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Peterson defense rests

Peterson's parents take stand to defend son


peterson
Scott Peterson, right, did not testify in his own defense.
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The Peterson jury may be given the option of a second-degree murder verdict.

Peterson's defense trying to poke holes in prosecution's theory.
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Laci Peterson
Scott Peterson

REDWOOD CITY, California (CNN) -- Scott Peterson's defense rested its case after calling a final witness Tuesday in his double-murder trial.

The abrupt end came one day after Peterson's mother told the jury she withdrew $20,000 in cash in the days before her son was arrested and gave him thousands of dollars in exchange for his pickup truck.

Jackie Peterson took the stand for the defense in what is expected to be the final week of witness testimony. She was immediately asked if she was the defendant's mother.

"Proudly so, yes," she responded.

Scott Peterson was arrested April 18, 2003, just days after the remains of his wife, Laci, and his unborn son, Conner, washed ashore in San Francisco Bay. He was carrying nearly $15,000 in cash at the time of his arrest near San Diego, and prosecutors have said he was preparing to flee to Mexico.

Jackie Peterson told jurors Monday she first withdrew $10,000 on April 8 to buy Scott's Dodge pickup for one of her other sons. The truck had been impounded about a month earlier, and prosecutors argue that Scott Peterson wanted to sell it because he knew it had a tracking device inside.

At the time she took the cash out, Jackie Peterson said she believed she withdrew the money from her own account. But she later learned from Scott that the money came out of a joint account that she shared with Scott and Laci. As a result, she said she gave about $8,000 of the money to Scott.

The remains of Peterson's wife and unborn son were found near where he launched his boat on a fishing trip on the day his wife disappeared. If convicted, Peterson could face the death penalty.

A day before her son's arrest, when the family knew that remains had been found, she said she withdrew another $10,000 from her own account for her son.

Asked why she didn't write him a check instead, the mother said, "I didn't want him to have to wait for the money to clear."

Scott's father, Lee Peterson, also testified Monday. He acknowledged that the family was aware that bodies had been found, but not yet identified, in the days before his son was arrested.

Asked where his son was living the week he was arrested, the father said, "He was living like a nomad out of his car."

CNN's Kimberly Osias contributed to this report.


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