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Peterson jury allowed to look at lesser charge

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — The judge in the Scott Peterson case ruled Friday the jury will be allowed to consider a lesser murder charge that would spare the former fertilizer salesman a possible death sentence if convicted.

Legal experts said the ruling is a victory for the prosecution because allowing the lesser charges could make it easier for jurors to convict if they are unsure whether the killing was premeditated.

Peterson already faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his pregnant wife and the fetus she was carrying. Prosecutors are seeking life without parole or the death penalty under those charges.