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Here’s Why She Thinks He Didn’t Kill Wife Laci

The L.A. Innocence Project said in court filings that “new evidence now supports Mr. Peterson’s longstanding claim of innocence”

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Scott Peterson in 2004

Scott Peterson’s case is being taken on by the Los Angeles Innocence Project — but he has always had his sister-in-law’s support, even after being convicted of the murders of his pregnant wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son Conner.

A California jury found Scott guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in 2004. His wife, Laci, 27, was eight months pregnant when she went missing on Christmas Eve in 2002. While Scott initially helped look for her, it soon came out that he had been having an affair, and he became the prime suspect.

Four months later, Laci’s body was found in San Francisco Bay, just a mile away from where her unborn baby’s body was found.

Scott has always maintained his innocence and so has his sister-in-law Janey Peterson, who spoke with the Today show in 2021, saying that Laci was not killed on Christmas Eve 2002, but was actually killed later.

Related: Scott Peterson’s Sister-in-Law Claims New Evidence Proves He’s Innocent of Killing His Pregnant Wife

“There’s evidence that was completely ignored that shows Laci was alive after [Scott] left for the day,” Janey, who is married to Scott’s brother, told the show at the time. “But also, there was no evidence that he had anything to do with what happened to Laci.”

<p>Modesto Police Dept/</p> Laci and Scott Peterson

Modesto Police Dept/

Laci and Scott Peterson

Scott, now 51, has claimed that Laci was killed by an unknown assailant as she walked the couple’s dog after he left to go on a solo fishing trip on Christmas Eve morning.

As the case moved forward, it was revealed that he had a months-long affair with a woman named Amber Frey, who was unaware that Scott was married when she started dating him.

Frey eventually disclosed the affair to police in December 2002, after learning Laci had vanished and she even testified during Scott’s trial.

However, Janey says that being an adulterer does not mean that her brother-in-law is a killer. “I don’t think you can take that leap,” she told the show, adding that she believes the murderer is still at large.

“We don’t have justice,” she said. “This crime is not solved.”

Scott was sentenced to death in 2005 and remained on death row until 2020, when his death sentence was overturned, meaning that he would face a new penalty phase trial. That October, the California Supreme Court ruled that a lower court should take a second look at his case to determine whether his guilty verdict should be overturned.

<p>California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/AP</p> Scott Peterson in 2022.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/AP

Scott Peterson in 2022.

In 2021, Scott’s death sentence was officially vacated and he was resentenced to life in prison. The following year, a San Mateo County Superior Court Judge denied Scott’s bid for a new trial.

Related: Laci Peterson’s Family Feels ‘Relief’ After Scott Peterson Denied a New Trial: ‘Best Christmas Gift Ever’

This week, the L.A. Innocence Project took up Scott’s case and is seeking new evidence in his original trial, arguing Scott’s state and federal constitutional rights were violated, ABC News first reported.

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The nonprofit organization, known for its work to exonerate wrongly convicted and incarcerated individuals, told PEOPLE in a statement Friday that they represent Scott now and are “investigating his claim of actual innocence.”

In court filings submitted Wednesday and first obtained by ABC News, lawyers for the organization stated that “new evidence now supports Mr. Peterson’s longstanding claim of innocence and raises many questions into who abducted and killed Laci and Conner Peterson.”

Related: L.A. Innocence Project Takes Scott Peterson’s Case, Says New Evidence ‘Supports’ Claim He Didn’t Kill Wife Laci

The filings highlight updated witness testimony pointing to multiple aspects of the case, including a December 2002 burglary of a Modesto home across the street from the Petersons, ABC News reports.

The organization is also hoping to conduct new DNA testing on a blood-stained mattress found on Dec. 25, 2002, in a burned out orange van discovered near the home. The investigation will determine whether the item contained Laci’s blood, which could be argued links her back to the burglars, the organization said.

Pat Harris, Scott’s defense attorney, tells PEOPLE: “We are very excited to have the incredible attorneys at the L.A. Innocence Project lend their considerable expertise to helping prove Scott Peter’s Innocence.”

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