Lawyers for rock'n'roll producer Phil Spector tried yesterday (Oct. 12) to seal from public view the transcript of grand jury testimony that led to him being charged with murdering a B-movie actress.
Lawyers for rock'n'roll producer Phil Spector tried yesterday (Oct. 12) to seal from public view the transcript of grand jury testimony that led to him being charged with murdering a B-movie actress. The Los Angeles district attorney's office opposed the motion, arguing for openness of all public records in the case.
An attorney for the Los Angeles Times tried to speak against the secrecy at a hastily called hearing but was silenced by Judge David S. Wesley, who said the press did not have standing to appear in the case. Wesley ultimately transferred the issue to the judge who will be presiding over Spector's trial.
Defense attorney Roger Rosen said that release of the transcripts would potentially prejudice those who may be called for jury service in the case. "You will lose a lot of potential jurors who may say, 'I remember reading something when the grand jury transcript came out," Rosen said.
Deputy District Attorney Douglas Sortino said it has not been a problem to release court transcripts in previous high-profile cases. "This county has had a lot of famous trials where the facts are disclosed at preliminary hearings and during pretrial motions," he said. "The facts of this case are going to come out."
Attorney Susan Seager, representing the Times, said outside court that the media and public clearly have a right to challenge the sealing of transcripts and said she would file a motion before the next hearing.
Actress Lana Clarkson, 40, was found shot to death at Spector's mansion on Feb. 3, 2003. She was best known as the star of Roger Corman's cult film classic "Barbarian Queen." Clarkson was working as a hostess at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip and went home from there with Spector the night she was killed.
Spector, famed for creating rock¹s "wall of sound" recording technique in the 1960s, is free on $1 million bail.
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