FRESNO (CN) - Scott L. Peterson, who was convicted of killing his wife and unborn son in 2003, is not entitled to Laci Peterson's $250,000 life insurance policy, a California appeals court ruled. Justice Ardaiz found that the estate did not have to prove that the murder was "felonious and intentional," because the conviction was final.
Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2004 and was sentenced to death in 2005. Principal Life Insurance Co. asked the court to clear it of any liability to Peterson or Laci's estate, and told the parties to settle the insurance claim in court. Peterson said he should get the money because his conviction was pending appeal and wasn't final. Sharon Rocha, Laci's estate administrator, claimed the court should award the estate the $250,000 based on the "preponderance of evidence" that Peterson had intentionally killed his wife.
The court concluded that Peterson's first-degree murder conviction was evidence that he had feloniously and intentionally killed Laci, and he provided no countering evidence to stake a valid claim in the money. See ruling in Principal Life Insurance v. Peterson.
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