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Harvey Philip SPECTOR



Murder Trial 1


Acclaimed music producer Phil Spector, known for his work with the Beatles, the Ramones and Tina Turner, was arrested Feb. 3, 2005, when officials discovered actress Lana Clarkson's body in the foyer of his California hilltop mansion. He was later freed on $1 million bail.



Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Spector met Lana Clarkson (pictured in 1987), whom he described as "loud and drunk," while she was working as a hostess at a House of Blues in Hollywood. Clarkson, 40, allegedly asked Spector for a ride home, then asked to see his mansion.



Phil Spector started the evening of Feb. 2, 2003, the night Clarkson was killed, with dinner at the Beverly Hills restaurant The Grill on the Alley with a friend, Rommie Davis.



After his chauffeur drove Davis home, Spector returned to The Grill to pick up waitress Kathy Sullivan. They went to Trader Vic's so Sullivan could eat dinner.



Spector and Sullivan then went to Dan Tana's, a celebrity hangout in West Hollywood.



The last stop of the night was the Foundation Room at the House of Blues, the Sunset Strip music venue. There, Spector met Lana Clarkson, who was working as a hostess. After his chauffeur drove Sullivan home, Spector and Clarkson returned to his mansion in Alhambra.



Investigators waited outside Spector's hilltop mansion in Alhambra, Calif., a month after Clarkson died.



Spector, who is known for creating the orchestra-like "wall of sound" recording technique, told Esquire magazine and authorities in 2003 that he was framed. "I didn't do anything wrong," he said. "If they had a case, I'd be sitting in jail right now."



A tow truck removed Phil Spector's Mercedes in February 2003. Spector told authorities that Clarkson asked for a ride home after her shift at the House of Blues ended. Detectives later searched the car.



Phil Spector (center) was escorted by Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies to his car on Sept. 27, 2004, after he was charged with the 2003 shooting death of Clarkson at his California mansion.



Detectives discounted suicide as a cause of death in March 2003 and announced in September that they believed Spector was accountable for the actress's death. "It's not an accident. It's not a suicide," Capt. Frank Merriman told the Los Angeles Times. "Phil Spector shot her." The detectives then submitted blood samples, guns, boxes of ammunition, holsters and computers to prosecutors.



Attorney Douglas Sortino demanded that defense attorney Robert Shapiro turn over a torn piece of Lana Clarkson's fingernail, blackened with gunpowder residue, to be used as evidence. Sortino said the nail was overlooked during crime-scene investigations and would be useful in determining whether Clarkson was murdered or committed suicide.



Spector listened to a prosecutor address Superior Court Judge Carlos Uranga on May 7, 2004. Spector hired Bruce Cutler, the former attorney for mob boss John Gotti, to defend him on murder charges after his previous attorney, Leslie Abramson, stepped down on Aug. 24, 2005. "We were put in an untenable position, and we were forced to resign," Abramson told the Associated Press.



In November 2004, a judge ruled grand jury transcripts should be made public in Spector's murder case and disregarded arguments from defense attorney Bruce Cutler (pictured) stating the documents were "full of lies." The transcripts revealed that Spector told police he mistakenly shot Clarkson, despite his later claims that she committed suicide.



A judge ruled on May 23, 2005, that prosecutors can present evidence involving previous incidents in which he allegedly pulled guns on women. In one 1991 incident, a woman claims that, while she was visiting Spector, she was forced to spend the night in a chair while he pointed a gun at her head and yelled profanities. Defense attorney Bruce Cutler argued that none of the allegations were true and that the women were "acolytes and gold diggers."



On Dec. 15, 2005, Spector dropped a lawsuit claiming he was financially cheated by his former attorney Robert Shapiro. The lawsuit alleged that after Spector gave Shapiro a $1 million retainer, the former attorney did "very little legal work" for his client and the amount that was completed was "incompetently done." The suit also accused Shapiro and his firm of using Spector's "legal plight as an opportunity to unabashedly line their own pockets." Shapiro denied the claims.



Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler ruled that Spector's trial can be televised from start to finish. The judge announced his decision during a hearing Feb. 16, 2007.



Phil Spector arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court on March 19, 2007, for the start of jury selection. After more than 100 prospective jurors filled out questionnaires and were questioned by attorneys, a panel of nine men and three women was sworn in on April 19, 2007.



Spector (right) arrives with his wife, Rachelle, at Los Angeles Superior Court on April 24, 2007.


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