Lawyer: New evidence to clear Scott of killing Laci

By Joe Kovacs

The original attorney for Scott Peterson – the California man accused of murdering his wife, Laci, and unborn son – says he’s uncovered new evidence that will clear the fertilizer salesman of any wrongdoing.

Laci Peterson

Kirk McAllister made the claim last night to Maria Shriver of “Dateline NBC” as he unleashed a brutal attack on the police handling the investigation.

“The police approached this entire case of ‘We have our theory, don’t confuse me with the facts,'” said McAllister, a high-priced defense attorney in Modesto.

“You said to Scott from the very beginning, ‘The only way we’re going to be able to deal with this situation is we have to out-investigate the cops.’ Did you?” asked Shriver.

“Yup,” said McAllister, who declined to provide specifics.

“I’ve made a bond with the citizens who’ve come forward and talked to me and talked to my investigator, and what I could promise these people was what they tell us will ultimately come out in trial. But I’m not gonna do like the police have and call a press conference and visit this hurricane of publicity on these people. … I’m not gonna dislcose what I have – before I have to do it – either to stroke my ego or kiss the media’s a–.”

McAllister admitted that Scott’s extra-marital affair was “not a good mark on his character,” but added it was not a death-penalty offense, as he continued his staunch support.

“I see a young man who the day before this all happened had gone to the doctor with Laci to check on the baby. This is not the ogre that he’s been portrayed as in the press.”

Meanwhile, Peterson will most likely get legal help from the Los Angeles attorney who represented the likes of Roger Clinton, Gary Condit and Winona Ryder.

Mark Geragos

The high-profile Mark Geragos said last night he “definitely” is leaning toward handling Peterson’s case, and will make a decision sometime today.

Superior Court Judge Nancy Ashley previously appointed the public defender to represent Peterson, but a court hearing is now slated for 8:30 a.m. tomorrow in Modesto for Peterson to request the new counsel, who is expected to be Geragos.

Geragos told the Associated Press he was considering representing Peterson after meeting at his office with Peterson’s family. The Modesto Bee reported Geragos also talked with Scott Peterson Tuesday at the Stanislaus County Jail in Modesto.

Geragos has numerous claims to fame, most recently representing actress Winona Ryder, who was convicted of shoplifting merchandise from a Saks Fifth Avenue store.

He scored acquittals for renowned Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, the former business partner of President Bill Clinton. Just before Clinton left office, Geragos helped secure a presidential pardon for McDougal.

Additionally, Geragos won dismissal of all alcohol-related counts against former first brother Roger Clinton, and for a time was enlisted by former Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., who came under scrutiny in the wake of the disappearance of his Modesto intern, Chandra Levy, whose body was later found in a Washington park.

On his website, Geragos doesn’t hold back in mentioning public accolades about his legal prowess:

The legal newspaper, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, describes Mark Geragos as “arguably the hottest defense lawyer of the moment” while Investor’s Business Daily tabbed him one of the best white-collar criminal defense lawyers in California. The Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association has named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year.” The Los Angeles Times described Mark Geragos as “seemingly unbeatable” and the California Law Business Magazine named Geragos as one of 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California.

Geragos has recently become a staple on TV news programs, providing analysis about the Peterson case.

Laci Peterson, eight months pregnant with a baby boy, disappeared on Dec. 24, the same day her husband claimed to go on a solo fishing trip. Her disappearance first was treated as a missing-person case but later ruled a homicide – even before a body was recovered.

The bodies of Laci and the baby were discovered April 13 and 14 on the shores of San Francisco Bay.

Police arrested Scott Peterson April 18, the same day officials announced DNA results proved the bodies belonged to his wife and the couple’s biological child.

Scott Peterson

Two days before the arrest, Geragos argued on Fox’s “On the Record With Greta Van Susteren” that there was already sufficient evidence to take Scott into custody and convict him.

“They could get an arrest warrant right now. They could indict him right now,” Geragos said. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a prosecutor who couldn’t put together an indictment, let alone a conviction.”

But Monday on CNN’s Larry King Live, Geragos was trumpeting a different message, saying he had a “real problem” trying Scott in the media.

“It’s very possible that this guy could be stone-cold innocent,” he said.

Geragos also suggested two alternatives for a fair trial in the case: changing the venue or delaying the case one to two years to reduce the “outrage” factor.

Prosecutors have said they would oppose any motion to move the trial, but added any switch of defense attorneys would have no impact on their own legal strategy.

“We’re preparing our case like we would for any another murder case,” Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold told the Bee. “Everybody’s got a reputation, but when they get in court and how that (reputation) actually affects the jury – that’s anybody’s guess.”

Previous stories:

Report: Cops knew Laci’s body location

Laci’s unborn baby in abortion debate

Scott Peterson booked on 2 counts of murder

Body found might be Laci Peterson

Husband: Laci knew about affair

Scott Peterson’s girlfriend comes forward