Crime

A photo timeline from Kathleen Peterson’s death to husband Michael Peterson’s trial and eventual plea

Michael Peterson is handcuffed by Durham Sheriff’s officer Bryan Mister after being found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson. He was sentenced to life in prison. File photo

News & Observer and Durham Herald-Sun photojournalists have covered the Michael Peterson story from the beginning: the scandal related to his run for public office, Kathleen Peterson’s death, the trial and all its drama, the Alford plea in 2017, the release of the popular Netflix documentary series, and now, the HBO Max dramatic series on the case, “The Staircase.”

Here is a visual timeline from our coverage.

Michael Peterson stands with his wife Kathleen as he watches the final tally come up short for him in his quest for mayor of Durham in 1999. Chuck LIddy File photo

Durham Police Department officers search for evidence in the front yard of Michael Peterson’s home Monday morning, Dec. 10, 2001. Peterson’s wife, Kathleen Hill Peterson, was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in the home early Sunday morning. Peterson called 911 and has said that he believes his wife fell down the stairs after coming inside from the couple’s backyard. At this point, , police calling the death “suspicious” and were searching the home for any evidence or clues in the case. Scott Lewis File photo

Durham police officers and investigators at the home of Kathleen and Michael Peterson at 1810 Cedar St. in the Forest Hills section of Durham. Julian Harrison For the Herald-Sun

Michael Peterson, second from right, is comforted by his son after the funeral for his wife, Kathleen Peterson, Thursday at Duke Chapel. Sher Stoneman FIle photo

Michael Peterson (center in black shirt) walks with family, supporters, and attorney as he arrives to turn himself in after being indicted for the murder of his wife Kathleen, Dec. 20, 2021. File photo

Michael Peterson (center) is surrounded by family members and reporters as he walks into the Durham County Courthouse to turn himself in for in connection with the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson. File photo

Michael Peterson (center) is escorted into the Durham County Detention Facility by his sons Todd (left) and Clayton, (background) with glasses, along with attorney Thomas K. Maher (right) Dec. 20. 2001 after being indicted in connection with the death of his wife. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson sits as Durham County Detention officer Darryl Lunsford looks through his personal belongings as he is processed in the Magistrate’s office, Dec. 20, 200,1 after being indicted in connection with the death of his wife. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson (left) and his attorney David Rudolf look back at the Peterson children as Peterson made his first court appearance after being indicted in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson. Judge Ronald Stephens did not set bail and Peterson would spend the next month in jail. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael and Kathleen Peterson’s children leave the courtroom after his first court appearance Dec. 21, 2001. From second from left: Margaret and Martha Ratliff, Caitlin Atwater and son Todd Peterson. Herald Sun file photo

Caitlin Atwater embraces a family member after the first appearance of Michael Peterson Dec. 21, 2001. Herald Sun file photo

Kathleen Peterson’s daughter Caitlin Atwater (at center) speaks with the media with her step-brother Todd Peterson after Michael Peterson’s first court appearance. Chuck LIddy FIle photo

About 40 family and friends of MichaelPeterson held a vigil outside the Durham County Detention Facility January 11, 2002 showing support for the former candidate for city council and the mayor’s office. Pictured left to right in front of the jail is family friend Tim Jacobi, Peterson’s daughter Martha Ratliff, son, Todd Peterson, son Clayton Peterson, and Clayton’s girlfriend Becky Seibert. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson, center, sits between his attorney’s David Rudolf, left, and Thomas Maher at the start of a bond hearing Monday, Jan. 14, 2001, in Durham, N.C. Bond was set at $850,000. Chuck LIddy File photo

A tear rolls down Michael Peterson’s cheek during his bond hearing in Durham Monday afternoon as Donna Clement, a friend and co-worker of Kathleen Peterson, described the loving relationship Peterson had with his wife Kathleen who he is accused of killing in December. Chuck LIddy File photo

As the Peterson family tries to return to a sense of normalcy Michael Peterson’s adopted daughter, Margaret Ratliff replaces a burned out bulb in the foyer’s chandelier, Feb. 15, 2002. Chuck LIddy File photo

A 2002 photo shows the Peterson children at their father’s Forest Hills home in Durham. From left: Clayton Peterson, Todd Peterson, Martha Ratliff and Margaret Ratliff. Chuck Liddy File photo

The Peterson children, photographed Jan 24, 2002 in their father’s house in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Durham. From left clockwise: Todd Peterson, 25, Clayton Peterson, 27, Martha Ratliff,19, and Margaret Ratliff, 20. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson is comforted by a supporter during a break in a hearing April 30, 2003. File photo

Michael Peterson reviews court documents from his seat in the courtroom as jury selection continues Monday morning, May 19, 2003. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson sits in the back row in a courtroom of the Durham County Judicial Building between sons Clayton (left) and Todd as they await his name to be called during court proceeding Tuesday morning. Chuck Liddy File photo

Defense attorney David Rudolf discusses strategy with Michael Peterson (at right) Monday morning as jury selection begins for his murder trial. Peterson has been accused of murdering his wife Kathleen in December of 2001. At left is Durham County District Attorney Jim Hardin conferring with his prosecuting team. Chuck LIddy File photo

Michael Peterson sits alone in preparation for another day of jury selection in his murder trial at the Durham County Courthouse, May 13, 2003. Chuck LIddy File photo

Durham assistant District Attorney Freda Black looks over paperwork with defense attorney David Rudolf Friday morning as the Michael Peterson murder trial finished it’s sixth week of jury selection. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Judge Orlando Hudson(left, listens as Michael Peterson’s defense attorney David Rudolf argues a point in a May 29, 2003 hearing about media access to Peterson’s murder trial. Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin is seated in the foreground and Peterson is seated in the background at right. File photo

Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin (at left) confers with his Assistant DA Freda Black as the defense cross examines a prosecution witness Wednesday July 9, 2003 during the Michael Peterson murder trial. Sara Davis File photo

Michael Peterson (at right) speaks with defense attorney David Rudolf during a hearing, May 27, 2003. Chuck LIddy File photo

Michael Peterson (at right) speaks with brother Bill Peterson (center) and son Todd Peterson (left) before the start of court proceedings as jury selection continues in his murder trial. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson, center, laughs with his adopted daughters Margaret, left, and Martha Ratliff during a break in his murder trial Wednesday, July 2, 2003, in Durham, N.C. Chuck Liddy File photo

Member’s of Kathleen Peterson’s family ready for the second full day of testimony in the Michael Peterson murder trial. From left: Veronica Hunt (mother) Caitlin Atwater (daughter) and Candace Zamperini (sister). Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson sits in a chair at the back of the courtroom following proceedings, Wednesday, July 16, 2003. Chuck LIddy File photo

Durham District attorney Jim Hardin holds a photo of Kathleen Peterson during opening statement’s Tuesday in the murder trial of Michael Peterson. Chuck LIddy File photo

Defense attorney David Rudolf, left, examines a fireplace blow poker which District Attorney Jim Hardin entered into evidence Tuesday, July 15, 2003, during the Michael Peterson murder trial in Durham, N.C. Peterson, right, and defense investigator Ron Guerette, at center, rear, ready to hand Rudolf some photos. Sara Davis File photo

Family and friends of Kathleen Peterson listen as opening statements are made in the Michael Peterson murder trial Tuesday July 1,2003 at front from left to right are Caitlin Atwater (daughter), Candace Zamperini (sister) , and Lori Campell (sister). Chuck Liddy File photo

Caitlin Atwater covers her face and her cousin Kim Hunt turns away as an evidence photo of Kathleen Peterson is shown on a projection screen in the courtroom Thursday. Chuck Liddy File photo

Murder defendant Michael Peterson, right, huddles with his children during a break in court during his murder trial Tuesday, July 15, 2003, in Durham, N.C. Left to right are Todd Peterson, Margaret Ratliff and Martha Ratliff. Chuck LIddy File photo

Durham police Cpl. Scott Kershaw describes where he walked in a house the night Kathleen Peterson was killed in December 2001 during testimony Thursday July 10, 2003, in Michael Peterson’s murder trial. Peterson is on trial for the murder of his wife. At left is Assistant District Attorney Freda Black. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Defense attorney David Rudolf holds up a manual for homicide investigators and asks Durham police Cpl. J.C. McDowell if she had read about crime scene management. Later he read a section about the contamination of blood evidence at a crime scene to another officer. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

HUDSON1.NE.071103.CEL--DURHAM,NC--07/11/03--Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson listens carefully to a witnes during testimony in the Michael Peterson murder trial.STAFF PHOTO:CHUCK LIDDY Chuck Liddy File photo

District Attorney Jim Hardin, center, asks Dan George, Identification Technician with the Forensic Service of the Durham City Police Department, right, how he saw Kathleen Peterson’s body and show how Michael Peterson went to hug his deceased wife, Kathleen, on the night she died during testimony July 18, 2022. Ethan Hyman [email protected]

Defense attorney David Rudolf asks Durham Police ID technician Dan George why he didn’t think he needed to takes notes as he was collecting evidence in the Michael Peterson home in December 2001 when Kathleen Peterson was killed. Chuck Liddy File photo

Todd Peterson listens as former Durham police officer James McVay describes his attitude the night his stepmother was found dead in the Peterson home during testimony Friday in his father Michael Peterson’s murder trial. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

PETERSON3.NE.072203.CEL--DURHAM,NC--07/22/03--Michael Peterson (at left) speaks with his daughters Margaret (center) and Martha Ratliff during a break in his murder trial Tuesday as Yves Grasso holds a boom mike over their heads. Grasso is part of a documentary film crew following Peterson who is on trial for the murder of his wife Kathleen Peterson in December 2001 .STAFF PHOTO:CHUCK LIDDY Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Michael Peterson reads through some of the emails the prosecution which Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson allowed entered into evidence Thursday August 7, 2003. News & Observer file photo

Durham DA Jim Hardin (left) speaks with assistant DA Freda Black as she readies to question self described male escort Brent Wolgamott, 28, of Raleigh,NC in the Michael Peterson murder trial. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Self-described male escort Brent Wolgamott,28, of Raleigh, N.C. grins at defense attorney David Rudolf after saying some of his “clients” were doctors and lawyers and even one judge during his testimony Monday in the Michael Peterson murder trial. Chuck Liddy File photo

Self-described male escort Brent Wolgamott,28, of Raleigh,NC looks over a phone bill with assistant DA Freda Black as he testifies in the Michael Peterson murder trial. Chuck Liddy File photo

Durham prosecutor Freda Blackwatches jurors and other court officials from the front door of the Michael Peterson home in Durham Thursday afternoon during a planned jury visit to the home to view the staircase where Kathleen Peterson died. Harry Lynch FIle photo

State Bureau of Investigation agent Duane Deaver, now suspended, testifies during Michael Peterson’s murder trial in 2003. Deaver explained how his tests of blood spatters strengthened his opinion that Kathleen Peterson was beaten to death. Deaver was later suspended for his testimony. Sara Davis FIle photo

SBI blood spatter expert Duane Deaver uses a scale model of the Peterson stairway where he shows places he documented blood spatter on the steps where Kathleen Peterson was found dead in December 2001. Her husband Michael Peterson (at left) is accused of beating her to death and is on trial for her murder. Chuck Liddy File photo

Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin, left, holds Michael Peterson’s blood stained shorts as State Bureau of Investigation blood spatter expert Duane Deaver gives his conclusion about the blood spatter evidence to the jury Monday, Aug.18, 2003. Chuck Liddy File photo

SBI Special Agent and blood spatter expert Duane Deaver holds up a photo of Michael Peterson’s kitchen area to the jury as his second day of testimony continued in Peterson’s murder trial. Chuck Liddy File photo

Henry C. Lee, prominent forensics expert, takes a closer look at a blood spatter evidence photo during the prosecution’s cross-examination of Lee as to his interpretation of the evidence during the 2003 Michael Peterson murder trial. Harry Lynch File photo

Defendant Michael Peterson uses a magnifying glass to look at an evidence photo Monday, Aug. 18, 2003, during his murder trial in Durham, N.C. Peterson is accused in the December 2001 death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson speaks with defense attorney David Rudolf during his murder trial in Durham that drew national attention. Chuck Liddy File photo

Dr. Deborah Radisch, MD, associate chief medical examiner for the state of North Carolina indicates to the Peterson jury Thursday am the approximate locations and severity of head injuries to Kathleen Peterson on an artist’s rendering while also holding graphic autopsy photographs along with prosecutor Jim Hardin, left. Dr. Radisch was on the witness stand all day for the 40th day of the Michael Peterson murder trial in Durham. Harry Lynch FIle photo

Dr. Deborah Radisch, MD, associate chief medical examiner for the state of North Carolina indicates to the Peterson trial jury Thursday am the angle and location of trauma found at the back of the head and neck of the late Kathleen Peterson (Cq). Dr. Radisch was on the witness stand all day for the 40th day of the Michael Peterson murder trial. Harry Lynch FIle photo

Cheryl Appel-Schumacher breaks down as she talks about the morning Elizabeth Ratliff was found dead in Germany in 1985. Appel-Schumacher came all the way from Germany to take part in a hearing to determine whether or not Ratliff’s death would be allowed into evidence in the Michael Peterson trial. Chuck Liddy File photo

Testimony in the death of the Elizabeth Ratliff continued Tuesday as the Ratliff nanny Barbara Malagnino started her description of what happened the November morning she found Ratliff’s body when she arrived for work. Ratliff died in November 1985 in a similar way to Michael Peterson’s wife, Kathleen,who was killed in December 2001. Peterson is on trial for the murder of Kathleen Peterson. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Martha Ratliff listens to witness Cheryl Appel-Schumacher describe the death of Ratliff’s mother, Elizabeth Ratliff, during a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003, in Durham, N.C. The hearing is to determine if evidence in the death of Elizabeth Ratliff in Germany in 1985 will be allowed to be introduced in the murder trial of Michael Peterson, who is charged in the death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. He is also the legal guardian of Martha Ratliff. Sara Davis FIle photo

Margaret Blair (at left) is comforted by her sister Rosemary Kelloway after testifying in the Michael Peterson murder trial Monday. Blair took the stand to talk about her sister Elizabeth Ratliff who died in Germany in 1985. Ratliff’s death was similar to the death of Peterson’s wife Kathleen in December 2001. At far right is Kathleen Peterson’s sister Candace Zamperini. Chuck Liddy File photo

Margaret Blair (at right) is comforted by Candace Zamperini, the sister of Kathleen Peterson, after she testified in the Michael Peterson murder trial Monday. Blair took the stand to talk about her sister Elizabeth Ratliff who died in Germany in 1985. Ratliff’s death was similar to the death of Peterson’s wife Kathleen in December 2001. Chuck Liddy File photo

Prosecution witness Candace Zamperini (cq), has to stop during her afternoon testimony and later cross-examination to collect herself Wednesday. Zamperini, sister of the late Kathleen Peterson broke down when telling of learning of her sister’s death and attempting to clean up the blood from the stairwell where Peterson died. Peterson’s husband Michael Peterson is on trial for Kathleen Peterson’s death. File photo

Margaret (at left) and Martha Ratliff listen in the courtroom after reading a letter from the early 90’s from Michael Peterson, their legal guardian, to their aunt Margaret Blair, explaining why he didn’t think the girls should be adopted. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson defense attorney David Rudolf speaks with Margaret (at left) and Martha Ratliff during a break in the Michael Peterson murder trial Friday. Chuck Liddy File photo

Durham DA Jim Hardin (left) and assistant DA Freda Black react as Judge Orlando Hudson reads a letter WTVD reporter Sonya Pfeiffer sent out to jurors in the MichaelPeterson murder trial. Pfieffer said the letter was supposed to be sent out after the verdict. Chuck LIddy File photo

Michael Peterson on Oct. 6, 2003 during his murder trial in Durham, NC. At right is Martha Ratliff and at center is Margaret Ratliff, the two young women Peterson has reared from childhood. CHUCK LIDDY CHUCK LIDDY

Defense attorney David Rudolf listens to an MP3 player during the second day of deliberations of the Michael Peterson murder trial in Durham,NC October 7, 2003. Chuck Liddy File photo

Assistant DA Freda Black (center) speaks with Caitlin Atwater Friday morning prior to the start of court. Atwater didn’t remain in the courtroom as the jury returned less than two hours later to convict her mother’s killer Michael Peterson. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Martha Peterson (at left) attempts to comfort her sister Margaret after their guardian Michael Peterson is found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson. He was sentenced to life in prison. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson is handcuffed by Durham Sheriff’s officer Bryan Mister after being found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson. He was sentenced to life in prison. Chuck Liddy File photo

Durham Co. Sheriff’s deputy Bryan Mister, left, puts the handcuffs on convicted murderer Michael I. Peterson, right, with defense attorney Thomas Maher shortly after the Peterson jury returned its first degree murder verdict of guilty at 1055 am Friday in Durham Superior court. Harry Lynch FIle photo

Michael Peterson looks to his family as Durham County Sherrif’s deputies lead him away on Oct. 10, 2003, after a jury found him guilty of first degree murder in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson. Scott Lewis FIle photo

Members of Michael Peterson’s family and friends from left: Todd Peterson, Martha Ratliff, Margaret Ratliff, Becky Seibert (leaning forward, head on lap) and Clay Peterson are devastated after Michael Peterson was led away in handcuffs upon being convicted of the first degree murder of his wife Kathleen Peterson. Todd and Clay are Peterson’s sons, Martha and Margaret are Peterson’s adopted daughters/he is their guardian, and Seibert is Clay Peterson’s girlfriend. Michael Peterson’s first wife, Patti Peterson in left background. Harry Lynch FIle photo

Durham asst. DA Freda Black, after just having hugged Durham DA Jim Hardin also embraced her colleague, asst. DA David Saacks after convicted defendant Michael Peterson was read the jury’s guilty verdict and escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs. The Peterson jury returned a first degree murder verdict and the emotional release was immediate for the prosecution after several months of daily Peterson courtroom activity.Members of the Peterson family and supporters exit the courtroom at left. Harry Lynch FIle photo

Todd Peterson, left, and defense investigator Ron Guerette , far right, lead Martha and Margaret Ratliff from the Durham County Courthouse after Michael Peterson, Todd’s father and the Ratliff’s guardian, was found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson. Scott Lewis File photo

A stuffed Barred Owl display, right, seemed to menace Durham resident Larry Pollard during his press conference in front of the Durham County Courthouse in 2008. Pollard, a former neighbor of convicted murderer Michael Peterson was attempting to bolster his hypothesis that an owl killed Peterson’s wife, Kathleen Peterson, instead of Peterson. An SBI evidence report, says Pollard, mentions a microscopic feather along with some of her hair found in Kathleen Peterson’s hand at the time of her death in Dec., 2001. Pollard is seeking to have the case reopened on evidence of a possible owl attack outside of the Peterson home. HARRY LYNCH File photo

Michael Peterson listens as his defense attorney David Rudolph makes his opening statements in Peterson’s request for a new trial Tuesday, Dec.6, 2011. Chuck Liddy File photo

Kathleen Peterson’s sister, Candace Zamperini , makes an emotional appeal to Judge Orlando Hudson to continue the hearing saying Durham District Attorney Tracy Cline was unprepared. Saying the tenth anniversary of her sistera’s murder was just days away, Zamperini forcefully argued for more time, staring intently at Michael Peterson as she addressed the judge. Peterson and his legal team began their attack on former State Bureau of Investigation agent Duane Deaver, a key expert witness at Peterson’s 2003 trial, which ended in a life sentence for first-degree murder. A jury convicted Peterson of killing his wife, Nortel Networks executive Kathleen Peterson, who died in a pool of blood at the bottom of a blood-spattered staircase in the Petersons’ Forest Hills mansion in December 2001. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Attorney David Rudolf continues his questioning of SBI assistant director Erik Hook at the Durham County Courthouse in Durham, N.C. Wednesday Dec.7, 2011 during the Michael Peterson hearing requesting a new trial. Chuck LIddy FIle photo

Michael Peterson listens to testimony during the afternoon session of his hearing at the Durham County Courthouse in Durham, N.C. Wednesday Dec.7, 2011. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Investigator Ron Guerette (center) looks for documents as attorney attorney David Rudolf (right) questions a witness during Michael Peterson’s (left) hearing for a new trial at the Durham County courthouse Thursday Dec. 8, 2011. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson during a hearing Dec. 9, 2011 at the Durham County courthouse. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson holds his 12-month-old grandson Dorian after leaving the Durham County Jail on Thursday, December 15, 2011. Peterson was granted a new trial by Judge Orlando Hudson the day before when Hudson determined that former SBI agent Duane Deaver misled the judge and jury in 2003 with his testimony which helped convict Peterson in the death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson. Shawn Rocco FIle photo

Michael Peterson stands outside his lawyer’s office on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill Wednesday Dec. 21, 2011 shortly after he was released from house arrest. Peterson, 68 was released from prison after eight years last week when testimony by former SBI agent Duane Deaver was found to be perjured testimony by Judge Orlando Hudson. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson takes the oath as he entered the highly anticipated plea on Friday that resolves the murder charge that has lingered in his life for 15 years. Through an Alford plea in which the Durham novelist refused to admit guilt, Peterson pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge that will allow him to walk out of Durham County Superior Court a free man. at the Durham County Courthouse, in Durham, N.C. Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Michael Peterson (left) confers with his defense attorney David Rudolf during his hearing where he took an Alford plea in what is the end of a 15 year murder case at the Durham County Courthouse, in Durham, N.C. Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Peterson took an Alford plea to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson on Dec. 9, 2001. Taking an Alford plea, a defendant can maintain his or her innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction. During a press conference afterwards Peterson and Rudolf maintained Peterson’s innocence and claimed malfeasance by the Durham police department and SBI as the reasons for his convictions. Chuck Liddy File photo

Candace Zamperini, sister of Kathleen Peterson confronts Michael Peterson and defense attorney David Rudolf hurt her and her family with a “web of misdirections, lies and intimidation” during the victims statements portion of Peterson’s hearing at the Durham County Courthouse, in Durham, N.C. Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Peterson took an Mike Peterson entered an Alford plea to a charge of voluntary manslaughter. Taking an Alford plea, a defendant can maintain his or her innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction. During a press conference afetrwards Peterson and Rudolf maintained Peterson’s innocence and claimed malfeasance of the Durham police department were the reasons for his convictions. Chuck Liddy File photo

Candace Zamperini, sister of Kathleen Peterson directs her ire at Michael Peterson and defense attorney David Rudolf during the victims statements portion of Peterson’s hearing at the Durham County Courthouse, in Durham, N.C. Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Peterson took entered an Alford plea to a charge of voluntary manslaughter. In accepting an Alford plea, a defendant can maintain his or her innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction. During a press conference afetrwards Peterson and Rudolf maintained Peterson’s innocence and claimed malfeasance of the Durham police department were the reasons for his conviction. Chuck Liddy FIle photo

Michael Peterson is flanked by his attorneys James D. “Butch” Williams, left, and David Rudolf, right, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 at the Durham County Courthouse, in Durham, N.C. Peterson pleaded guilty to manslaughter in an Alford plea for the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson on Dec. 9, 2001. Travis Long [email protected]

Michael Peterson (center) is flanked by his attorneys David Rudolf (left) and James D. “Butch†Williams (right) at the Durham County Courthouse, in Durham, N.C. Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. He was speaking to the media after taking an Alford plea for manslaughter in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson on Dec. 9, 2001. Peterson maintains his innocence even though he plead guilty, which is allowed when taking an Alford plea. Chuck Liddy File photo

Durham County sheriff’s deputy Officer R. Adler escorts Michael Peterson to the elevators with his documentary crew in tow at the Durham County Courthouse, in Durham, N.C. Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Peterson took an Alford plea to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson on Dec. 9, 2001. Taking an Alford plea, a defendant can maintain his or her innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction. During a press conference afterwards Peterson maintained his innocence and claimed malfeasance by the Durham police department and SBI as the reasons for his conviction. Chuck Liddy File photo

Michael Peterson photographed at his apartment in Durham, NC Saturday, April 21, 2019. Scott Sharpe [email protected]

This story was originally published May 3, 2022 2:03 PM.

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