Scott Peterson juror testifies she's not "a victim" during hearing for new trial

A former juror accused of misconduct in the murder trial of Scott Peterson took the witness stand Friday as part of a hearing to determine whether the convicted killer will get a new trial.

Peterson’s attorneys accused Richelle Nice – also known as Juror No. 7 or "Strawberry Shortcake" due to her previously red hair – of not disclosing important information about her history of domestic violence in her questionnaire before being seated on the panel back in 2004.

But during Friday’s hearing in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City – the same location where Peterson was convicted and sentenced to death 18 years ago – Nice defended herself. 

Asked about the prior abuse allegations and her failure to disclose two prior restraining orders – Nice fired back: "I didn’t see myself as a victim."

In fact, in an episode involving her children’s father before she was ever on the jury, Nice claimed that she was the aggressor.

"I punched him. I hit him, and he called police," she testified. "He never hit me."

Nevertheless, legal analyst Steven Clark, a South Bay defense attorney and former prosecutor, said the allegations against Nice are serious.

"What the defense is going to hammer on is they never would have put a victim of a crime on this jury panel – particularly one that was pregnant at the time," Clark said. 

Peterson was convicted of killing his 8-month pregnant wife Laci on Christmas Eve 2002 and dumping her body in San Francisco Bay.

He was arrested and charged after it was revealed he was having a secret affair at the time of Laci’s disappearance with Fresno resident Amber Frey.

Peterson’s death sentence was overturned last year by the state Supreme Court and prosecutors in December opted to not pursue the death penalty again after consulting with Laci Peterson’s family.

Nice will continue her testimony on Monday. The hearing is expected to last a week with possible testimony from other jurors and Peterson’s former defense attorney Mark Geragos. 

Evan Sernoffsky is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email Evan at and follow him on Twitter @EvanSernoffsky