Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Spector actress 'killed herself'

Phil Spector
Phil Spector could be sent to prison for 15 years if convicted

The defence in the Phil Spector murder retrial has told the jury that his alleged victim killed herself.

The music producer's lawyer, Doron Weinberg, listed 14 pieces of forensic evidence to back up the claim that Lana Clarkson's wounds were self-inflicted.

The actress died of a single gunshot wound while at Mr Spector's Los Angeles mansion in 2003.

Mr Weinberg said the prosecution's case "relies on the starting proposition that Phillip Spector is a bad person".

'Drama and accusations'

Mr Weinberg asked the judge for a mistrial on the grounds that the prosecution had attacked Mr Spector's character rather than focussing on the evidence.

The judge turned down his request.

Mr Weinberg talked through the forensic evidence as it displayed on a large screen for the jurors.

He used blood spatter, gunshot residue and DNA clues to make his case, pointing out that Mr Spector's DNA had not been found on the gun.

He said the prosecution had given the jury "drama and accusations" but that they must "start with the science and forensics."

"Mr Spector did not kill Lana Clarkson. That's what the evidence shows," he added.

'Russian roulette'

The prosecution made their closing arguments before the defence and accused Mr Spector of demonstrating a "conscious disregard for human life".

Deputy District Attorney Truc Do said: "This case is about a man who has had a history of playing Russian roulette with the lives of women.

"Five women got the empty chamber. Lana got the sixth bullet" she continued.

The producer, who became famous for inventing the Wall of Sound recording technique in the 1960s, was in court during the arguments.

Mr Spector denies murder. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. The jury are allowed to consider involuntary manslaughter which would mean up to four years of jail time.



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