DiscoverDateline: True Crime WeeklyScott Peterson is back in court. Did a Florida mom mastermind a murder? And a surprising sentence in Idaho.
Scott Peterson is back in court. Did a Florida mom mastermind a murder? And a surprising sentence in Idaho.

Scott Peterson is back in court. Did a Florida mom mastermind a murder? And a surprising sentence in Idaho.

Update: 2024-05-307
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This episode of Dateline True Crime Weekly dives into the latest developments in the Scott Peterson case, nearly 20 years after he was convicted of murdering his wife Lacey and their unborn child. Peterson's defense team, aided by the Los Angeles Innocence Project, is seeking new DNA testing on various pieces of evidence, including a burned-out van found near the Peterson home and items from a burglary across the street. The prosecution opposes the motion, calling it a "fishing expedition." The judge denied most of the requests, but granted testing on a piece of duct tape found on Lacey's pants. The episode also covers the case of Jared Bridegan, a Microsoft engineer who was shot and killed in Jacksonville, Florida, while driving home with his daughter. His ex-wife, Shanna Gardner, and her husband, Mario, are charged with masterminding the hit. The prosecution presented text messages between Gardner and her best friend discussing killing Jared, using code words like "funeral potatoes." Gardner was denied bond. The episode concludes with an update on the sentencing of Daniel Howard, a former Idaho state trooper convicted of murdering his wife, Kendi. Howard was sentenced to life without parole, a decision that surprised many due to the second-degree murder conviction. The judge called Howard a "remorseless killer."

Outlines

00:00:00
Dateline True Crime Weekly: Scott Peterson Case Update

This Chapter discusses the latest developments in the Scott Peterson case, nearly 20 years after he was convicted of murdering his wife Lacey and their unborn child. Peterson's defense team, aided by the Los Angeles Innocence Project, is seeking new DNA testing on various pieces of evidence, including a burned-out van found near the Peterson home and items from a burglary across the street. The prosecution opposes the motion, calling it a "fishing expedition." The judge denied most of the requests, but granted testing on a piece of duct tape found on Lacey's pants.

00:09:30
Jared Bridegan Murder: Ex-Wife Denied Bond

This Chapter focuses on the murder of Jared Bridegan, a Microsoft engineer who was shot and killed in Jacksonville, Florida, while driving home with his daughter. His ex-wife, Shanna Gardner, and her husband, Mario, are charged with masterminding the hit. The prosecution presented text messages between Gardner and her best friend discussing killing Jared, using code words like "funeral potatoes." Gardner was denied bond.

00:20:05
Daniel Howard Sentenced to Life Without Parole

This Chapter covers the sentencing of Daniel Howard, a former Idaho state trooper convicted of murdering his wife, Kendi. Howard was sentenced to life without parole, a decision that surprised many due to the second-degree murder conviction. The judge called Howard a "remorseless killer."

Keywords

Scott Peterson
Scott Peterson is an American man who was convicted in 2004 of murdering his pregnant wife, Lacey Peterson, and their unborn child, Connor. The case gained national attention due to the circumstances surrounding Lacey's disappearance and the subsequent trial. Peterson has maintained his innocence and has been fighting to overturn his conviction for years. He is currently in prison serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Los Angeles Innocence Project
The Los Angeles Innocence Project is a non-profit organization that works to exonerate wrongly convicted individuals through DNA testing and other legal means. They are known for taking on cases with strong potential for exoneration based on new scientific evidence. The organization has been involved in numerous high-profile cases, including the case of Scott Peterson.

Jared Bridegan
Jared Bridegan was a Microsoft engineer who was shot and killed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2022. He was driving home with his daughter when he stopped to move a tire in the road and was ambushed. His ex-wife, Shanna Gardner, and her husband, Mario, are charged with masterminding the murder. The case has garnered significant media attention due to the shocking nature of the crime and the allegations against Gardner.

Shanna Gardner
Shanna Gardner is the ex-wife of Jared Bridegan and is accused of masterminding his murder. She is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder. The prosecution alleges that Gardner had a motive to kill Bridegan due to their contentious divorce and a trust fund that she was set to inherit upon their separation. Gardner maintains her innocence.

Daniel Howard
Daniel Howard is a former Idaho state trooper who was convicted of murdering his wife, Kendi Howard. He was sentenced to life without parole. The case involved a lengthy investigation and a trial that garnered significant media attention. Howard initially claimed that Kendi had committed suicide, but evidence pointed to his involvement in her death. The judge presiding over the case called Howard a "remorseless killer."

Q&A

  • What new evidence is Scott Peterson's defense team seeking to have tested?

    Peterson's defense team is seeking to have DNA testing conducted on a burned-out van found near the Peterson home, items from a burglary across the street, and various items recovered from the bay with Lacey and Connor's bodies. They believe that this testing could potentially exonerate Peterson.

  • Why is the prosecution opposed to the new DNA testing?

    The prosecution argues that the defense's request for DNA testing is a "fishing expedition" and that the evidence has already been tested. They believe that the defense is simply trying to delay the case and that there is no new evidence to be found.

  • What is the significance of the Los Angeles Innocence Project's involvement in the Scott Peterson case?

    The Los Angeles Innocence Project is a well-respected organization that only takes on cases with strong potential for exoneration based on new scientific evidence. Their involvement in the Peterson case suggests that they believe there is a possibility that Peterson was wrongly convicted.

  • What are the allegations against Shanna Gardner in the Jared Bridegan murder case?

    The prosecution alleges that Gardner masterminded the murder of her ex-husband, Jared Bridegan, and that she hired someone to carry out the hit. They presented text messages between Gardner and her best friend discussing killing Bridegan, using code words like "funeral potatoes." They also allege that Gardner had a motive to kill Bridegan due to their contentious divorce and a trust fund that she was set to inherit upon their separation.

  • What was the judge's decision regarding Shanna Gardner's bond hearing?

    The judge denied Gardner's request for bond, meaning that she will remain in jail while awaiting trial. The judge's decision was likely influenced by the serious nature of the charges against Gardner and the evidence presented by the prosecution.

  • What was the outcome of Daniel Howard's sentencing hearing?

    Daniel Howard was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of his wife, Kendi. The judge's decision was surprising given that Howard was convicted of second-degree murder, which typically carries a lesser sentence. The judge called Howard a "remorseless killer" and expressed his belief that Howard was a danger to society.

  • What was the unusual aspect of Daniel Howard's sentencing hearing?

    The judge's decision to sentence Howard to life without parole for a second-degree murder conviction was unusual. The judge also made a strong statement about Howard's character, calling him a "remorseless killer." This suggests that the judge believed that Howard was a particularly dangerous individual who deserved a harsh sentence.

Show Notes

The LA Innocence Project has taken on Peterson's case, arguing in a filing he may be innocent of the 2004 murders of his wife and unborn son. Dateline producer Susan Leibowitz breaks down their arguments to run new DNA tests on old evidence. In Jacksonville, prosecutors lay out their case against Shanna Gardner, accused of plotting to kill her ex. And KHQ Anchor Hayley Guenthner reports back from a sentencing in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where a judge called a former state trooper a "remorseless killer."

More reporting by KHQ's Hayley Guenthner

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Scott Peterson is back in court. Did a Florida mom mastermind a murder? And a surprising sentence in Idaho.

Scott Peterson is back in court. Did a Florida mom mastermind a murder? And a surprising sentence in Idaho.

Andrea Canning, Hayley Guenthner