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Prison: Two women want to marry Peterson

He gets several calls of support on his first day on death row

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A California judge sentences Scott Peterson to die.
Scott Peterson
Capital Punishment

(CNN) -- On Scott Peterson's first day on death row, two women called California's San Quentin State Prison to say they were interested in marrying him, according to prison officials.

Prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon said about three dozen women called San Quentin with messages of support for the prison's newest bachelor, convicted and sentenced to die for the murder of his pregnant wife, Laci.

"Two of them actually indicated to our staff that their purpose for calling was marriage," Crittendon told CNN.

He added that it is not unusual for inmates to get married while on death row.

Peterson, wearing orange prison scrubs and shackles, arrived at the notorious prison about 4 a.m. (7 a.m. ET). Beneath his jumpsuit, he was wearing a bulletproof vest because of security concerns. It was removed once inside the compound.

Crittendon said that as Peterson was placed into his 41-square-foot cell, he sat on his bunk and stared at the wall.

"Scott, I guess you want to plan to lay down and take a nap now," an officer said.

Peterson responded, "Man, I'm just too jazzed to even think about sleeping."

And with that, the cell's metal door locked shut and the prison staff walked away.

He was later given a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee -- and for the rest of his life, he will eat his meals alone in his cramped cell.

Asked if the "jazzed" comment meant Peterson was excited to be there, Crittendon said he didn't think so.

"I think really what he was trying to express was that he was just full of adrenaline and the whole emotion of this move to death row was something he wasn't ready to just lay down and go to sleep," he said.

In fact, Peterson seemed nervous upon his arrival.

"Once he arrived this morning, he appeared to try to come off as if he was very calm and composed. But you could see that veil of nervousness about him," Crittendon said. "He would give off those nervous smiles to the various staff as we were moving him through that process."

Peterson became the 644th member of San Quentin's death row, which looks out upon San Francisco Bay, the same body of water where Peterson dumped his pregnant wife's body on or about Christmas Eve 2002.

It was along that bay that Laci's decomposed body and that of their unborn son washed ashore the following April.

San Quentin is the same facility where one day Peterson, now 32, may be put to death. Barring a successful or indefinite appeal process, he will eventually be asked to choose whether he wants to die in the gas chamber or by lethal injection.

Peterson was placed in an "adjustment" cell on death row, where he will spend his first few weeks while authorities evaluate him and decide on another, more permanent cell.

The adjustment cell is isolated from other prisoners, and Peterson will have direct contact only with prison staff during his time there, Crittendon said.

He will eventually be placed in a cell in one of six "exercise yard groups," he said. About 70 to 90 inmates are in those groups, and officials will try to place Peterson in the one most compatible for him.

"Those will prove to be his community, the friends that he will soon have to make," he said.

Experts have said Peterson probably will be a marked man in prison, a target for other inmates eager to make a name for themselves because of his notoriety.

Crittendon acknowledged there might be some prisoners who "will see this as an opportunity to build a reputation by stating they had attacked Scott Peterson." But he said he doubts that will be widespread.

"I don't believe that there will be many of them that will harbor any ill will because of his commitment offense, particularly those men on death row. As we know, most of them have been involved with murdering of children and women," he said.

On November 12, a jury convicted Peterson of killing his wife, who was eight months pregnant, and the fetus she carried. They recommended the death penalty a month later, and a judge followed that recommendation at Peterson's sentencing Wednesday.

Members of Laci's family testified at the emotional sentencing, often using profanity to describe Peterson.

"You're evil and still have the readiness to commit evil," Laci's brother, Brent Rocha, told Peterson. "How does it feel to be a baby-killer?"

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