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Last Updated: Friday, 18 February, 2005, 09:23 GMT
Judge sets date for Spector trial
Phil Spector
Phil Spector has denied murdering actress Lana Clarkson
A judge has set a date for the trial of "Wall of Sound" music producer Phil Spector, who is accused of killing B-movie actress Lana Clarkson.

Mr Spector appeared in court in Los Angeles, where Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler announced his trial would begin on 16 September.

Mr Spector, 64, is currently free on $1m (528,000) bail.

He has repeatedly denied murdering the actress, claiming her death, at his LA home in February 2003, was accidental.

Mr Spector answered "yes, your honour" when the judge asked him if he wished to waive his right to a speedy trial.

Judge Fidler also said he is intending to review a motion from the prosecution about what evidence should be used in the case.

Gunshot residue

The music producer and his lawyer declined to comment after Thursday's hearing.

Mr Spector, a legendary music producer who has worked with the Beatles among others, has claimed in pre-trial hearings that the actress committed suicide.

His lawyers, led by Bruce Cutler, have vowed to prove him innocent at trial.

An autopsy report concluded a gun was placed in Ms Clarkson's mouth and fired, and that she had gunshot residue on both her hands.

Mr Spector's chauffeur Adriano de Souza said in court papers released in January that he dropped the couple off outside the producer's mansion in Alhambra in February 2003. While waiting outside, he heard a noise that sounded like a pop.

He added that Mr Spector came outside minutes later holding a gun, and quoted him as saying: "I think I killed somebody."

Civil action

The music producer is also facing civil action from Ms Clarkson's mother Donna, who is seeking unspecified damages on the grounds that he murdered her daughter.

Ms Clarkson's legal action, filed earlier this month in Los Angeles Superior Court, also accuses Mr Spector of negligence and battery, alleging he "grabbed, hit, fought with and restrained" Lana Clarkson before shooting her to death.

Mr Spector's lawyer Bruce Cutler said: "Phil did not cause the death of this woman, he's not criminally responsible and he's not civilly responsible either."

Lawyers for the mother of Ms Clarkson have said they will allow the criminal case to proceed will not "do anything that will interfere with the prosecution".



SEE ALSO:
Spector facing more legal action
04 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Spector 'said death was accident'
07 Jan 05 |  Entertainment
Spector evidence to be released
11 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Spector indicted on murder charge
27 Sep 04 |  Americas
Spector judge rules on evidence
03 Jul 04 |  Entertainment
Spector actress 'shot in mouth'
07 May 04 |  Entertainment
Phil Spector: Pop innovator
20 Nov 03 |  Entertainment


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