Two of Scott Peterson‘s closest relatives refused to plead for his life during the penalty phase of his trial — because they’re convinced Scott murdered his wife Laci and their unborn son!
While several family members testified Scott is a compassionate man who didn’t deserve to be sentenced to death, The ENQUIRER has learned that his half-sister Anne Bird and halfbrother Mark refused to take the witness stand because they believe he is guilty.
Those snubs set off a secret family feud as Scott’s mother Jackie attempted to line up penalty phase witnesses on behalf of her son. After Scott’s murder conviction on November 12, Jackie telephoned Anne — who refused to talk to a psychologist hired to prepare witnesses for the death penalty hearing.
“Don’t you want to save your brother’s life?” Jackie asked Anne, according to a source. But Anne — who’d once been extremely close to Scott — had become convinced Scott was a murderer.
“After Laci disappeared, Scott spent a lot of time at Anne’s house to hide out from the press,” the source said.
“At first Anne did everything to help him. She went to the Berkeley Marina searching for witnesses who saw Scott fishing. She hunted through pawnshops looking for pieces of Laci’s jewelry that Jackie believed the real killer stole and pawned.
“But Scott’s behavior bothered her. Anne saw him call his girlfriend Amber Frey over and over. She was shocked one day when Scott made a romantic play for her babysitter. She never saw him grieve for Laci.
“In the end, Anne believed Scott did it.”
She wasn’t the only close family member to feel that way. While Scott?s half-brothers Joe and John and his half-sister Susan Caudillo testified during the death penalty phase, his halfbrother Mark was noticeably absent.
“Mark thinks Scott did it and he thought so just a few days after Laci disappeared,” a Peterson family member told The ENQUIRER.
Mark rushed to Modesto, Calif., with other family members after Laci vanished on Christmas Eve 2002. He spent a week helping in the search.
But he was troubled by Scott’s refusal to take a lie detector test.
“Mark inquired if Scott was convinced to take a polygraph if in fact he would be cleared as a suspect,” lead Detective Craig Grogan wrote in a report.
Grogan told Mark it would help, but there was no convincing Scott. Mark, a 46-year-old father of four, never attended a single day of Scott’s trial.
After the bodies of Laci and her son Conner were found, Laci’s family held a memorial service in Modesto on May 4, 2003 — what would have been Laci’s 28th birthday.
Some 3,000 people — but not one member of Scott’s family — attended.
“We are not attending because we want her to have a peaceful, dignified memorial and not a circus,” said Jackie Peterson.
The ENQUIRER, however, learned that Mark wanted to go, but was ordered to stay away. “Scott’s father Lee told Mark that if he went to the memorial, he would never talk to him again,” said the family member.
— DON GENTILE