Page last updated at 19:35 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 20:35 UK

Phil Spector jailed for 19 years


The judge ordered Spector to pay $16,811 in funeral expenses and other fees

US music producer Phil Spector has been jailed for at least 19 years for murdering an actress in 2003.

The producer, 69, famed for his Wall of Sound recording technique, was last month found guilty of shooting Lana Clarkson at his California home.

Spector had pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder during the five-month retrial in Los Angeles. His lawyers said he would appeal.

Ms Clarkson was best known for her role in 1985 cult film Barbarian Queen.

On Friday, Spector was given a sentence of 15 years to life for second-degree murder and an additional four years for personal use of a gun.

The presiding judge at the court in Los Angeles said Spector must serve at least 19 years before being eligible for parole - by which time he will be 88 years old.

Spector was given a retrial after the jury in his original trial failed to reach a unanimous decision in 2007.

Prolific career

Spector sat motionless in court in Los Angeles, his eyelids drooping slightly, as the sentence was read out, the BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani reports.

Lana Clarkson appeared in cult 1980s film Barbarian Queen
Lana Clarkson appeared in cult 1980s film Barbarian Queen

There were few surprises, our correspondent says. The crime of second-degree murder of which he was convicted carries a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, with a maximum of life.

He denied all along that he was responsible for the death of Lana Clarkson, whom he had met in a bar, but the jury decided he had shot her in the mouth at his mansion near Los Angeles.

Before sentencing, the victim's mother, Donna, gave a statement to the court, saying: "My beautiful daughter, I miss you so."

Phil Spector's work as a music producer influenced millions.

He invented the Wall of Sound and created some of the most memorable pop hits of the 1960s for acts like Tina Turner, the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers.

But for all his musical genius, Spector had a dark side.

He was often described as being a bully in the studio, a man with a liking for guns and an eccentric personality.

During the five-month retrial, five female acquaintances testified that Spector had threatened them at gunpoint in incidents dating back to the 1970s.

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