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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Spector judge rules on evidence
Leslie Abramson and Phil Spector
Spector (right) is pictured with one his lawyers, Leslie Abramson
Lawyers for music producer Phil Spector have told a court they are not hiding fingernail evidence from the body of the actress he is accused of killing.

Prosecutors had suggested a torn piece of Lana Clarkson's nail had been found at the scene of the crime last year.

But at a hearing on Friday, a judge accepted the defence's declaration that it had no such evidence.

Mr Spector, 62, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Clarkson at his Los Angeles mansion in February 2003.

The B-movie actress was found shot in the foyer of his hilltop home in the city's Alhambra district.

'Overlooked'

A coroner's report showed Ms Clarkson had been shot with a gun inside her mouth. She had gunshot residue on both of her hands, indicating she may have fired the weapon.

Earlier this year prosecutors said a piece of Ms Clarkson's nail found by a forensic expert had been overlooked by sheriff's investigators. They said the nail was blackened with gunpowder residue.

But on Friday, Superior Court Judge Carlos Uranga said the testimony of the forensic specialist, Henry Lee, was not needed.

Mr Uranga said if the defence did not have the evidence, neither side would be able to use it if it turned up later.

The judge set a preliminary hearing for 20 October to determine whether there was enough evidence to try Mr Spector for murder.

He was charged with murder in November and is on $1m (550,000) bail.




SEE ALSO:
Spector actress 'shot in mouth'
07 May 04  |  Entertainment
Spector lawyer in row over nail
18 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Nail revealed as Spector evidence
05 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Spector swaps murder case lawyers
03 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Phil Spector denies murder charge
21 Nov 03  |  Americas
Phil Spector: Pop innovator
20 Nov 03  |  Entertainment


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