Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Saturday, 21 March 2009

Jury directed in Spector retrial

Phil Spector and wife Rachelle Spector
Spector's lawyers claim actress Clarkson killed herself

The judge in the murder retrial of Phil Spector has advised the jury they can consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Music producer Spector, 68, is accused of shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his home in 2003.

The jury in his 2007 trial could not reach a unanimous decision, with the majority favouring a conviction on second-degree murder.

Closing prosecution and defence arguments are scheduled for Monday.

Defence objection

Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler's ruling reverses his decision in Spector's first trial, when he refused to instruct the jury that it could consider voluntary or involuntary manslaughter in the death of Clarkson.

Defence lawyer Doron Weinberg has objected to the ruling, saying it could confuse the jury and that there was "not a shred of factual or legal support" for involuntary manslaughter.

Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson told jurors at the start of the trial last October that Spector was in a "fit of rage" when 40-year-old nightclub hostess Clarkson tried to leave his home, and that the producer "put a bullet in her head".

Spector's lawyers claim the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

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