REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — A juror in the Scott Peterson
murder trial who apparently did her own research on the case was
removed and replaced with an alternate yesterday, and the judge
ordered the panel to “start all over again” with their
deliberations.

“We’re going to send you back. Start all over again
and keep in touch,” Judge Alfred Delucchi told the panel on
the fifth day of deliberations.

It was not immediately clear what the woman, a retired utility
company employee, specifically did to get kicked off the jury.

But a source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity
that she had apparently disobeyed the judge’s orders to
consider only the evidence presented at the trial.

“You must decide all questions of fact in this case from
the evidence received in this trial and not from any other
resource,” the judge said.

“The people and the defendant have the right to a verdict
reached only after full participation.”

The judge removed the juror after meeting behind closed doors
with lawyers in the case. A day earlier, Delucchi lectured the jury
about the importance of deliberating with an open mind, prompting
speculation among trial observers that the panel could be reaching
a deadlock.

Peterson, 32, is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths
of his wife, Laci, and the fetus she carried. Prosecutors claim
Peterson killed Laci around Christmas Eve 2002, then dumped her
weighted body from his boat into San Francisco Bay.

The jury has two choices should they decide to convict Peterson
— first- or second-degree murder. A first-degree conviction
would mean jurors believe Peterson planned the killings in advance,
and it could carry the death penalty of life without parole.

Deliberations began last week after five months of
testimony.

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