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View Full Version : Mistrial declared in murder trial of Phil Spector



WMR
09-26-2007, 06:40 PM
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A judge declared a mistrial in the murder case against music legend Phil Spector after a jury announced for the second time in eight days that it was hopelessly deadlocked.

Phil Spector did not testify at his five-month murder trial. The jury said it was split 10-2.

The jury deliberated for 12 days, taking six ballots, but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Jurors told Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler they were split 10-2, without indicating which way they were leaning. They added there was nothing Fidler could do to help them arrive at a unanimous verdict.

Fidler discharged the nine men and three women, thanking them for their service. Video Watch what happened in the courtroom

Spector went on trial in April, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of B-movie queen Lana Clarkson after a night out in the clubs of Hollywood.

The judge told attorneys to return to his Los Angeles, California, courtroom on October 3 to discuss the next legal move.

Spector, 67, did not take the witness stand at the trial.

Deliberations were arduous, entering the third week on Monday. Last week, jurors received new instructions on the law and were told to start over after the foreman declared the panel was deadlocked 7-5.

The jury's inability to reach a verdict capped a five-month trial that played like a Hollywood film noir classic -- with a twist of the bizarre.

A 6-foot-tall, blue-eyed blonde with a toothpaste commercial smile, Clarkson was known for her roles in "Barbarian Queen" and "Amazon Women on the Moon." But at 40 the parts were few and far between and she had taken a $9-an-hour job as a VIP hostess at the House of Blues in Hollywood.

Spector invented the "wall of sound" in the 1960s and worked with the Beatles, Ike and Tina Turner and other acts. Normally reclusive, Spector had spent a rare night out on the town, found Clarkson at the House of Blues at closing time and invited her home for a drink in the wee hours of February 3, 2003.

After initially turning him down, she agreed to accompany him, according to testimony.

Hours later, police were summoned to Spector's mansion in Alhambra, a suburb of Los Angeles. The diminutive music producer had wandered into the driveway in the predawn and told his Brazilian-born chauffeur, "I think I killed somebody," according to the driver's testimony.

Clarkson was found inside, slumped in a chair in the foyer. She had been shot in the mouth. A .38-caliber Colt Special revolver lay at her feet. It appeared someone had attempted to clean up the blood with a diaper found in the guest bathroom.

Spector's attorneys argued that Clarkson was depressed over a recent breakup, grabbed the gun and took her own life.

But prosecution witnesses painted Spector as a gun-toting menace, with five women telling harrowing tales on the witness stand of the music producer threatening them with firearms. Spector's driver testified he heard a loud noise and saw the producer leave the home, pistol in hand, saying, "I think I killed somebody."

At issue was whether Spector pulled the trigger -- or whether Clarkson did. In photos projected on a large screen, the gruesome crime scene resembled a set decorated for a horror film.

In all, 77 witnesses testified and more than 600 pieces of evidence were submitted. The evidence cart wheeled into the jury room was piled high with exhibits.

The jury even toured the scene of the alleged crime.

The experts' testimony differed widely on what the physical evidence showed.

Prosecutors pointed to the leopard print purse slung over Clarkson's shoulder as evidence she was trying to leave when she was shot.

The defense argued that blood-spatter evidence on the white women's jacket Spector wore showed he was standing too far away to place the gun in Clarkson's mouth.
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Spector hired and fired a who's who of legal talent for his defense. High profile defense attorneys who have left the case include Leslie Abramson and Bruce Cutler.

He also changed hairstyles several times during the trial, and wore flamboyant clothing, including frock coats and pastel-colored ties and pocket handkerchiefs.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/09/26/spector.verdict/index.html

paintmered
09-26-2007, 06:43 PM
I judge his hair to be guilty.

guttle11
09-26-2007, 06:59 PM
I judge his hair to be guilty.

Of being awesome.

NoCalRed
09-26-2007, 08:00 PM
I bet this decision made Mr. Vargas switch from Sanka to regular coffee again.

George Foster
09-26-2007, 11:37 PM
What is up with California juries? They brought it 4 or 5 ladies that did not know each other and they all told the same story about how Freek Spector brought out guns and played with them and scared them. That's enough evidence for me right there. I would like to know the jury count. I bet it was 10-2 or 11-1 to convict.

WMR
09-27-2007, 12:01 AM
What is up with California juries? They brought it 4 or 5 ladies that did not know each other and they all told the same story about how Freek Spector brought out guns and played with them and scared them. That's enough evidence for me right there. I would like to know the jury count. I bet it was 10-2 or 11-1 to convict.

The article said they were split 10-2.

If you're rich and/or a celebrity in the state of California, you've pretty much got complete carte blanche to do whatever you please.

Chip R
09-27-2007, 09:31 AM
The article said they were split 10-2.

If you're rich and/or a celebrity in the state of California, you've pretty much got complete carte blanche to do whatever you please.


Michael Vick should have had his dog fighting operations in California.

Johnny Footstool
09-27-2007, 09:34 AM
I bet this decision made Mr. Vargas switch from Sanka to regular coffee again.

Man, how obscure a reference is that? Nice one, NoCalRed.

JaxRed
09-27-2007, 09:46 AM
If his hair looks like ****, you must aquit.

RBA
09-27-2007, 09:54 AM
The article said they were split 10-2.

If you're rich and/or a celebrity in the state of California, you've pretty much got complete carte blanche to do whatever you please.


And how is that different from any other state?

Chip R
09-27-2007, 10:02 AM
And how is that different from any other state?


The aforementioned Michael Vick is probably going to do time. Martha Stewart did time.

RBA
09-27-2007, 11:19 AM
The aforementioned Michael Vick is probably going to do time. Martha Stewart did time.

Darryl Strawberr? Noelle Bush? Rush Limbaugh? Scooter Libby? etc?

Hey, California does have more than their fair of celebraties, afterall this is where a lot of them work. And I'm not happy they get off more than the average man. But saying it only happens in Calfornia is not really true, is it?

Chip R
09-27-2007, 11:22 AM
Darryl Strawberr? Noelle Bush? Rush Limbaugh? Scooter Libby? etc?

Hey, California does have more than their fair of celebraties, afterall this is where a lot of them work. And I'm not happy they get off more than the average man. But saying it only happens in Calfornia is not really true, is it?


No. But it does seem to happen there with quite a bit of frequency as compare to other states.

Yachtzee
09-27-2007, 11:32 AM
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Hoosier Red
09-27-2007, 12:40 PM
What is up with California juries? They brought it 4 or 5 ladies that did not know each other and they all told the same story about how Freek Spector brought out guns and played with them and scared them. That's enough evidence for me right there. I would like to know the jury count. I bet it was 10-2 or 11-1 to convict.


Guilty of what? Being a creepy gun toting jerk?
I'm glad I've never been asked to be on a jury for something like that, I'd have a very hard time not voting to convict even though I feel like the guy is probably guilty.
Much as we don't like it because it allows guilty people to go free, it's very important that the burden of proof be a very very high bar to clear.

I quote Chief Wiggum, "I'd rather let a thousand guilty men go free then chase after one of them."

Ltlabner
09-27-2007, 03:50 PM
I know this is likely verboten so I'll only say this. A "gun enthusiast" is someone who follows the laws, uses firearms safely and is qualified in their operations and basic funcitioning. A dude who finds great enjoyment brandishing his firearms infront of ladies to either "scare them" or "impress them" is an outright nut and is the antithisis of being a "gun enthusiast".

For that matter, someone who wears his hair like that, in a court room where his freedom for his remaining years is being decided, likely isn't very stable to begin with.

GoReds33
09-27-2007, 03:53 PM
I hate how a jury can be "split 10-2." That's rediculiousd. 10 to 2 is well more than a majority.

Chip R
09-27-2007, 03:53 PM
Let's not get into that please.

cincinnati chili
09-30-2007, 12:23 AM
If his hair looks like ****, you must aquit.

Bravo!

GAC
09-30-2007, 09:14 AM
Hours later, police were summoned to Spector's mansion in Alhambra, a suburb of Los Angeles. The diminutive music producer had wandered into the driveway in the predawn and told his Brazilian-born chauffeur, "I think I killed somebody," according to the driver's testimony.

Clarkson was found inside, slumped in a chair in the foyer. She had been shot in the mouth. A .38-caliber Colt Special revolver lay at her feet. It appeared someone had attempted to clean up the blood with a diaper found in the guest bathroom.

Why would he say the above if he wasn't directly involved somehow? Was this testimony diregarded or stricken?

I haven't really followed this case that well; but I'm assuming that even after the above testimony by his driver that his prints weren't found on the gun?

cincinnati chili
09-30-2007, 12:23 PM
Why would he say the above if he wasn't directly involved somehow? Was this testimony diregarded or stricken?



It might have been stricken. If he had said to his chaffeur, "I killed somebody," that's an evidentiary admission of guilt. His chaffeur would be able to testify that he heard it, even though it's hearsay. (It's a "hearsay exception.")

I don't know whether the various states, including California, treat "I think I killed someone" as an admission. If it's not considered an admission, it's plain old hearsay. Thus, the only one who could testify that he said it was Spector. Of course, with our fifth admendment rights, one doesn't have to be compelled to testify against himself. Spector invoked this right.

I hear the DA will re-try this case. While, unfortunately, the taxpayers of California will have to bear the burden, it's not too late for justice to be done here, assuming he's guilty (which it looks like he is).

Jack Burton
09-30-2007, 11:24 PM
Wow, the two that voted against connviction should get a beatdown.