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Judge delays Peterson preliminary hearing by one day

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Peterson in court Friday morning.

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MODESTO, California (CNN) The judge in the trial of a California man accused of killing his pregnant wife and their unborn child on Friday ordered the defendant's preliminary hearing postponed -- the fourth time the court date has been changed.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami, whose overseeing the case of Scott Peterson, agreed to a one-day delay -- from Tuesday to Wednesday -- because of a defense attorney's conflict with another trial.

Peterson is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son, whom they planned to name Conner.

Also Friday, Girolami learned that the defense and prosecution had exchanged witness lists as ordered and agreed to allow Peterson to wear civilian clothing -- and not a jail jumpsuit -- during the trial.

Girolami also ordered both the defense and the prosecution to provide the court with a detailed list of any witnesses they may have for the exclusion list -- those witnesses who will not be permitted in the courtroom prior to their testimony in the preliminary hearing.

The preliminary hearing initially was slated for September, then moved to October 20. Those changes were also made because of scheduling conflicts with defense attorneys.

The 27-year-old Laci Peterson was almost eight months pregnant when she was reported missing last Christmas Eve. Her badly decomposed body was found in April along the shore of San Francisco Bay. The body of her unborn son was discovered just over a mile away.

Peterson, who turns 31 on Friday, has pleaded innocent to the crimes. He could face the death penalty if convicted of the two murders.


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