Phil Spector Trial Begins
Thu, 26 Apr 2007 10:09:17
Did "Wall of Sound" producer Phil Spector bring an out-of-work actress back to his Los Angeles mansion, then shoot her in the mouth? That's what jurors will attempt to decide at the conclusion of what is sure to be a lengthy murder trial, which finally got underway yesterday in an L.A. courtroom, more than four years after the alleged murder took place.
Jurors, media, and viewers at home—the trial is being televised—heard opening arguments from both the defense and the prosecution. Spector's attorney, Bruce Cutler, stuck to his client's argument that actress and House of Blues hostess Lana Clarkson was mentally disturbed and used Spector's gun to commit "accidental suicide." Cutler accused authorities of rushing to blame Spector for Clarkson's death because of his celebrity. "They had murder on their mind," Cutler said. "Fame and success come back to haunt you."
For his part, prosecuting attorney Alan Jackson focused on the testimony of Spector's driver, Adriano De Souza, who claims that his boss stumbled out of the house with a pistol and blood on his hands, and declared, "I think I killed somebody." He also noted that Spector had a history of threatening women with firearms, and indicated that several women who had been victims of such episodes would take the stand to recount their experiences.
Because Spector is charged only with second-degree murder, he could face no more than 15 years in prison if convicted.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff