Who is Richelle Nice? Controversial Scott Peterson juror admits to writing him 17 letters
Peterson's legal team is trying to secure the retrial by focusing on juror Richelle Nice's participation in his conviction
A juror in family annihilator Scott Peterson's trial has admitted to sending him 17 letters as a court decides whether her conduct warrants a retrial for the convicted killer.
Peterson's legal team is trying to secure the retrial by focusing on juror Richelle Nice's participation in his conviction. They have also argued that she omitted crucial details about her past as a domestic abuse survivor during the jury selection process. Nice admitted in court on Monday, February 28, that she wrote more than a dozen letters to Peterson when he was on death row for the murder of his wife Laci and their unborn son Conner on December 24, 2002.
"What happened that night Scott?" she asked the killer in an August 2005 letter. "What pushed you to the limit, where you felt like you had to kill someone who not only loved you so much but was carrying a part of you inside of her?"
Testifying with impunity, Nice revealed that she began writing to Peterson after he was exiled to death row. She penned one letter dated December 17, 2005, from a mental hospital, telling him she had suffered a psychiatric breakdown and had been placed in a "crazy unit." She continued, "I never knew how much this trial had an impact on me, plus I never had a great life. All the pressure just hit me. I think it has been the time of year. Our verdict, Laci and Conner."
This is Juror No. 7 Richelle Nice, aka Strawberry Shortcake, arriving at the courthouse to testify for Scott Peterson’s hearing. I know her defense attorney Mr. Carr well and he joked with me saying she’s his sister. She is the first and primary witness. @kron4news pic.twitter.com/shbHk9sybZ— Amy Larson (@AmyLarson25) February 25, 2022
Peterson reportedly gave eight replies to Nice, who refuted concerns during interrogation that her infatuation with the case might have hinted bias. "Miss Nice, did you have a bias against Mr Peterson?" Prosecutor David Harris asked. "Nope," she replied. "Did you decide the case based on just the facts, not preconceived notion?" Harris asked in a follow-up question. "Absolutely," she responded.
Nice, dubbed 'Strawberry Shortcake' due to her dyed red hair, allegedly lied ahead of trial in 2014 while responding to a jury selection question about whether she or those she knew had ever witnessed or been victimized by a crime, Peterson's lawyers have claimed. She allegedly failed to disclose her history in the jury questionnaire, despite being once granted a restraining order against a boyfriend convicted of assaulting her and having claimed she was terrorized while pregnant by her boyfriend's ex.
Scott Peterson's attorney played a video from this 2004 news conference, held right after Richelle Nice and the rest of the jury convicted Peterson of murder. She said, "San Quentin is your new home." Defense used it as evidence to show she celebrated sending him to Death Row. pic.twitter.com/6GkPn8N6RQ— Amy Larson (@AmyLarson25) February 28, 2022
Nice -- who was questioned on the stand Friday, February 25, by Peterson's lawyer Pat Harris -- testified that her boyfriend had never assaulted her, albeit he was convicted for the same. She said that in November 2001, her then-boyfriend Eddie Whiteside called the cops on her after she assaulted him in their bedroom during a fight. According to her, the responding officers noticed a cut on her lip that was caused by her braces and immediately arrested him for assault. "Eddie never hit me," she told the court on Friday. "Now, or any time. Eddie never hit me, so I was not a victim of domestic violence." Nice, however, admitted under oath that she did not disclose being victimized by her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend -- who reportedly slashed his tires, broke into their home, and threatened her.
Lawyers for #ScottPeterson want to overturn his murder conviction based on the supposed bias of one juror. #RichelleNice reportedly lied on a juror questionnaire before Peterson’s first trial.— Court TV (@CourtTV) March 2, 2022
WATCH #CourtTV LIVE - https://t.co/Ps5kNht0Fn pic.twitter.com/8Q3tuZL6yV
Peterson received the death sentence in 2005 for the 2002 murder of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Connor. Last December, he was re-sentenced to life without parole. A pregnant Laci went missing from their Modesto, California residence on Christmas Eve 2002. Investigators found Peterson was secretly dating Amber Frey, who reportedly believed he was a widower during their courtship. 27-year-old Laci's corpse was found floating in the San Francisco Bay in April 2003. Authorities said Connor's fetus appeared to have been mutilated. They said Peterson took the bodies from their home and dumped them from his fishing boat, the Daily Mail reported.