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Judge grants defense request to examine bodies of Laci Peterson, fetus

Laci Peterson
Laci Peterson

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MODESTO, California (CNN) -- Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami Friday issued an order allowing Scott Peterson's defense attorneys to conduct its own examination of his wife Laci's remains and those of her fetus.

The examination is to be carried out Monday by forensic scientist and criminalist Henry Lee, the Contra Costa coroner's office said.

Lee, 64, is chief emeritus for the State of Connecticut forensic laboratory in Meriden, where he served as director for more than 20 years on a number of high-profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson case.

Lee is also distinguished professor of forensic science at the University of New Haven's Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science.

Lee and Mark Geragos, the defense attorney for Scott Peterson, will arrive Monday morning at the coroner's office in Martinez, California, an office spokesman said.

The bodies have been there, in custody of the coroner for Contra Costa County, since shortly after they were discovered washed up from San Francisco Bay in April, about five miles from where Scott Peterson said he was fishing December 24, the day his wife was last reported seen alive.

Scott Peterson is charged with murdering his wife and their unborn son. Laci was about eight and a half months pregnant when she disappeared last Christmas Eve.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for September 9.

CNN Producer Chuck Afflerbach contributed to this report.

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