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tv   NBC Bay Area News Tonight  NBC  December 8, 2021 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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i'm raj mathai. scott peterson resentenced to life in prison. but could he ultimately be a freeman after being convicted of murdering his wife laci and their unborn son. why is marin county experiencing an uptick in covid cases? >> it's one of the lessons that we're offering is that what, despite having high vaccination rates, it doesn't necessarily protect you against increases in cases. >> the county's top doctor is with us and tell us why he might reinstate the mask mandate. and more rain is on the way.
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we have the hour by hour forecast. good evening. this is nbc bay area news tonight. i'm raj mathai. interesting story here about the local parents who sent their kid to school knowing that the child was positive. also the father and son accused of arson in the lake tahoe fire earlier this year, just ahead. but we start in redwood city. scott peterson, back in court and sentenced again. today the 49-year-old was iven life in prison without parole. this comes nearly 17 years after he was originally given the death sentence for the murder of his wife laci and his unborn son connor. if you were around here in the early 2000s, this murder gripped the bay area. laci disappeared from their modesto home on christmas eve of
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2002. you see him here hanging missing person flyers, asking for help to find his pregnant wife. at that point, he sat down for a one on one interview with one of our reporters, jodi her nan dead. >> i just, i know that we're doing what we can to bring her home, and please, everyone out there, it's more important the message to keep looking for her and to help us. i know to ask for help now, because we need it so desperately. >> you see that note there, january of 2003. a few months later, april of 2003, the bodies of laci and her unborn son were found separately, dumped in the san francisco bay. two weeks later, scott peterson was arrested and charged with murder. he was tried and convicted in 2004. sent to death row in san quentin. scott peterson spent more than 15 years on death row. but two things have developed, the death sentence itself and a
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possible retrial. last year the california supreme court overturned the death sentence, because jurors who disagreed with the death penalty were dismissed during jury selection. today no video cameras were allowed in court in redwood city, but we were given these still images and court sketches. three of laci's family members spoke, laci's mother called peterson a coward, saying no matter what happens, no matter what transpires in the future, there are two things that will never change. laci and connor will always be dead, and i will always be their murderer. laci's sister amy cried as she spoke, saying there are so many special occasions that laci and connor should have been here for. scott peterson was prepared to give a statement in court but the judge denied the request. >> i think what he would have liked to have said is he wanted to talk about the fact that he
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did, one of the things that really upsets him is this concept that he did not want to have a child, and he wanted to talk a little bit about that, and the fact that he would never, ever harm laci and connor. >> there is no forensic evidence. there is no timeline to this crime. scott peterson is innocent. >> so what was it like inside that courtroom? and could scott peterson ultimately be set free? we mentioned the bigger picture here. he will be back in court where his legal team will ask for a brand-new trial. tonight we're joined by maianne favro, she was one of three reporters allowed in the courtroom today, and our analyst. marianne, this is the first time laci peterson's family has been face-to-face with scott in more than 15 years. what was that like inside that
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courtroom today? >> raj, it was both tense and emotional. tense, because on one side of the courtroom was all of laci peterson's friends and family. and on the other side of the courtroom, sitting behind peterson with his friends and family. it was emotional, because both of laci peterson's brother and her sister spoke, and when she spoke, they cried. they broke down. they talked about the pain of living without interest sister. then her mother spoke, and she was directly at peterson and called him a coward. she called him evil and said look, you have shown no remorse. no sorrow for what you did, and yet every day, very to live with grief. >> amazing to hear that. marianne, any movement, facial reaction from scott peterson as the mom was looking at him or any of the family members? >> well, scott was wearing a white mask during the entire
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proceeding. and he did look directly at laci's family when they spoke. he did not divert his eyes. what i did notice, throughout the hearing he took a lot of really deep breaths and would also close his eyes when people were saying something a little painful and attacking him in the victim statement, but that's really what we saw. there are no major reactions in court, just closing his eyes for a few seconds throughout the proceedings. >> paula canny, let's bring new here. the judge did not really have any options, it was simply a rubber stamp to resentence hem him to life in prison without parole. >> that's the law. the california supreme court unanimously upheld the conviction but also unanimously said the death penalty verdict was obtained illegally, that the
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jury selection was so flawed that the death penalty couldn't stand. then the stanislaus district attorney's office said we're going to try this, we're going to seek death again, then they changed their mind, for once the district attorney's office said we're not going to seek death, there is no other punishment for what scott peterson was convicted, other than, you know, life without the possibility of parole on killing laci and a special circumstance and concurrent, 15 years to life for killing connor. what marianne said is super sad, but everyone was in masks in the courtroom, so it's hard to tell exactly what's going on, you know, behind people's masks, but really, the big issue is the habeas petition set for hearing in february. scott peterson was ordered to be maintained at the san mateo county jail, between now and the
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time of the habeas hearing. and that's the issue. the habeas hearing. was there juror misconduct? was that misconduct, once there's a decision, if there is juror misconduct, then, is it so prejudicial that it justifies a misconduct is alleged to be juror number seven, the juror we call strawberry shortcake. she lied in jury selection. she didn't, wasn't truthful on the questionnaire, and also wasn't truthful in voir dire. and as we all know now, that same juror, after conviction, sent a bunch of letters to scott, after he was in san quinton saying stuff like why did you kill connor, why did you kill laci, stuff like that. so the burden is on the prosecution to show that scott peterson didn't suffer, you know, there's not actual
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prejudice. and i think that's a pretty high bar to, for them to try to make. >> paula -- >> i'm sorry. i'm going on. >> let me jump in here. let's get back to this. that's part two of the story. february he's back in court and in layman's words, he could have a retrial. is there any chance here that scott peterson, whether it's one, two, three years down the road could walk away as a free man? >> well, yeah. that's true. it is possible. is it probable? i mean, i don't know. the first hurdle he needs is to have a court ruling of the jury misconduct was that he suffered actual prejudice to the point that it's a due process violation and he get as new trial. the prosecution has already said, even if a new trial is
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granted, they're not going to seek the death penalty. so jury selection will be much more streamlined. and yes, at a second trial if the jury found him not guilty, he would go free, that's absolutely true. and there may be new evidence. it's hard to know what is true. right now, the only thing this judge has to decide is did the jury commit misconduct, and if there was misconduct, did scott peterson suffer actual prejudice, and if the answer to those two things are yes, under the law, she has to grant scott peterson a new trial. >> amazing how we've almost come full circle. >> right. >> thank you. our coverage continues at nbcbayarea.com. you can hear what else peterson's lawyer said after the sentencing as well as the
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sister-in-law. another high-profile case. an update in the fraud case involving elizabeth hoemsz. both sides have rested their case. for the past seven days holmes testified that while she wished she had done some things differently, one of her mistakes was delegating certain things to co-workers. she did not link abuse directly to actions at the company. so now, what now? closing arguments again next thursday. we expect that to last one or two days. then, it will be turned over to the jury. there's a lot of evidence to consider here. holmes faces 12 counts of fraud. she could spend up to 20 years in prison. also in the headlines on this wednesday. that looks beautiful, doesn't it? our weather. it's cold, and soon it could get very wet. let's bring in jeff ranieri who
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joins us. winter starts what, december 21st? it feels like winter tonight. it's cold. >> we're going to see temperatures drop quite a bit more than we're used to. if you're complaining that it's chilly outside we have a system dropping down once we hit friday and saturday. that's going to put us to upper 30s inland and low 40s, and we could even >> to low 30s for some of the inland, north bay, east bay and south bay. and by the bay those upper 30s and low 40s. we have to bring those pets inside, patchy frost is possible. again, friday and saturday morning. >> i have an avocado and orange tree, you know that. be careful of the crops in the yard. what about rain now? you talk about the rain. >> a few showers tonight and then we do have this atmospheric river shaping up once we hit sunday into monday. sunday, this thing lines up over the north bay first. then it's going to be pushing off to the south as we move through sunday night, also into
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monday. monday's really when the rainfall's going to be starting to add up across the bay area. >> could we see flooding like we did many weeks ago? >> there is a chance we could see isolated areas of flooding. .75 of an inch to 3 inches. the higher totals in the north bay and mountains, for the peninsula, right around the 2-inch mark. and small streams and creeks, especially in the north bay, really have to be watched out from this storm system. we've been able to up that based on the forecast. >> we could see resorts opening next week possibly. >> if they can get through all that snow. 2-6 feet of snow will be kind of difficult to open. it might be a few weeks before they can possibly open and this storm system is going to hit a lot of california. one we hit sunday through tuesday, anywhere around los angeles is going to get
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rainfall. >> you can track jeff's forecast, up to the minute and this rain as it moves in tonight and this weekend. download our free nbc bay area app that gives you access to our radar and more accurate forecasting than your iphone. up next, one of the most destructive fires. also why is marin county seeing a covid spike? and could the mask mandate be reinstated? we'll be joined by the county's top health officer.
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welcome back to nbc bay area news tonight. we want to get you caught up to the stories we're watching this hour. a disheartening update from the lake tahoe fire a few months ago. it could have been arson. the caldor fire burned more than 220,000 acres near south shore. tonight a father and son are behind bars, accused of arson. the eldorado district attorney says david and travis smith were arrested for reckless arson. the d.a. did not elaborate on how they may have started the fire. it damaged one ski resort and threatened several others a few months ago. we'll continue to follow this story and update it at 11:00.
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also what's going on in marin county. despite being one of the most-vaccinated counties in the country, covid cases are climbing. on thanksgiving, the county was averaging about 20 new cases each day. as of this weekend it's averaging 40 new cases a day. joining us is matt willis, marin county health officer. marin county, we've talked about this for weeks if not months of the one of the most-vaccinated counties in the country. why is it you're seeing such a rise in covid cases? >> we're seeing a significant spike of cases following thanksgiving. it really started five, six days after thanksgiving day. that's a signal that it probably was in fact the gatherings that occurred on thanksgiving that drove that spike in cases. as people were infected on that day saw symptoms a few days
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later. the good news is that we're not seeing a corresponding increase in hospitalizations. in fact, this weekend we had no covid-19 cases in any of our hospitals in marin county. it's happened a few times but it's rare. right now there's two in the hospital. that's an important sign of what the vaccine is doing for us as a community. 85% of our residents are fully vaccinated. when we see cases rise, many of them are mildly infected and not leading to severe illness and hospitalization the way they did before. >> is it indicative what's happening in marin we'll see in alameda, san francisco and flout throughout the bay area? >> we know that people who are vaccinated can be infected and are diagnosed with cases. what's clear is it doesn't represent the same threat it
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used to in terms of hospitalizations and deaths. so we've actually taken that into account in terms of our criteria for reimposing the mask mandate. that's been a question that's been coming up. we've lifted the mask mandate a month ago. as we see rises in cases, it's something we're considering reimposing, but we're looking at hospitalization rates nor than case rates. >> will that come days from now or weeks from now? >> right in that 13 individual. if we have 13 people in the hospital with covid-19 in marin county, that will be the trigger for us to take that action, because that would represent the surge, in not just cases but a surge in actually severe illness, people coming into the hospital. and, again, that's what we're really focussing our attention on, those incidents of more severe outcome. >> as we wrap this up, you recently had a covid outbreak at one of your elementary schools.
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this stands out to me and a lot of parents here, because the parents this in this situation are accused of knowingly sending their kid to school with covid. what's penalty and the fallout for those parents? >> this is a violation of public health office orders, and those are specified it can be a fine or a misdemeanor. we have referred this to the district attorney to complete their investigation. so i'm not really free to talk about the details of this case, but only to say it is a vivid and painful illustration of what happens when we don't take to heart our responsibility to one another. you know, if the covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, we are mutually dependent on each other for our collective safety and well-being. >> always appreciate this clear line of communication with you. thank you for joining us tonight and happy holidays. >> good talking to you.
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up next at 7:00, a live look in walnut creek. jeff is going to rejoin us with an updated look at his forecast. we are back in a moment.
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welcome back to nbc bay area news tonight. jeff is back with us. we're talking snow. so i know mt. rose in the reno area opens friday. but heavenly, kirkwood, no decision yet. >> mt. rose may have to close
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for part of next week. look at that, 74 inches kingvale. >> we need it, we are still of course in that drought. so this is all good news, sunday, monday and tuesday everything looks like it's lining up for us. >> we like it. >> it's good. it's all at once or nothing. >> let's take you into the microclimate forecast. we will start it off with storm ranger. the cloud cover is staying put. now, as we roll through tomorrow morning, i did want to show you the cloud cover's going to break up over the north bay first. we'll see through the afternoon some sunshine coming in. still watch out for patchy areas of fog that could ling are linger. morning temperatures starting off on the chilly side with
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plenty of 40s. daytime highs not going to warm up a whole lot at all. 50s across the bay area. 55 in oakland, 56 in napa, san jose 58. that storm system, the atmospheric river, expected to line up sunday night all the way into monday, even linger into tuesday. on my seven-day forecast you'll see it looks like this. heaviest, widespread rain here on monday. totals ranging .75 to 3 inches. we think the higher totals would be for the north bay. friday and saturday morning we are down in the 30s. forget fall weather, this is an early blast of winter. >> you're going to be active. >> yes. tonight at 11:00, a woman helping infertile companies conceive. and coming up tonight, it's chicago med, chicago fire and
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chicago pd. that's going to do it for us. from everyone here, thanks for joining us. enjoy your evening.
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