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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Laci Peterson Family, Friends Enter Home

Aired May 30, 2003 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, ANCHOR: First, though, our top story. There was a somewhat unusual scene today at the home of the late Laci Peterson. Several friends of Peterson's family, the Rochas, entered the house, loaded up pickup trucks and SUVs, and left with what appeared to be Peterson's personal items. A source on Scott Peterson's defense team said that situation is what they are calling unbelievable.
Our Elaine Quijano has more now from Modesto.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Daryn.

Well, the judge in this case here in Stanislaus County handed down his ruling today, effectively deciding to keep under seal certain documents in this case, specifically the search warrants and the autopsy results on Laci Peterson, and her unborn son, Conner.

Now, this was not an unexpected decision. The judge all along had expressed concerns about pretrial publicity impacting Scott Peterson's ability to get a fair trial. What was unexpected was what happened earlier today at Scott and Laci Peterson's home.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

QUIJANO (voice-over): The Rocha family attorney says Sharon Rocha had been trying to do this for weeks, to get inside the home Scott Peterson and her daughter, Laci, shared and retrieve some of Laci's belongings. Friday morning it happened. But after a Modesto police officer arrived, the friends and family quickly left.

Scott Peterson's lawyers say Laci's family didn't have permission. The defense says it had already worked out an arrangement with the prosecution.

MATT DALTON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: ... that we would come here on June 3 and be allowed to film the house...

QUIJANO: Yes, but there was never (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

DALTON: ... and now, according...

QUIJANO: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

DALTON: ... their lawyer...

QUIJANO: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)... DALTON: ... the DA has given them permission to break into the house.

QUIJANO: Well, Scott Peterson's attorney claimed to have a deal with the district attorney's office that all parties allowed would be in the house next Tuesday. But Sharon Rocha's attorneys say the DA's office gave her the green light to enter the house weeks ago, and they tried to work things out with Scott Peterson's attorney but couldn't.

So, according to the Rochas' attorney, Sharon took action today.

AL CLARK, ROCHA FAMILY ATTORNEY: And she made that decision herself, and, you know, I even told her that I -- as a lawyer, I've got to advise you not to go in the house. If I were a parent, act by your heart, you know, and she acted by her heart.

QUIJANO: Later, Modesto police visited Sharon Rocha's house, where a lieutenant said the items in question were being catalogued and said for now, the matter was being treated as a civil case.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUIJANO: Now, late today, the district attorney's office said that it had not given permission to Sharon Rocha or family members of Laci Peterson to go ahead and enter the home.

Also, at last word, Mark Geragos, the lead attorney for Scott Peterson, said that he was in discussions with the Modesto police department, with officials with the Modesto police department. So far, we do not have any word on the results of those discussions, Daryn.

KAGAN: Elaine Quijano in Modesto, thank you for that.

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