The foreman of the jury in Phil Spector’s murder trial told the judge today (Sept. 18) that the panel is at an impasse of 7 to 5, but he did not indicate which way it was leaning.
“At this time I don’t believe that anything else will change the positions of the jurors,” the foreman said when Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler asked if there was anything he could do to help.
Polled individually, some jurors agreed with the foreman and others disagreed. One suggested further instruction about reasonable doubt. The judge then sent the panelists back into the jury room to discuss the situation with lawyers, saying he intended to send the jurors home for the day.
The defense immediately asked for a mistrial, but the judge denied it on grounds that three jurors indicated further instructions may help.
The record producer is charged with second-degree murder, and the judge previously ruled that the panel would decide only that charge and not consider lesser charges such as manslaughter. However, Fidler told the attorneys he was reconsidering and might instruct the jury to consider a lesser charge.
Spector, 67, is charged in the Feb. 3, 2003, shooting of actress Lana Clarkson, 40. The case went to the jury Sept. 10.
Clarkson was killed by a bullet fired from a gun inside her mouth. The defense contended in the lengthy trial that she had many personal problems and killed herself either by accident or suicide.
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