Mistrial Declared In Phil Spector Murder Trial
The murder trial of music producer Phil Spector ended in a mistrial today (Sept. 26) because of a deadlocked jury. The mistrial came on the 12th day of deliberations on whether Spector murdered actresThe murder trial of music producer Phil Spector ended in a mistrial today (Sept. 26) because of a deadlocked jury. The mistrial came on the 12th day of deliberations on whether Spector murdered actress Lana Clarkson more than 4 1/2 years ago. The 12-member panel had heard about five months of testimony.
The jury foreman reported the panel was deadlocked 10 to 2 but did not indicate which way it was leaning. The jury reported a 7-5 impasse last week and had resumed deliberations with modified instructions.
"At this time, I will find that the jury is unable to arrive at a verdict and declare a mistrial in this matter," Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler said.
Spector, 67, is charged with second-degree murder. Clarkson, 40, died when a gun went off in her mouth as she sat in a chair in the foyer of Spector's Alhambra mansion about 5 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2003. She had met Spector just a few hours earlier at her job as a nightclub hostess and went home with him for a drink after work.
The defense contended throughout the trial that Clarkson had personal problems and died of a self-inflicted wound that was an accident or a suicide.
Prosecutors presented Spector's chauffeur, who said that he heard a "pow" and that Spector then came outside with a gun in his hand and stated: "I think I killed somebody."
Prosecutors also called five women from Spector's past who testified that he long ago terrorized them with guns when they tried to leave his presence.
In a sideshow to the deliberations, authorities had said yesterday they were investigating a possible threat to the trial judge that was posted on the Internet. The MySpace.com posting contained the phrases "I love Phil Spector" and "The Evil Judge should DIE!!!!"
The posting was on a page called "Team Spector," said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. It was later taken down, Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said.
Sheriff's investigators were looking into the messages, which were signed "xoxo Chelle," according to Parachini. Spector's wife is named Rachelle, but one of the music producer's attorneys, Christopher Plourd, said she denied having anything to do with the notes.
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