REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) – Scott Peterson’s first night with his former mistress Amber Frey was a blind date that culminated in a hotel room tryst, she testified Tuesday, revealing the first details of an affair the government says led Peterson to murder his pregnant wife.

Frey, the government’s star witness, held a black bag in front of her face to block the cameras as she was driven to the courthouse, and then spoke so softly on the witness stand that the judge had to ask her to get closer to the microphone.

With short, clipped answers to questions from prosecutor Dave Harris, Frey said she didn’t know Peterson was married that night, Nov. 20, 2002, a little more than a month before Laci Peterson vanished.

She said they danced in a karaoke bar before going to a nearby hotel. She said he went to some lengths to court her, pouring champagne and putting a strawberry in her glass.

They had sex later that night, she said. The next morning, he left her with his cell number, not his home number.

Prosecutors have spent much of their case trying to establish that Peterson’s affair with the massage therapist, and hopes for financial gain, were his motives for killing his pregnant wife.

Frey’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, said Frey will probably be on the stand for “a considerable amount of time.”

Defense lawyers do not deny the affair or even that Peterson was a “cad.” But they say that just because Peterson cheated on his wife that did not make him a murderer.

Peterson’s defense also has questioned Frey’s motives and the timing of her communications with police, but Allred said outside court that Peterson “wormed his way into her life” and then repeatedly lied to her before and after his wife disappeared.

“She is a victim of Scott Peterson’s deception,” Allred said outside the courthouse, adding that once Frey learned that Laci was missing, she immediately informed law enforcement.

Before Frey began her testimony, Judge Alfred A. Delucchi briefly brought the lawyers into his chambers, but no details were released about the closed-door session. Last week, the judge delayed the trial so that both sides could investigate recently discovered evidence.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos called that evidence “potentially exculpatory.” Prosecutors have not commented on the evidence questions, citing the judge’s gag order.

Prosecutors allege Peterson killed his wife in their Modesto home on or around Dec. 24, 2002, then drove to the bay and dumped her weighted body from a small boat he had purchased just weeks earlier. The badly decomposed remains of Laci Peterson and the couple’s fetus washed ashore in April 2003, not far from where Peterson said he launched a solo fishing trip the day she vanished.

Shawn Sibley, the woman who set Peterson up with Frey, testified that she confronted Peterson on Dec. 6 after learning he was married. He had told her he “lost” his wife.

Prosecutors appear to be trying to show that Peterson began hatching the murder plot a day later. Defense attorneys contend it is ridiculous to think Peterson would kill his wife to be with a woman he had known for only several months.



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