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Spector jury favored conviction; D.A. plans retrial

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Spector jury favored conviction 10-2; D.A. plans retrial
  • The two holdouts believed actress' death could have been a suicide
  • Prosecutors said Spector shot Lana Clarkson when she tried to leave
  • Defense said Clarkson shot herself in the mouth
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From Paul Vercammen
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Prosecutors said they will retry legendary music producer Phil Spector after a jury was unable to decide whether he was guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.


Phil Spector did not testify at his five-month murder trial. The jury said it was split 10-2.

Attorneys return to court next week to discuss legal options, but prosecutor Pat Dixon said he had told Superior Court Larry Fidler of his plans to go ahead with a second trial.

Fidler declared the mistrial after the jury deadlocked 10-2 on its 12th day of deliberations. Jurors said later that most of them favored conviction, but two believed the defense scenario that Clarkson might have taken her own life.

Spector was poker-faced. As he left court with his wife, Rachelle, she linked her arm in his with a look of relief on her face. Spector said nothing to reporters before he was driven away.

Donna Clarkson, the dead woman's mother, also showed no emotion as Fidler sent the nine men and three women on the jury home.

Jurors, none of whom would give his or her name, told reporters afterward that the two holdouts believed Clarkson's death could have been a suicide.

"There was enough reasonable doubt. The defense put it out there and it stuck," said one juror, who identified himself only as Bob.

Two sources inside the Spector legal case said juror No. 10, the jury foreman, and juror No. 1, one of three women on the panel, were the two members of the jury who voted not guilty.

The foreman is a civil engineer for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and lives in Alhambra, as does Spector. He was 32 years old when the jury was impaneled five months ago.

Juror No. 1 was 37 when the trial started and works for the Superior Court Probation Violation Department.

The jury took six ballots, but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. They added there was nothing Fidler could do to help them arrive at a unanimous verdict. Video Watch what the jurors have to say »

Spector went on trial in April, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Clarkson, a B-movie actress, after a night out in the clubs of Hollywood.

A 6-foot-tall, blue-eyed blonde with a toothpaste commercial smile, Clarkson was known for her roles in "Barbarian Queen" and "Amazon Women on the Moon." But at 40, the parts were few and far between and she had taken a $9-an-hour job as a VIP hostess at the House of Blues in Hollywood.

Spector invented the "wall of sound" in the 1960s and worked with the Beatles, Ike and Tina Turner and other acts. Normally reclusive, Spector had spent a rare night out on the town, found Clarkson at the House of Blues at closing time and invited her home for a drink in the wee hours of February 3, 2003.

After initially turning him down, she agreed to accompany him, according to testimony.

Hours later, police were summoned to Spector's mansion in Alhambra, a suburb of Los Angeles. The diminutive music producer had wandered into the driveway in the predawn and told his Brazilian-born chauffeur, "I think I killed somebody," according to the driver's testimony.

Clarkson was found inside, slumped in a chair in the foyer. She had been shot through the roof of her mouth. A .38-caliber Colt Special revolver lay at her feet. It appeared someone had attempted to clean up the blood with a diaper found in the guest bathroom.

Spector's attorneys argued that Clarkson was depressed over a recent breakup, grabbed the gun and took her own life.

But prosecution witnesses painted Spector as a gun-toting menace, with five women telling harrowing tales on the witness stand of the music producer threatening them with firearms. Spector's driver testified he heard a loud noise and saw the producer leave the home, pistol in hand, saying, "I think I killed somebody."

At issue was whether Spector pulled the trigger -- or whether Clarkson did. In photos projected on a large screen, the gruesome crime scene resembled a set decorated for a horror film.

In all, 77 witnesses testified and more than 600 pieces of evidence were submitted. The evidence cart wheeled into the jury room was piled high with exhibits.

The experts' testimony differed widely on what the physical evidence showed and the jury toured the scene of the alleged crime.

Prosecutors pointed to the leopard print purse slung over Clarkson's shoulder as evidence she was trying to leave when she was shot.

The defense argued that blood-spatter evidence on the white women's jacket Spector wore showed he was standing too far away to place the gun in Clarkson's mouth.


Spector hired and fired a who's who of legal talent for his defense. High-profile defense attorneys who have left the case include Leslie Abramson and Bruce Cutler.

He also changed hairstyles several times during the trial, and wore flamboyant clothing, including frock coats and pastel-colored ties and pocket handkerchiefs. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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