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Skummy

Phil Spector guilty of murder

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US music producer Phil Spector has been convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his home four years ago.

The 68-year-old, famous for the "Wall of Sound" recording technique, faces between 15 years and life in prison.

He had pleaded not guilty to the second degree murder of 40-year-old Ms Clarkson, who was shot in the mouth at Spector's home in Los Angeles.

The trial, at the city's Superior Court, lasted five months and saw 77 witnesses take the stand.

Second degree murder falls between first degree murder, which requires proof of pre-meditation, and manslaughter.

Actress Clarkson, 40, had been working as a hostess at the House of Blues venue in Los Angeles, and went home with Spector on the night of her death.

After appearing in cult 1980s films such as Barbarian Queen and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, her acting career had hit the rocks.

Spector had arrived at the club with waitress Kathy Sullivan, before setting his sights on Ms Clarkson.

Spector's Brazilian chauffeur, Adriano De Souza, said his boss appeared to be intoxicated and that Ms Clarkson was initially reluctant to go home with the music producer.

She was found dead in the foyer of his house in the early hours of the morning.

A holster that matched the snub-nosed Cold Cobra revolver that Spector used to kill her was found in a drawer in the foyer.

Mr De Souza called the emergency services, saying: "I think my boss killed somebody", after Spector emerged from his home with a gun.

He told jurors Spector had said: "I think I killed somebody."

The producer was taken into custody about 40 minutes after the shooting and had to be subdued by officers using a stun gun.

The trial also heard from a number of women who said Spector had threatened them with guns in the past.

Defence lawyers had argued that Ms Clarkson's death was a suicide.

Spector himself decided not to give evidence.

The two sides in the trial closed their cases on 7 September.

The prosecution, speaking last, offered a dramatic animated video purporting to recreate the shooting, showing Spector within inches of Ms Clarkson's mouth.

Prolific career

"These are not evidence," prosecutor Pat Dixon said of the animations. "They are our view of what happened."

Spector's lawyer closed her case by asking jurors not to become "vigilantes", appealing to them not to judge the star on his eccentric appearance, or by stories of women who dated him.

The jury began their deliberations on 11 September, but returned to court after a week to say they were split over the verdict.

Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler ruled they would not be allowed to consider a lesser charge of manslaughter after hearing arguments from lawyers on both sides of the case.

Spector worked with some of the biggest names in the pop and rock business, including The Beatles and Ike and Tina Turner.

He produced hits including You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' by the Righteous Brothers and the Ronettes' Be My Baby.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/ente...ent/6984082.stm

Published: 2009/04/13 21:22:06 GMT

Seemed inevitable, and it's almost certainly the correct verdict. It's sad (and always has been), that one of the few true geniuses in pop music had to be such a tortured individual - him and Joe Meek both - but if you believe half the stories about the guy, he should've been locked up somewhere decades ago. Good to see an LA court not being blinded by celebrity, too.

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I'm not all that surprised either I suppose. This affair must have been going for a pretty long while because I seem to remember first hearing these allegations ages ago.

And yes, it is a shame. He has been at the helm of some absolutely fantastic inspirational music in his time and I'm sure that will continue regardless of his conviction.

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You have no idea how much my dad has been waiting for this. Loves his musicial productions, can't deal with the man.

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I wonder how Brian Wilson is dealing with this, the man being his idol and all.

I gotta agree with Skummy. This is the 2nd time in a year a celebrity has had to pay the piper, with OJ Simpson (finally) being the other one. Hell, he should've been locked up just for the way he treated his ex-wife Ronnie.

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He's going to be appealing and apparently there's a pretty good chance he'll get off on technicalities (dodgy evidence), but it might take upto 2 years to get [back] to court.

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I remember reading a biography of the Ramones, and Phil Spector holding them at his house at gun point. I specifically remember Dee Dee being the one who seemed to be one most spooked by Spector's erratic behavior.

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If we're going down the route of naming horrible Phil Spector hackjobs, the only choice is "Death Of A Ladies Man". Good god no man.

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If we're going down the route of naming horrible Phil Spector hackjobs, the only choice is Lana Clarkson.

Fix'd.

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