The twelve jurors in the trial of legendary producer Phil Spector, who’s being re-tried for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson that resulted in a hung jury in 2007, will hear the final arguments from the defense today and head into deliberation tomorrow on charges that could land Spector in prison from 15 years to life.
Prosecution attorney and Deputy District Attorney Truc Do told jurors yesterday that Spector was “a demonic maniac” when he drank and “a very dangerous man” around women. “This case is about a man who has had a history of playing Russian roulette with the lives of women,” she said. “Five women got the empty chamber. Lana got the sixth bullet.”
The five women Do referred to all testified in the trial. They were women from Spector’s past who recounted incidents between 1975-1995 that involved Spector confronting them with guns when they tried to leave his presence, though no gun was fired in any of these instances.
Do presented the jury with video presentations of testimony, including that of a now deceased woman who testified in Spector’s original 2007 trial, and discussed blood spatter evidence which refutes Spector’s claims that Clarkson pulled the trigger on the gun herself. Do also referred back to testimony from a chauffeur who says Spector told him after the incident, “I think I killed somebody.” She pushed the jury to find Spector guilty of second-degree murder, not the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Attorney Doron Weinberg will present the defense argument today, with the case’s original prosecutor Alan Jackson also arguing before the jury prior to the start of their deliberations Wednesday.
The defense is expected to continue its argument that Clarkson put the gun in her own mouth six years ago. Clarkson was best known for her starring role in the 1985 cult film Barbarian Queen.
Spector, now 69, is best known for his legendary “Wall of Sound” recording technique and work with the likes of The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Righteous Brothers and Ike and Tina Turner. If convicted of second-degree murder, he faces a sentence of 15 years to life. If convicted on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, he faces two to four years in prison.