peterson

Nearly two decades after Scott Peterson was convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, he is returning to court seeking a new trial.

On Tuesday, Peterson will appear via livestream video from the Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Calif., while his new lawyers from the Los Angeles Innocence Project present what they will argue is new evidence in San Mateo County Superior in Redwood City.

A potential key piece of new evidence the LAIP says it has is the existence of a van that was set ablaze on Dec. 25, 2002, in Modesto, the day after Laci, 27, vanished. Peterson's lawyers claim the van is where Laci was killed by two men after she witnessed them robbing a house on her street on the morning of Dec. 24, 2002, the day she disappeared.

Inside the van was a mattress with what appeared to be blood stains. The LAIP claims it has new evidence showing that the van didn't have a mattress inside it before it was stolen prior to Laci's killing, KRON4 reports.

Related: Why Scott Peterson’s Former Defense Attorney Thinks He Could Be Exonerated

Scott’s new lawyers are also expected to ask the judge to order the Modesto Police Department and Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office to hand over records from the murder investigation, KRON4 reports.

Related: L.A. Innocence Project Takes Scott Peterson's Case, Says New Evidence 'Supports' Claim He Didn't Kill Wife Laci

Scott told police he was fishing in the San Francisco Bay on Dec. 24, 2002, 90 miles away from the couple's Modesto home, when Laci disappeared.

Scott became a person of interest when massage therapist Amber Frey came forward in Jan. 2003 saying she had been romantically involved with him for a month before Laci had vanished. Frey said she had no idea he was still married, and that Scott had told her he was a widower.

He was arrested on April 18, 2003, four days after the bodies of Laci and their unborn son, Conner, turned up in San Francisco Bay, and pleaded not guilty when charged with their murders.

On Nov. 12, 2004, a jury found Scott guilty of two counts of murder in the deaths of Laci and Conner.

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In 2005, he was sentenced to death. But in 2020, that sentence was overturned and the following year he was resentenced to life in prison without parole.

Related: Judge Grants Hearing to Scott Peterson Weeks After L.A. Innocence Project Takes Up Case

Scott has maintained his innocence from the start, which his former attorney, Mark Geragos, still believes to this day.

“You're talking to somebody who has been pilloried for the last 20 years for having the temerity to say that I think he's innocent,” Geragos told PEOPLE in January.

In the summer of 2023, Scott reached out to the nonprofit LAIP, asking it to consider taking his case.

In a letter to the court in November 2023, Scott wrote a letter that the LAIP filed in court.

Claiming he was wrongfully convicted "of these horrible crimes that were committed against my wife and son," he wrote, "I have discovered that critical exculpatory evidence was ignored, overlooked, or never investigated at all, and in other instances was suppressed at the time of my trial," KRON4 reports.

Related: Relative Is Angry After L.A. Innocence Project Takes Scott Peterson's Case: We'd Like to 'Take Him on a 1-Way Fishing Trip'

The LAIP and Laci’s family did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

But at Scott's 2021 resentencing hearing, Laci’s mother Sharon Rocha said, “Laci’s dead, Scott, because she loved you and trusted you," Courthouse News Service reported. Your evil, selfish act ended two beautiful souls."

"It’s unbelievable that you thought you’d get away with it.”

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