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State To Help Cover Trial Expenses

A state lawmaker has amended legislation to reimburse Modesto and Stanislaus County for Scott PetersonĀ“s death penalty trial.

Senator Jeff Denham says Senate Bill 756 is intended to cover expenses for the trial that could cost millions of dollars. Peterson is charged with murdering his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son. He has pleaded innocent and is being held without bail.

The Salinas Republican cited the death penalty trial of Yosemite murderer Cary Stayner, which cost more than $5 million after it was moved from Mariposa County to San Jose. Stayner was sentenced to death for murdering three park tourists.

Denham amended his own legislation that would change a funding formula that he says penalizes Stanislaus and five other counties.