Music producer Phil Spector was suffering withdrawal symptoms from seven prescription drugs when he told police that he had shot and killed actress Lana Clarkson at his California mansion in 2003, his defense attorneys argue in court papers.
Attorneys representing Spector are trying to get a judge to throw out his incriminating statements.
In a recently filed defense brief, attorney Bruce Cutler claimed that Spector, 64, “was experiencing symptoms of withdrawal from his medications, which could include hallucinations, forgetfulness, serious fatigue and/or slurring.” Alhambra, Calif., police refused or ignored his requests for his medication after they took him into custody at his home, Cutler said.
The medications were for treating depression, seizures, stomach acid, migraines and pain. One was an antibiotic. Prosecutors, who have until Oct. 21 to formally respond to the filing, declined to comment on Cutler’s claims.
Spector faces life in prison if convicted of killing Clarkson, who starred in Roger Corman’s cult film classic “Barbarian Queen” and had been working as a hostess at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip. Spector has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on $1 million bail.
According to transcripts of an Alhambra police interrogation, Spector initially apologized for accidentally shooting Clarkson but later said she had committed suicide.
Defense lawyers also want Superior Court Judge Larry P. Fidler to exclude evidence of 14 guns seized from Spector’s home and the record producer’s past misdemeanor firearms convictions.
Fidler ruled in May that he would allow testimony from four women who said Spector had threatened them. The judge has said he expects trial to begin in January.
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