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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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."
denied the claims.
Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler ruled that Spector's
trial can be televised from start to finish.
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.