Report: Spector Said He Accidentally Shot Actress
Producer Phil Spector initially told police he mistakenly shot actress Lana Clarkson, though he has since changed his story to suggest she committed suicide, according to newly released grand jury traProducer Phil Spector initially told police he mistakenly shot actress Lana Clarkson, though he has since changed his story to suggest she committed suicide, according to newly released grand jury transcripts.
Alhambra (Calif.) Police Officer Beatrice Rodriguez testified that Spector told officers at his home, "What's wrong with you guys? What are you doing? I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident."
Spector, 64, is charged with murdering Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion in early 2003. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail. He suggested in a 2003 interview with Esquire magazine that Clarkson, 40, may have shot herself.
The Los Angeles Times reported today (Jan. 7) on the contents of the five volumes of grand jury transcripts, which include testimony from police, women who had been previously threatened by Spector and friends of Clarkson. The documents were made available this week after media organizations including the Times and the Associated Press won a legal battle to unseal them.
According to the transcripts cited by the Times, Spector's chauffeur, Adriano De Souza, testified that after he heard a gunshot while waiting outside, Spector emerged from his home holding a revolver and said, "I think I killed somebody."
Three women also testified that Spector, in separate incidents, had acted recklessly and threatened them with a gun. Prosecutor Doug Sortino told grand jurors their testimony demonstrated that Spector was guilty of implied malice, meaning he acted in such an "inherently dangerous" way that he could be responsible for murder.
The most recent incident came at a 1999 holiday party at a Beverly Hills-area home. Deborah Strand told the grand jury that she saw a man she later learned was Spector flicking ash from his cigar on her boyfriend's dog after it jumped on him. When she told him, "You can leave," Spector turned around and pointed a gun at her right cheek, she testified.
"He said, 'What are you going to say now?'" she told the grand jury. "He looked at me, and I looked at his bodyguard [who] was standing by the entranceway and I said, 'Get him out of here now.' ... That registered in his head, and he immediately took the gun off of my face, put it away; and in a matter of seconds they left without force. They just walked out, that was it."
A Superior Court judge said in November that Spector's lawyers failed to show how releasing the grand jury transcripts would prevent a fair jury from being chosen for trial. On Wednesday, an appellate court lifted an order staying release of the documents.
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