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Old May 29, 2009, 04:00 AM   #1
Esmirelda
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Default Phil Spector Gets Sentenced Today

Phil Spector faces sentencing in murder of actress

By LINDA DEUTSCH,AP
Posted: 2009-05-29

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Six years ago, Phil Spector was barely a blip on the American celebrity radar screen. Although his music lived on, his name and face were only dimly recalled by rock music aficionados until a shooting at his Alhambra mansion propelled him to notoriety.

Now he faces sentencing Friday on second-degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson, a conviction that suggests to some that California prosecutors have broken a decades-long string of celebrity murder case losses. The names O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake come to mind.

But Spector is in a class of his own. He was not a performer, not a sports star with a following or a singer who captivated the public. He was a music producer, a behind-the-scenes guy whose ideas changed the sound of rock music. He invented the "Wall of Sound," a revolutionary recording technique. And he was known for bizarre behavior. Famous, yes. A celebrity? Not in today's pop culture.

Spector is a frail and ailing 69-year-old for whom the mandated minimum sentence of 15 years would likely be a life sentence. His lawyer says he is enduring jail by focusing on his plans to appeal.

"He's doing fairly well," said Doron Weinberg. "He's adjusting to the circumstances and settling down to wait out an appeal with high hopes. He feels he will win the appeal."

Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler has little leeway in sentencing. The 15-years-to-life sentence is mandated by law. Fidler's only decision is whether to add three or four years for personal use of a gun. The prosecution has asked for four and the defense has said three years is appropriate.

Spector had two trials with essentially the same evidence. His first in 2007 was televised gavel to gavel and spectators flocked to the courtroom. But when the jury deadlocked after a five-month trial, his legal "dream team," which at times numbered half a dozen lawyers, bailed out.

By the time the second trial started in 2008, interest had waned. The judge ordered cameras turned off and only a handful of spectators and reporters stopped in sporadically to watch testimony.

The retrial lasted the same length of time as the first trial, but there was only one defense lawyer: Weinberg, a well-regarded veteran from San Francisco. A young woman prosecutor, Truc Do, was brought in to work with Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson. Most importantly, there was a new jury. The forewoman wept after the guilty verdict but gave no hint of what tipped the scales on the panel's decision except to say it was based on "all the evidence, all the testimony."

During jury selection, only a few panelists remembered Spector's heyday as producer of teen anthems including "To Know Him is to Love Him," The Ronette's "Be My Baby," The Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron" and The Righteous Brothers' classic, "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'." Spector also worked on a Beatles album with John Lennon.

Ironically, Clarkson didn't know Spector's music legacy either when she met him only hours before she wound up dead at his Alhambra "castle." The 40-year-old actress had starred in Roger Corman's 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen," but in 2003 she was working as a hostess at the House of Blues nightclub, where she had to be told by a manager that Spector was an important man.

His time had passed. And Clarkson's career was also ebbing. Their fateful meeting, recounted in both trials, led to her death and the end of his life as he knew it. For the next six years he spent millions on lawyers as he sought to prove that Clarkson killed herself.

But what had happened inside his house was never clear. Clarkson's body was slumped in a chair in a foyer. A gun had been fired inside her mouth. Spector's chauffeur, the key witness, said he heard a gunshot, then saw Spector emerge holding a gun and heard him say: "I think I killed somebody."

Weinberg said forensic evidence proved that Clarkson shot herself and cited her desperation at not being able to get acting work. Jackson said the shooting fit the pattern of other confrontations between Spector and women, and Do said Spector would become "a demonic maniac" when he drank.

Much of the case hinged on the testimony of five women from Spector's past who said he threatened them with guns when they tried to leave his presence. The parallels with the night Clarkson died were chilling even if the stories were very old - 31 years in one instance.

Weinberg said Spector's appeal will assert that the judge erred in allowing the women to testify.
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Old May 29, 2009, 06:56 AM   #2
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Frankly, I think it serves him right.

The dude was a few hounds short of a pack, methinks.
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Old May 29, 2009, 12:19 PM   #3
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http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/29/...ing/index.html

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Music producer Phil Spector was sentenced Friday to the maximum sentence of 19 years to life for the murder six years ago of actress Lana Clarkson.
Phil Spector's first murder trial in 2007 ended in a mistrial as jurors said they couldn't reach a verdict.

That means Spector, 69, would be 88 before he would be eligible for parole.

Slumped, stone-faced and wearing a dark suit and bright red tie, he sat silently throughout his sentencing by Judge Larry Paul Fidler.

Spector's lawyer gave a $17,000 check to Donna Clarkson, the victim's mother, to pay for her funeral expenses -- part of the court-ordered sentence.

"All of our plans together are destroyed," the mother said, reading a statement on behalf of her family. "Now, I can only visit her at the cemetery."

Fidler denied a motion for a new trial by defense attorney Doron Weinberg, who said he would file an appeal.

"The evidence did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty for the simple reason [that] he did not kill Lana Clarkson," Weinberg said.

"Obviously, he's not very happy," Spector's wife, Rachelle, told reporters about her husband. "I'm going to stand by him and get him out of that awful place so he can come home where he belongs."


Clarkson, 40, was found dead -- slumped in a chair in the foyer of Spector's Alhambra, California, mansion with a gunshot wound through the roof of her mouth -- in February 2003.

Spector's trial, which began in October, ended last month when jurors deliberated for 30 hours and then announced a guilty verdict on the second-degree murder charge. Fidler had ruled jurors also could consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Spector's first murder trial in 2007 ended in a mistrial as jurors said they couldn't reach a verdict after 15 days of deliberations. Jurors then were deadlocked 10-2 in favor of conviction.

Fidler declined to allow Spector to remain free on bail pending sentencing, citing Spector's years-long "pattern of violence" involving firearms.

"This was not an isolated incident," Fidler said, noting Spector's two firearms-related convictions from the 1970s. "The taking of an innocent human life, it doesn't get any more serious than that."

In closing arguments at the retrial, prosecutor Truc Do called Spector "a very dangerous man" who "has a history of playing Russian roulette with women -- six women. Lana just happened to be the sixth."

Weinberg argued that the prosecution's case hinged on circumstantial evidence. He said the possibility that Clarkson committed suicide could not be ruled out.

Do pointed out to jurors, however, that Clarkson had bought new shoes on the day of her death -- something he said a suicidal woman would not have done.

A female juror who declined to be identified told reporters the jurors considered all the evidence and testimony to reach their verdict.

"This entire jury took this so seriously," she said with tears in her eyes, before adding that "it's tough to be in a jury," because another person's life is in the jury's hands.

Clarkson starred in the 1985 B-movie "Barbarian Queen" and appeared in many other films, including "Deathstalker," "Blind Date," "Scarface," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and the spoof "Amazon Women on the Moon." She was working as a VIP hostess at Hollywood's House of Blues at the time of her death.

In the 2007 trial, Spector's attorneys argued that Clarkson was depressed over a recent breakup and grabbed a .38-caliber pistol to kill herself while at Spector's home.

But prosecution witnesses painted Spector as a gun-toting menace. Five women took the stand and testified that he had threatened them with firearms. His driver testified that he heard a loud noise and saw the producer leave the home, pistol in hand, saying, "I think I killed somebody."

Spector's professional trademark was the "Wall of Sound," the layering of instrumental tracks and percussion that underpinned a string of hits on his Philles label -- named for Spector and his business partner, Lester Sill -- in the early 1960s.

The roaring arrangements were the heart of what he called "little symphonies for the kids" -- among them No. 1 hits like the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'."

Spector co-produced the Beatles' final album, "Let It Be," and worked with ex-Beatles George Harrison and John Lennon on solo projects after the group broke up. His recording of Harrison's 1971 benefit concert for war relief in Bangladesh won the 1972 Grammy award for album of the year.

That was one of two Grammy Awards won by Spector, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. He stayed out of the public eye for two decades before his 2003 arrest in Clarkson's death.
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Old May 29, 2009, 09:17 PM   #4
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Do pointed out to jurors, however, that Clarkson had bought new shoes on the day of her death -- something he said a suicidal woman would not have done.
Non sequiters <3

I would've thought that the pics alone kind of proved she was murdered.
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Old May 29, 2009, 09:24 PM   #5
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Let's see. I'm depressed, meet a strange man, follow him home (blonde moment there), dig out his gun that I never knew he owned, load it with bullets I miraculously knew where to find and commit suicide. Yeah, that seems like the way to do it!
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Old May 30, 2009, 06:36 AM   #6
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It's quite sad, but like BB said, serves him right.
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Old May 30, 2009, 09:17 AM   #7
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Spector once waved a gun around in a studio when John was present. He allegedly shot the wall, I believe.

Considering the traumatic manner in which John was killed a few years later, this story certainly does not endear me to Mr. Spector, whom I feel is 6 cans short of a 6-pack. Maybe he can get free therapy in jail to hammer out the kinks where he thinks.
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Old May 30, 2009, 10:03 AM   #8
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I bet Ronnie is glad.
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Old May 31, 2009, 06:01 AM   #9
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I bet Ronnie will get a lot of questions about that come August...
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Old Jun 01, 2009, 11:37 AM   #10
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He sounded more like a jailer than a husband to her.
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Old Jun 13, 2009, 11:19 AM   #11
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The mug shot:

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Old Jun 13, 2009, 11:33 AM   #12
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All that crazy hair was just wigs?
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 02:21 PM   #13
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Yeah it was
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Old Jun 19, 2009, 04:59 AM   #14
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What a sad pathetic figure he looks. A life over.
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Old Jun 19, 2009, 09:52 AM   #15
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Very sad indeed......
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Old Jun 19, 2009, 02:51 PM   #16
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It is sad. Spector looks like the years have beaten him with a baseball bat.

The whole thing is just so sad...
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Old May 27, 2011, 01:38 PM   #17
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Court refuses to reconsider Spector's appeal

By LINDA DEUTSCH - AP Special Correspondent May 27, 4:22 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) An appeals court on Friday refused to reconsider music producer Phil Spector's appeal of his murder conviction, saying there was overwhelming evidence of his guilt.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal panel acknowledged it did not consider an issue that defense lawyers now say was critical to his conviction. But they blamed the lawyers for failing to adequately brief the point and said they had no obligation to consider it.

They quoted case law saying, "Issues do not have a life of their own: if they are not raised ... we consider the issues waived."

Spector, a well-known rock music producer, was convicted two years ago of fatally shooting actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion in 2003. He is serving 19 years to life in prison on a second-degree murder conviction.

His first trial ended in a hung jury; the second ended in a conviction. Defense lawyers have said they will take the case to the California Supreme Court.

Attorneys had argued in the appeal that the during the trial, Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler prejudiced the case by allowing prosecutors to use pictures of him in closing arguments as if he was a witness. They said Fidler also improperly allowed jurors to watch a videotape of him explaining a witness' testimony about forensic evidence at a hearing outside the jury's presence.

Attorney Dennis Riordan with colleagues Charles Sevilla and Donald M. Horgan, argued in the petition for rehearing that by allowing jurors to watch the tape and see the photos, Fidler turned himself into a witness and violated his neutrality.

"No aspect of the trial was more startling," they said, noting that in discussions within the legal community, "the assertion that prosecutors included multiple images of the presiding judge among the photos of their witnesses is met without exception by shocked incredulity."

In an addendum to their original ruling they conceded that Spector raised the issue briefly but said, "This cursory treatment in Spector's opening brief does not constitute an adequate presentation of the issue."

"Moreover, given the overwhelming evidence against Spector, we cannot see how the issue could have prejudiced him," they said.

Link to article
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Old May 27, 2011, 01:42 PM   #18
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Ehum, maybe this topic belongs in the Here, There instead?
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Old May 30, 2011, 03:12 AM   #19
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I'd like to see what this "overwelming evidence" against Spector is, considering ALL the forensic evidence is against him pulling the trigger. No Blood even on his white suit, even though the gunshot wound was inflicted at point blank range and he would have been soaked in it..

Infact ALL the forensic evidence seems to point to his innocence..

I believe the judge and jury took one look at Spector, and worse, repeated looks at him throughout the trial, his dress and bizarre behaviour and decided the guys a nut, he did it..Eccentric, a bit mad? Perhaps. A genius. Definetly. A killer? No.

I am not claiming to know everything that went on in that house that night, maybe it was an accident, i don't know. But i don't believe Phil Spector killed that woman. Testimony he pulled guns on women 30 years ago is irrelevant, he pulled guns on men like Leonard Cohen and The Ramones (!) 30 years ago too. they went on to complete great records with him. How serious was this one needs to ask? He had never killed anyone before in all that time when he was certainly alot crazier..

I highly recomend watching the excellent "The agony and ecstacy of Phil Spector" which has a candid and highly entertaining and similtanously poignant interview With Phil before his sentencing, along with alot of the evidence and lets the viewer decide for themselves..

Seriously, juries find accomplished liars OJ Simpson and Robert Blake innocent and find Phil Spector guilty?!
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Old May 30, 2011, 04:01 AM   #20
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Seriously, juries find accomplished liars OJ Simpson and Robert Blake innocent and find Phil Spector guilty?!
That's the USA for yah.
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