Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Phil Spector Guilty of Second- Degree murder

Monday, April 13, after a trial that lasted almost 6 months and after nearly 30 hours of deliberations, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury convicted Phil Spector, an eccentric music producer of the 60's for the second degree- murder of actress Lana Clarkson. The jury also found Spector guilty of using a fire arm to commit the crime. For video coverage of the verdict and some clips of the pressor after as well as some slide shows click here. I decided to include this video from the link but recommend checking out the rest at that link.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

Second-degree murder carries a penalty of 15 years to life in prison. The use-of-a-gun enhancement adds three, four or 10 years in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.
This isn’t the first time that Phil Spector has faced a jury on these charges. The first jury deadlocked 10-2, favoring conviction in 2007.

Phil Spector’s claim to fame has not only been as the inventor of the “Wall Of Sound” recording technique, but also as the producer of teen anthems and working with a number of recording artists from The Crystals to the Righteous Brothers and Ike and Tina Turner to the Beatles.
Spector’s first claim to fame was “To Know Him Is to Love Him" a song written by Phil Spector and recorded by his first band, the Teddy Bears, that went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1958. The chorus of the song is “To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him. And I do, yes I do.

After Spector’s most recent claim to fame, being charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a film actress at his mansion six years ago and this conviction on that charge, we might rewrite that chorus to read…To know, know, know him is to convict, convict, convict him. And we did, yes we did.

The jury heard from prosecutors that Spector had a history of threatening women with guns when they tried to leave his presence. As in the first trial, they presented testimony from five women who told of being threatened by a drunken Spector, even held hostage in his home, with a gun pointed at them and threats of death if they tried to leave.

The defense in both trials tried to portray Lana Clarkson as an aging, depressed, has been, who used Spector’s gun to kill her self.

The 40-year-old Lana Clarkson, star of the 1985 cult film “Barbarian Queen,” died of a gunshot fired in her mouth as she sat in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in 2003.

The jury also learned that Spector, 69, who had long lived in seclusion at his suburban Alhambra “castle,” was out on the town in Hollywood when he met Clarkson on Feb. 3, 2003, at the House of Blues.

The tall, blond actress, who had recently turned 40 and was unable to find acting work after breaking both her wrists in a fall at Christmas 2001, had recently taken a job as a hostess in the VIP room of the House of Blues with hopes of making some connections. When the club closed in the wee hours, she accepted a chauffeured ride to Spector’s home for a drink. Three hours later, she was dead.

Spector’s chauffeur, said he heard a gunshot, then saw Spector emerge holding a gun and heard him say: “I think I killed somebody.” IMO that was the most damning testimony of this trial, a confession of sorts or in legal terms an "excited utterance".

Defense attorney Doron Weinberg said he believed the case was swayed by the judge’s erroneous rulings, particularly one that allowed the five women from Spector’s past to testify. He said it would be the basis for appeal and a request for a new trial.

Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson said Monday that “justice ... was unserved up until today. Today is when the Clarkson family gets their justice.”

The jury forewoman, who refused to be identified, cried as she described how the panel made its choice. “It just is a painful decision,” she said. When asked if there was any one thing that stood out for the jury in favor of conviction she said, “ There was no one thing , we looked at all of the evidence, and based our decision on the totality of the evidence.”

Katfishponders can't help but add a chorus here, To know, know, know him is to convict, convict, convict him. And they did, yes they did.

Spector who has been out on a $1 Million cash bond since February 3, 2003 was remanded to custody until his sentencing on May 29.

For in depth coverage of this case visit Sprocket’s Trials and Tribulations blog. Sprocket attended most of the first trial and blogged about the case. When it turned out that there was very little media interest in the second trial, Sprocket attended everyday of the trial and delivered great play by play coverage of the trial. Thank You Sprocket!
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  1. Good Morning cat-fish!,
    In one in one of Sprockets post, you mentioned her hot cold packs! Do they mold to where they are applied? I mean like to bend around the neck? I had never found a good one. Am thinking to order one.
    Getting to Spector. I want to know if we will see a mug shot. I am so so glad this is finally over, and to think this creep got away for six long years without justice is mind boggling. I hope he gets his just reward from the prison inmates whom will see him as he is a self indulgent blowhard.
    Were you there in the courtroom? I liked reading your posts!
    Thanks for your coverage to, I live in rural Mississippi, and this case has been the highlight of my life, but I know there will be another case, and Sprocket will be there!

  2. Good Morning to you Carol! It was kitty who mentioned the hot/cold packs, I remember because I too am thinking about ordering. If I remember correctly she said ahe like the way they formed and stay put.
    About Spector....the picture I posted is a mug shot. Some kind soul must have let him keep on his wig for the picture. He can hide but he can't run, sooner or later I have a feeling we will see "more" of Phil.
    I'm happy that this part of the process is over for the Clarksons and our Sprocket. It had to be hard to sit and listen to the malarky that was presented in that courtroom.
    I did not attend either of Spector's trials. The first one I watched gavel to gavel online and the second I followed through our dear Sprocket. I am covering a trial here in central Illinois where I live for an alleged spree killer of 8.
    Thanks for commenting! Let me know if you get an icepack. 8~)

  3. I posted your story on Legal Pub and put in a link. Good job.

  4. Thank you for mentioning me in this entry katfish! :-D Email me at the blog and we can talk about hot/cold packs.

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