Spector’s lawyers appeal murder conviction

By | Published on Wednesday 13 April 2011

Phil Spector

So, could the Phil Spector case be heading back to a court near you? Well, only if you live in California I suppose.

Lawyers for the incarcerated legendary record producers have filed hundred of pages of argument to the California 2nd District Court Of Appeal requesting their client’s second-degree murder conviction be quashed and a new trial – a third – take place. Spector’s lawyers argue that misconduct by both the prosecution and judge in the original trial should render its outcome void, and those arguments are being considered by the appeals court this week.

As much previously reported, Spector was convicted for the murder of one time actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills mansion. She had accompanied him back to his home in early 2003 after meeting the producer in a club where she worked.

At some point during the night she was shot dead. Spector claimed Clarkson had taken one of his guns and shot herself, while the prosecution argued it was the producer who pulled the trigger, probably by accident. They paraded a string of other women before the jury who said that Spector had at some point pulled a gun on them too during late night liaisons.

At the first trial the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision, but on second hearing he was found guilty and handed a minimum 19 year prison sentence, which he is currently serving. But Spector’s legal team say the producer didn’t get a fair trial, because of the actions of the prosecution and decisions of Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler.

In particular, they reckon that the testimonies of those aforementioned former friends of the producer who had had similar run ins with a gun wielding Spector late at night should not have been allowed, because they are entirely circumstantial and not relevant to the Clarkson shooting. Spector’s new legal man Dennis Riordan says some of the judge’s actions were “startling”.

But speaking for the prosecution, Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Daniels disputes Riordan’s arguments, saying the evidence against Spector was so strong that any small procedural mistakes, had they occurred, would have been insignificant with regards the final judgement.

The appeals court will now consider Spector’s case. They could take up to three months to reach a conclusion.