Convicted murderer Scott Peterson has, for some reason, attracted the attention of the Los Angeles Innocence Project, and the case against him in the 2002 murder of his wife Laci Peterson is getting a new hearing this week in San Mateo County.

The murder, as many in the Bay Area remember, likely took place at the Petersons' home in Modesto, in Stanislaus County, however Laci Peterson's body later turned up in San Francisco Bay, along with the remains of their unborn son, who they were planning to name Conner. And after the media firestorm that erupted around the case throughout 2003, Peterson's attorneys successfully argued for a change of venue, and he was tried in San Mateo County.

Peterson, now 51, was convicted on a mountain of circumstantial evidence and only small bits of physical evidence. He has claimed innocence over the years, and his family has supported him, and lawyers have made various attempts to get his conviction tossed out and/or to get him re-tried, and in January the LA Innocence Project announced that it had taken on the case and wanted the court to hear new evidence.

The LA Innocence Project, which is a separate entity from the national Innocence Project founded by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, is planning to show evidence that robbers who committed a robbery across the street from the Petersons' home in December 2002 may have kidnapped Laci Peterson to keep her quiet, because she perhaps witnessed their crime. Then, the theory goes, they killed her and dumped her body in the Bay to frame Scott Peterson — whose oddly timed fishing trip to the Bay on Christmas Eve had been widely reported by the media.

Laci's body did not wash ashore until four months later, in April 2003.

There is also evidence concerning a van that was set on fire in the area of the Petersons' home, and a blood-stained mattress that was found inside. The LA Innocence Project is asking for DNA from the mattress to be retested. This blood was previously tested, but the lawyers now say new tests are needed to be "more discriminating."

Despite a lack of forensic evidence linking him to the murder, Peterson certainly acted guilty in more ways than one. He was actively having an affair with massage therapist Amber Frey, whom he lied to about his wife's death. And Frey later turned state's witness and recorded multiple phone calls with Peterson, who lied about his whereabouts and said that his wife was missing — weeks after telling Frey that his wife was dead, even though at the time she was still alive.

Peterson would later be arrested in Southern California while appearing like he was packed and ready to flee across the southern border to Mexico, having died his hair.

Peterson has sought every route possible to return his case, and with the help of journalist Mike Gudgell, Peterson himself reportedly pleaded witht the LA Innocence Project to take on his case, presenting them with the "new" evidence.

"I believe this additional information will assist in determining what happened to my family and prove that I am innocent and had nothing to do with these horrible crimes that were committed against my wife and son," Peterson wrote. "In 2004, I was wrongfully convicted of murdering my wife, Laci, … and our unborn son, Conner. I have discovered that critical exculpatory evidence was ignored, overlooked, or never investigated at all, and in other instances was suppressed at the time of my trial."

A Reuters reporter last month questioned why the LA Innocence Project was giving their pro bono help to Peterson, given the tens of thousands of people behind bars who claim their innocence, some of whom probably were convicted on truly flimsy evidence. And, given that lawyers working on exoneration efforts are usually eager to talk to the media, it seems odd that the LA Innocence Project hasn't wanted to say anything about their desire to take on this case.

In any event, a San Mateo County judge granted the case a status hearing, and it is tomorrow, March 12, in Redwood City. As KRON4 reports, Peterson will be appearing via teleconference from Mule Creek State Prison, where he is serving his life sentence.

Due to issues raised by previous attorneys with the sentencing phase of Peterson's original trial, Peterson's sentence was changed to life without parole in 2021, downgraded from death. He was moved off of San Quentin's death row in 2022.

Previously: The L.A. Innocence Project Is, For Some Reason, Taking Up Scott Peterson's Case