SCOTT PETERSON TRIAL Frey's testimony shows serious relationship
Peterson told her he didn't want to conceive any children, she said.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) -- Scott Peterson's one-time mistress testified that their relationship quickly went from a hotel-room tryst after their first blind date to something serious enough for her to trust him alone with her young daughter just two weeks later.
Prosecutors allege that Peterson's relationship with Amber Frey led him to murder his pregnant wife, Laci.
Frey, the government's star witness, testified Tuesday that Peterson did not wear a wedding ring and she didn't know he was married when they met on Nov. 20, 2002. He poured champagne in his hotel room, putting a strawberry in her glass, and they had sex later that night. The next morning, he left her with his cell number, not his home number.
On her second date with Peterson, he carried her 22-month-old daughter as they went hiking. Later that day, he gave the girl a children's book. Then, he cooked seafood lasagna with wine before they had sex again.
"He made the comment that there would be many more corks ... many more bottles to share," Frey testified.
The next day, Dec. 3 -- she gave Peterson a car seat and the key to her house, and asked him to pick up her daughter at day care.
"He said he would be honored," recalled Frey, who returned home to find him warming up the previous night's dinner. Then all three went out to buy a Christmas tree, and after decorating it, Frey and Peterson had sex for a third time.
She is expected to resume testimony today. Before she takes the stand, the judge, prosecution and defense are expected to conduct a hearing about newly discovered evidence that lawyers, under a gag order, have not been able to reveal.
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 Laci Peterson.
The testimony about the intensity of their early relationship appeared to counter one aspect of Peterson's defense -- his lawyers have scoffed at the idea that a man would murder his pregnant wife to be with a single mother he had only just met.
But Frey said that from the beginning, Peterson seemed to want a future with her. While trimming the Christmas tree, she said he denied that he was ever "close to having children" with anyone else.
The next time they saw each other was Dec. 9, Frey testified, when he told her he had lied about never being married.
Then, she said, he began to cry and told her "he had lost his wife."
"He said this would be the first holidays he would be spending without her," she said.
At the time, Frey said she understood Peterson to mean that his wife was dead. "I thanked him for sharing that with me," she said, adding that she asked him if he still wanted to have a serious relationship with her. "He said absolutely," she said.
Later, about two weeks before Laci's disappearance, they had sex again, but this time it was unprotected -- prompting a conversation about their future together, Frey testified.
She said Peterson said he did not want to conceive any children, but would care for her daughter. "He would consider her his own," she recalled him saying.
Peterson also suggested that he would consider getting a vasectomy -- an offer she said she found "disturbing" given his relatively young age.
Prosecutors also showed jurors a series of holiday pictures showing Frey and Peterson embracing and smiling. One showed Peterson grinning in a Santa Claus hat.
Frey has not been cross-examined -- an opportunity the defense likely won't get for at least another day.
Prosecutors appear to be trying to show that Peterson began hatching the murder plot a day later. Evidence shows he searched for used boats on Dec. 7-8, as well as numerous Web sites for fishing information, currents in San Francisco Bay and details on boat ramps in the area.
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.