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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Spector's ex tells of gun threats
Phil Spector
Mr Spector has pleaded not guilty to the charges
A former girlfriend of music producer Phil Spector has told his murder trial that she was threatened with two guns after he became drunk.

Dorothy Melvin told the Los Angeles court she fled Mr Spector's house when he brandished a pistol and shotgun after a night's drinking in 1993.

She claimed she had been struck twice in the face and ordered to strip but also admitted to not pressing charges.

Mr Spector denies shooting actress Lana Clarkson at his home in 2003.

Ms Melvin told the court how Mr Spector, 67, became violent after a row.

Cross examination

"He took his right hand that was holding the revolver and smacked me on the side of the head, and at that point I knew I was in trouble," she said.

Dorothy Melvin in court
Prosecution witness Dorothy Melvin said she was left sobbing by Spector
Ms Melvin added that Mr Spector then ordered her to leave the house but she found the gate locked.

"Then I saw Phil coming down the driveway and I heard the pump of a shotgun," she said.

"He was screaming... and I was screaming, 'The gate won't open.'"

She returned with police but admitted under defence cross examination that she had maintained contact with Mr Spector for years afterward.

'Scientific fact'

Defence lawyers had earlier said scientific evidence will prove the producer's claim that Ms Clarkson shot herself.

Bruce Cutler, defending, said forensics would show the fatal shot was "a classic self-inflicted type of injury".

He was too far away to be holding the gun and get GSR (gunshot residue) on his clothes
Defence lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden

"The gun was in her mouth, put there by her," Mr Cutler said.

"There's no evidence that a gun was forced in her mouth. There were no broken teeth in," he added.

Co-counsel, Linda Kenney-Baden said evidence showed Mr Spector was too far away from the actress to have killed her.

"The science will tell you that Phil Spector was not holding the gun in the decedent's mouth, that he was not close enough ... to hold the gun in the decedent's mouth," she said.

She explained that "a lot" of gunshot residue had been found on Ms Clarkson's hands and jacket, but that police had found none on Spector's shirt and the right sleeve of his jacket.

"It proves that this means he did not shoot that gun. He was too far away to be holding the gun and get GSR (gunshot residue) on his clothes," she said.

"It's not supposition, it's not hypothesis, it's scientific fact."

'Sinister and deadly'

Wearing platform shoes and a dark three-piece suit, Mr Spector showed no emotion during the morning's proceedings.

Previously the prosecution had told jurors that Mr Spector had a history of violence against women.

Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson described to the court a pattern of behaviour in Mr Spector, where he would get drunk, take a woman home, and threaten her with a gun if she refused to stay.

Lana Clarkson
Lana Clarkson was found dead at Spector's mansion

Mr Jackson said Mr Spector was someone "who, when he's confronted with the right circumstances, when he's confronted with the right situations, turns sinister and deadly".

He suggested that the actress "was simply the last in a long line of women who fell victim to Philip Spector over the years".

Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler has allowed five women to testify about Mr Spector brandishing guns around them between 1988 and 1995, despite objections from Mr Spector's lawyers.

A jury of nine men and three women was sworn in last week for the trial, which is being televised and is expected to last up to three months.

It is not clear whether Mr Spector, who has shunned the public eye for decades, will testify at the trial.




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