Phil Spector, legendary rock music producer, and inventor of the "Wall of Sound" recording technique, has been found guilty of second-degree murder, and is facing a sentence of 15 years to life imprisonment.
This was Spector’s second trial, after the first ended in deadlock with jurors remaining 10-2 in favor of conviction, for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who was found dead at his mansion six years ago. The jury in this recent trial returned a verdict of guilty after deliberating for 29-30 hours, and ignored the option of involuntary manslaughter, opting instead for second-degree murder, which carries a heavier sentence.
Spector showed no emotion whatsoever when the verdict was returned, however his wife Rachelle, broke down in tears as the decision was announced. Spector’s defense had claimed that the actress had killed herself by placing the gun in her mouth and used 14 points of forensic evidence, including blood spatter patterns, DNA and gunshot residue to prove that it was a self-inflicted act.
The prosecution presented blood spatter evidence proving that Clarkson could not have shot herself. They also called in several witnesses who gave damning accounts of Spector as a wild and dangerous man who became a "demonic maniac" under the influence of alcohol, with a history of threatening women with guns."
Spector, 69, had been out in Hollywood on the night he met Ms Clarkson at the House of Blues, where she was the hostess. She had gone home with him for a drink when the club shut and was dead three hours later.
The prosecutions key witness, Spector’s own chauffeur, testified at the trial that he had heard a gunshot and saw his boss emerge from the room holding a gun, saying “I think I killed somebody”.
Of the six men and six women on the jury, three were gun owners, seven knew someone who had committed suicide, and one described himself as a fan of Spector.
He is being remanded in custody pending sentencing.
Date: April 2009
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