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Monday April 13, 2009, Phil Spector charged with second-degree murder in Los Angeles.

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Rock music producer, Phil Spector, was found guilty on Monday April 13, 2009 for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson.  His attorney argued that Lana Clarkson had committed suicide by placing a pistol in her mouth and firing it.  He pointed to DNA, blood-splatter and gunshot residue to support his case.  Despite this, the Superior Court jury returned, after deliberating for 30 hours, with a verdict of guilty.  Here is a breakdown of the charges:

  • Second-degree murder – 15 years to life in prison
  • Use of a firearm in the committing of a crime – three to 10 years in prison

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Star of the 1985 cult classic “Barbarian Queen,” 40 year-old Lana Clarkson died while sitting in the foyer of Spector’s mansion from a bullet shot in her mouth on the night of February 3, 2003.  She was working as a hostess at the club House of Blues when she met Phil Spector that infamous night.  When the club closed she accompanied Spector and his chauffeur to his home for drinks and it was the last time she was seen alive.  Spectors chauffeur, the key witness, said that he heard the sound of a gunshot and, afterwards, saw Spector with a gun in his hand saying, “I think I killed somebody.”

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Judge Larry Paul Fidler sent Spector to jail immediately in spite of defense attorney, Doron Weinberg, arguing that he should remain free on bail until his sentencing on May 29.  Spector is facing at least 18 years in prison and up to the rest of his life.  However, Doron Weinber has claimed that some rulings made by Judge Fidler would be a basis for an appeal. 

The defense argues that Judge Fidler should not have allowed past girlfriends of Spector’s to tesitfy in the trial.  However, based on the testimonies of five women, it was revealed that Spector had threatened women in a very similar way going back as far as 31 years ago.  They said that he would invite them to his mansion and would get drunk, belligerent and threaten them with a gun when they were upset and ready to leave.  The prosecutors ultimately delivered their point to the jury.

 

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Phil Spector is known for producing such music classics as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling,” ”To Know Him is to Love Him” and “He’s a Rebel.”  Upholding the value that one is innocent until proven guilty, he has remained free for six years since Lana Clarkson was found shot to death in the foyer of his mansion.  Now that he is 68 years old, he will not see freedom again until he is at least 86, pending an appeal, of course.