REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- First on ABC7 News, the Los Angeles Innocence Project is looking to clear Scott Peterson in the killing of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son.
Laci disappeared the day before Christmas 2002, and the search sparked headlines around the world. Four months later, her body and that of their son, Connor, were found in the San Francisco Bay. Scott Peterson is currently serving life in prison.
TIMELINE: How the Laci Peterson case unfolded
In new court filings, the Innocence Project says Peterson's innocence "is supported by newly discovered evidence."
ABC7 News I-Team reporter Dan Noyes obtained the legal documents from San Mateo County Court on Thursday. The 1,500 pages of motions and exhibits call for a new review of all the evidence and tips that came in, and a new trial. The Innocence Project is a nonprofit legal organization that has been able to exonerate people who were wrongly convicted.
When Noyes asked Scott Peterson's sister-in-law, Janey Peterson, whether she sees this as a real shot at a new trial, she texted, "Absolutely, or solving the crime and Scott being released."
The Peterson family credits Mike Gudgell, a journalist who used to work for ABC News, with tracking down new evidence. Gudgell said, "I think there's enough evidence that it's probable that someone else may have committed a crime, enough evidence for law enforcement to investigate further."
The Innocence Project filings focus on a burglary at the home directly across the street from the Petersons' house, that same week. They want video of interviews conducted by Modesto police with two men involved in the burglary. One of them reportedly said Laci witnessed him breaking into the house. They want to find out if a van that was found torched a mile away, near the Modesto Airport, is connected to the killing. Inside, investigators discovered a mattress with stains confirmed to be blood. The Innocence Project wants to conduct new DNA tests on those samples. Could it be Laci Peterson's blood?
The filing also mentions a witness who says he saw a pregnant woman "fitting Laci's description who appeared to be under duress getting into a van on Scenic Road." They also want more information to help track the trail of a Croton watch that may have been Laci Peterson's, pawned the week after she disappeared. The filings claim Modesto police did not fully follow up on reports that Laci was spotted walking her Golden Retriever after the time Scott Peterson says he went fishing, at 9:30 a.m.
Lead Innocence Project attorney Paula Mitchell writes that she has encountered witnesses who feared coming forward because the case is "too high profile".
Scott Peterson has claimed innocence from the day Laci disappeared, and he repeated that in this week's court filings, writing: "I had absolutely nothing to do with the disappearance and deaths of my wife and son. I am not a violent person. I have never had a physical fight or violent incident with anyone in my life."
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