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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 10:49 GMT
Spector swaps murder case lawyers
Phil Spector (centre) outside court
Phil Spector (centre) pleaded innocent to murder in November
Record producer Phil Spector has hired prominent US lawyer Leslie Abramson to handle his murder trial, replacing his previous lawyer Robert Shapiro.

Ms Abramson said she postponed her retirement to represent Mr Spector, a music legend, while Mr Shapiro gave no reason for leaving the case.

"No other defendant was someone I considered an idol, an icon and the definition of cool," Ms Abramson said.

Mr Spector denies killing actress Lana Clarkson in Los Angeles last February.

Ms Clarkson, a TV and B-movie actress, was found dead outside Mr Spector's Los Angeles home.

Actress Lana Clarkson
Lana Clarkson had roles in shows like The A-Team and Knight Rider
The producer pleaded innocent to murder in November, and has suggested that Ms Clarkson died in a bizarre act of suicide after "kissing" the gun.

Mr Spector made his name in the 1960s, when his "Wall of Sound" technique, used with acts like the Beatles and The Ronettes, transformed pop music.

Ms Abramson said she studied his case files and "I don't see any evidence that he did it".

She said she was about to retire when contacted by Mr Spector. "No other defendant would get me to give up my freedom," she said.

Ms Abramson became well-known after defending brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, who were convicted of murdering their wealthy parents in 1996.

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04 Feb 03  |  Entertainment


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