Prosecutors rested their case today (Jan. 22) in the murder retrial of legendary music producer Phil Spector.
The final prosecution witness was Donna Clarkson, mother of 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson, who died of a gunshot through the mouth at Spector's California mansion in February 2003. It ended nine weeks of testimony.
Donna Clarkson testified about spending her last day with her daughter shoe-shopping for Lana Clarkson's job as a hostess at the House of Blues nightclub. Her daughter died the next morning.
Clarkson said her daughter hoped to return to acting in movies and TV. Clarkson made a splash in the '80s as the star of the cult film "Barbarian Queen."
Spector's first trial ended in a jury deadlock in 2007. Spector attorney Doron Weinberg planned to begin the defense case Monday. He said outside court that his presentation should take about three weeks, concluding in February. The first trial lasted five months.
Weinberg has asked to take the jury to Spector's Alhambra home, known as "The Castle." Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler has not ruled yet on whether the visit will be allowed.
The defense claims that Clarkson, down on her luck and despondent about her future, pulled the trigger on the gun that killed her. The prosecution maintains that Spector shot her to death in the foyer of his home.
Testimony at the second trial has mirrored the basic facts presented the first time around but has featured a different defense approach from Weinberg, who is new to the case and working without other lawyers. The first trial had a defense team of five and was marked by discord among lawyers.
After the first jury hung 10-2 with the majority favoring conviction, Spector's original defense team departed and he hired Weinberg, a well-reputed San Francisco lawyer.
Spector, wearing a long black frock coat and white slacks, sat at the counsel table, and his wife, Rachelle, sat in the front row of the spectator section. Spector is free on $1 million bail.
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