Local News

Jury Selection Completed In Mike Peterson Trial

Posted June 23, 2003

— The jury is finally seated in the Mike Peterson case.

Attorneys chose the fourth and final alternate Monday, completing a painstaking jury-selection process that has dragged on for more than seven weeks.

Peterson is charged with the death of his wife, Kathleen.

Monday marked a surprise appearance in the courtroom by Kathleen Peterson's mother, who is from Florida, and Kathleen's 21-year-old daughter, who just finished her junior year at Cornell

It was the first time Kathleen's mother and daughter have been in the courtroom for jury selection.

Earlier in the day, lawyers eliminated three potential jurors. All of them were male. One was dismissed for financial hardship reasons. Another was dismissed because he is an officer for the Department of Correction, and one was dismissed because he thought Peterson is guilty.

Court was not in session last week because prosecutors were in Germany looking at the death of Elizabeth Ratliff, a friend of Peterson's who was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in 1985.

Kathleen Peterson was also found at the bottom of a staircase at their Durham home in December 2001.

Mike Peterson's trial is set to begin next Monday. There are several motions that need to be worked out between now and then -- motions dealing with the media and expert testimony, and what will be allowed as evidence and what will not be.

Attorneys will be back Wednesday afternoon to begin going over those issues.


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