A judge has re-sentenced convicted murderer Scott Peterson to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a California Supreme Court ruling sent the case back to the trial court last year.

Peterson was convicted in 2004 of killing his wife and unborn child and was sentenced to death the next year but has challenged his conviction over the past decade-plus while on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Laci Peterson. (Wikipedia photo)

In a case that received worldwide attention, prosecutors at Peterson’s trial showed evidence that he was having an affair while his wife Laci was pregnant, then killed her shortly before Christmas Day in 2002 and took her body out on a boat in San Francisco Bay and dumped her, weighted down by concrete blocks. Her body was found in April 2003.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo, sitting by appointment in San Mateo County Superior Court, handed down the new life sentence Wednesday.

The state Supreme Court in 2020 had granted a retrial of the penalty phase of his original murder conviction after finding the trial judge excluded jurors who were personally opposed to the death penalty without first determining if they would still follow the law as the judge instructed.

Peterson remains in custody in San Mateo County pending an evidentiary hearing on Feb. 25, 2022, for another appeal matter in his case. The state Supreme Court last year had instructed the trial court to consider Peterson’s claim that his conviction should be set aside because of juror misconduct, and the February hearing will deal with those allegations.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.