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/ Extramarital Affairs News / archive / 7th Nov / Detective testifies to finding gun in Scott Peterson's truck

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Detective testifies to finding gun in Scott Peterson's truck

A Modesto Police detective who spent last Christmas Eve launching an investigation into Laci Peterson's disappearance testified Thursday that officers found a .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun in Scott Peterson's pickup truck.

It was the first hint that Peterson, accused of killing his pregnant wife and unborn son, owned a weapon. But Modesto police detective Al Brocchini made no connection between the weapon and the death of pregnant substitute teacher Laci Peterson. Brocchini testified for 90 minutes Thursday on the sixth day of a hearing to determine if Peterson will stand trial for murder.

Brocchini, under questioning from Stanislaus County prosecutor Rick Distaso, also explained that as the Christmas Eve investigation began, Peterson denied having an extramarital affair and worried about his boss learning that he stored his boat in a company warehouse.

Before Brocchini's testimony, Peterson defense lawyer Mark Geragos told Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami that he recently discovered that the FBI conducted closed-circuit television surveillance of Peterson's home after his wife disappeared.

Geragos said he will subpoena the FBI for copies of the tape and seek a motion to dismiss charges against Peterson.

The 31-year-old former fertilizer salesman faces two counts of murder for the death of his wife and unborn son. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Brocchini said he arrived at the Peterson house on Covena Avenue about 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24, about four hours after Laci Peterson's stepfather Ron Grantski reported her missing to police.

The detective described Scott Peterson as cooperative, saying the fertilizer salesman never told him to leave or get out of his house.

Brocchini also recounted writing down all the phone numbers in Peterson's cellular phone log and taking pictures of Peterson's boat stored at a warehouse. He said the boat contained two fishing poles, a lifejacket, a homemade boat anchor consisting of cement poured into a bucket and yellow-handled pliers.

Much of the Peterson's preliminary hearing has focused on a single piece of human hair wrapped in the pliers, which prosecutors maintain was a hair from Laci Peterson.

Brocchini also described Peterson's remarks about a bucket and mop that have dominated testimony in recent days. He said Peterson told officers that his wife asked him to bring the mop bucket into the house before he left on a fishing trip to Berkeley Marina on the morning of Christmas Eve. He said Peterson said his wife was mopping floors when he left.

Peterson, Brocchini said, told him he moved the bucket outside the house and dumped its contents when he returned home because he worried the family cat would spill the bucket or drink from it.

The testimony about location of the mop bucket is central to a prosecution argument that Peterson mopped the floors after killing his wife on the night of Dec. 23. The family's housekeeper has testified that she mopped during a routine house cleaning on Dec. 23.

Police asked Peterson why his fishing clothes were in the washing machine, Brocchini said, and that Peterson told them the clothes got wet while he was fishing.

The newest testimony followed several days of FBI and defense experts talking about mitochondrial DNA evidence used to link the hair in Peterson's boat to Laci Peterson, and recollections from Peterson's mother and sister about events before her disappearance. The Petersons' housekeeper also testified about cleaning Peterson's home before her disappearance, while police recalled early conversations with Scott Peterson as the investigation started.

Police arrested Peterson in April near San Diego where he was carrying $10,000 and his brother's driver's license and had dyed his hair blonde. His arrest came days after the bodies of his wife and unborn son surfaced in San Francisco Bay near Richmond, about three miles from where he said he was fishing on the day of Christmas Eve.

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