Phil Spector case ends in mistrial
The latest L.A. celebrity trial has come to an end...for now. After 12 days of deliberation and ceaseless media speculation, the jury for Phil Spector's murder trial returned to court yesterday to announce that they were deadlocked, with 10 members favoring a guilty verdict and two favoring non-guilty for the famed record producer. Judge Larry Paul Fidler promptly declared a mistrial after the jury reported that a unanimous decision appeared impossible.
The jury's split formed around the possibility that Lana Clarkson, the actress whose body was found in Spector's home in 2003, committed suicide. Spector's defense had introduced e-mails from Clarkson as well as witnesses suggesting that she might have had suicidal tendencies prior to her death. The two dissenting jurors found this angle enough to justify reasonable doubt. Linda Deutsch of AP News has an excellent write-up of the trial and the jury's deliberations.
Prosecutors want a retrial, and a hearing has been set for Oct. 3, meaning that this soap opera could be far from over. Spector is best known for his "Wall of Sound" productions for '60s girl groups such as the Ronettes, as well as his reworking of the Beatles' Let It Be sessions. He is a noted eccentric genius, but whether he was capable of murder remains in doubt.
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