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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Phil Spector jury fails to decide
Phil Spector at the Los Angeles Superior Court (26.09.07)
Mr Spector pleaded not guilty to second degree murder
The jury in the murder trial of music producer Phil Spector has failed to reach a verdict, leading a mistrial to be declared.

The jurors said they were split 10 to two in favour of convicting Mr Spector.

The judge in Los Angeles discharged the jury after 12 days of deliberation. Prosecutors want a retrial.

Mr Spector had faced between 15 years and life imprisonment if found guilty of murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his California home in February 2003.

Ms Clarkson's lawyer John Taylor said: "We will not rest until justice is done."

The actress was found with a gunshot wound in her mouth after a night out. During the four-month trial, defence lawyers argued it was suicide.

Phil Spector with wife Rachelle
Mr Spector looked strained as he left court with his wife
The panel had been deliberating since 10 September. The foreman said there was "deep regret that we were unable to reach a unanimous verdict".

The judge has set a hearing for 3 October to decide how the case will now proceed.

Mr Spector and his wife Rachelle, 27, left the court without speaking to journalists but later smiled and waved at television news helicopters hovering above their home.

Mr Spector, 67, was charged with second degree murder. It falls between first degree murder - which requires proof of pre-meditation - and manslaughter.

Ms Clarkson, 40, had been working as a hostess at the House of Blues venue in Los Angeles, where she met Mr Spector on the night of her death.

'Despondent'

The actress accompanied the producer to his mansion in the early hours of the morning but was later found in his foyer.

A holster matching the snub-nosed Colt Cobra revolver that killed Ms Clarkson was found in a drawer in the foyer.

Ms Clarkson had been working at the nightclub after struggling to find acting roles, and the trial had heard how she was despondent about her career in the months before her death.

Lana Clarkson
Lana Clarkson appeared in cult 1980s film Barbarian Queen
Mr Spector's Brazilian chauffeur Adriano De Souza said at the trial that he heard a "pow" at about 5am. His boss emerged from the house several minutes later and told him: "I think I killed somebody," the driver testified.

But less than 24 hours after the shooting, Mr De Souza was asked by police if he could recall Mr Spector's exact words. "I think so. I think, I'm not sure. It's my English," he said.

One of the crucial questions was whether the forensic evidence proved Mr Spector was close enough to the victim to have been able to shoot her in the mouth.

Mr Spector's lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden told jurors the absence of gunshot residue and blood from his sleeves showed he had not fired the fatal shot.

The producer never took to the stand but told Esquire magazine in 2003 that Ms Clarkson had committed suicide and he had "no idea why".

Mr Spector has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business, including The Beatles, and is famous for pioneering the "Wall of Sound" recording technique in the 1960s.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Phil Spector leaving the courtroom after the mistrial



PHIL SPECTOR MURDER TRIAL

Phil Spector Hung jury
Why the jury failed to reach a verdict in Phil Spector's murder trial

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