Scott Peterson's Interviews OK'd

Scott Peterson and the scales of justice over a faded photo of Laci Peterson
AP / CBS
Jury selection was under way again in the Scott Peterson double murder trial, with opening statements set to be heard on May 17.

Judge Alfred A. Delucchi ruled that television interviews Peterson conducted after his wife disappeared can be admitted as evidence.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos had tried to get the interviews thrown out, arguing they had no relevance in the case. But prosecutors allege Peterson lied several times during the interviews, proving he killed his wife.

In the interviews, Peterson denies any role in his wife's disappearance, and says she knew about his affair with Amber Frey.

Among the

subpoenaed by prosecutors was one by Gloria Gomez of CBS affiliate KOVR Sacramento in which Peterson was asked about cuts on his hands and blood found in his boat.

Geragos had strongly hinted that he would ask for a second change of venue, but the issue never came up during the one-hour hearing Monday, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman.

The case has already been moved once from Modesto, where Laci and Scott Peterson lived, to Redwood City

Jury selection resumed after the hearing, with potential jurors being questioned individually.

Peterson, 31, is accused of killing his wife Laci and their unborn son in December of 2002, and he could face the death penalty if convicted of killing his pregnant wife.

The bodies of Laci Peterson and the couple's unborn son were discovered in April on a San Francisco Bay shoreline, near where Scott Peterson said he went on a solo fishing trip the morning his wife vanished. Authorities allege Peterson killed her Dec. 24, 2002 because he was having an affair, then dumped the body in the bay.

Potential jurors have filled out extensive questionnaires. Lawyers will review those forms to help decide which 12 jurors and six alternates will be selected.

Both sides probably can agree on 18 acceptable jurors or alternates if 300 to 400 candidates are left from the initial 1,000 called to court, said jury expert David Graeven of Trial Behavior Consulting in San Francisco.

Delucchi had recessed court until March 22 to give attorneys time to review the questionnaires. Each side has 20 chances to dismiss potential panelists without explanation. So far, nearly 700 potential jurors have been dismissed from a pool of 1,000 people.