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Joseph Richard ("The Judge") Distaso was the Stanislaus County, California senior deputy district attorney who served as the lead prosecutor in the case against Scott Peterson, charged with and later convicted of murdering his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn child Conner Peterson in 2002. Laci was eight months pregnant with Conner at the time of the murder.
Born on January 25, 1967 , Distaso attended University of Southern California as an undergraduate, and attended Loyola Law School for his law education. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1992. After graduation from law school, he was a lawyer for the Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army through 1996, with the rank of captain, and then joined the Stanislaus County district attorney's office.
In 2008, Distaso was deployed to Afghanistan for a tour in the Army Reserves. He currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Commander of the 75th LOD in the US Army Reserves JAG Corps.
- Skoloff, Brian (20 November 2004). In Peterson Trial, Substance Won Out Over Flash, The Day (New London), Retrieved November 19, 2010
- (31 May 2004). Legal styles collide in Redwood City / PROSECUTION: Is the charisma gap a benefit or burden?, San Francisco Chronicle, Retrieved November 19, 2010
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