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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Mark Geragos to be Scott Peterson's New Attorney

Aired May 2, 2003 - 12:04   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Mark Geragos, the new criminal defense attorney for Scott Peterson, is at the microphones after this court hearing.
Let's go there live to Modesto, California.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MARK GERAGOS, SCOTT PETERSON'S ATTORNEY: And then, we ask that you hold off on all of the other questioning until after Monday's hearing. I don't want to really get into all of the commenting extensively, at least on the evidence and other matters, given what the judge has indicated today. And frankly, we don't have -- won't have a decision as to whether we're going to remain in this particular court until Monday.

I will say that, for those who want to know, Scott is doing well. Scott (UNINTELLIGIBLE) looks forward to proving his innocence in this country. And addition to that, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to finding out who did this to his wife and to his child, Connor. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted to say that we're happy that Mark is in place as Scott's attorney. And we do look forward to (AUDIO GAP) jail until that is done. That's the unfortunate part, but we're very happy that Mark is on board. Thank you.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE).

GERAGOS: Right. Well, as a practical matter, what was disclosed today in court for the first time -- I was unaware of it, the public defenders were unaware of it -- was that the prosecutors had apparently filed a challenge to this judge on the other matter that's set for Monday.

That having been said, there is a legitimate issue as to whether or not this judge can hear this case. He has asked for points in authority -- when he uses the term, "P and A's," that's short for points and authorities -- on the issue as to whether or not he can hear this case at this point, because the prosecution filed a challenge to him on the underlying civil case that's set for Monday.

So, there will be some documentation that will be filed, faxed to him by noon on Sunday, as I think you heard in the courtroom. We'll respond to that and take a position. And then, on Monday, we'll decide whether we're going to remain in this court -- or the judge will decide whether he's going to remain on this case.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE).

GERAGOS: That would be -- that's one of the other ancillary issues, if you will. And that's why the hearing is set for Monday. So, we've combined the two hearings for Monday. You have a hearing on whether or not to unseal the warrants, both the arrest warrant and the search warrant affidavits. And you have another hearing to decide whether or not -- we'll take a position, if you will, on whether this judge is going to hear this case, because he's been assigned for all purposes.

QUESTION: Does the appellate court have jurisdiction?

GERAGOS: What?

QUESTION: Does the appellate court have jurisdiction now (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

GERAGOS: It looks to me -- and I've only just gotten into this case in the last day. But a quick reading, at least, looks to me like the Fifth District has already issued a stay, and that there is no jurisdiction in this court. I think that the prosecution agrees with that, but obviously I'm going to look it up over the weekend.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE).

GERAGOS: Right. If it comes out of the same nexus of facts situation, and if you take a look at the order by the Fifth District, the order of the Fifth District is a blanket order saying, no release, no compliance with the local court rules. I don't know what our position will be, because I haven't taken a look at the material. I believe I have the material with me today. I believe that's what's turned over.

So, we can't take a position on that until I know.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE).

GERAGOS: I've just -- I've got to take just one more question.

QUESTION: Do you think Scott will get a fair trial?

GERAGOS: Do I think he can get a fair trial? I've been into this for one day. Give me just -- wait until Monday, and I'll make all of those decisions.

QUESTION: What about the bail hearing, Mark? What about the bail?

GERAGOS: I took the bail hearing off until I can review the discovery. I've only received, as I indicated in court, 1,000 pages. I've received just now, presumably, another 5,000 pages. Once I've reviewed all of that, then I'll make a decision as to what we're going to do from there.

Thank you very much. I'd be happy to answer all questions on Monday. And let me just get up-to-speed. Thanks. BLITZER: All right, so there he is. Mark Geragos, the well- known criminal defense attorney, on his first day representing Scott Peterson. Scott Peterson, as you know, accused of murdering Laci Peterson, his wife, eight months pregnant with a son. Scott Peterson insisting he is innocent.

Mark Geragos going out of his way to say Scott Peterson is doing well in prison. He's getting ready for hearings. He's getting up-to- speed. He's got a lot of work to do before he prepares for some sort of a criminal defense.

We're going to continue to monitor this development, but, yes there is a new lawyer. There is a new lawyer representing Scott Peterson, and Mark Geragos is his name.

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