Spector jury retires after viewing tapes

first_imgSpector, 67, is charged with second-degree murder. Clarkson, 40, died Feb. 3, 2003, from a gunshot fired in her mouth. The defense contends that the shot was self-inflicted, either an accident or a suicide. The jury recessed talks for the night with no indication of a decision. The case went to the jury Sept. 10 and the jury foreman told the judge Sept. 18 that the panel was deadlocked 7-5. After two days of debate among attorneys, the judge revised the jury instructions and the panel resumed talks late Thursday. The jurors also deliberated Friday before taking the weekend off. When the jury returned Monday, the defense filed a motion asking Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler to give the panel more guidance to clarify controversial new instructions he issued last week to help break a 7-5 deadlock. Fidler listened to arguments from the defense and prosecution and took the motion under submission. Phil Spector’s jury deliberated Monday with the help of a VCR to review videotape evidence in the record producer’s trial on a charge of murdering actress Lana Clarkson. There was no indication why the jury asked to have the VCR brought into deliberations, but during the evidence phase of the case the jury was shown videotape of sheriff’s investigators interviewing Spector’s chauffeur. Driver Adriano De Souza was a key witness who testified that Spector came out of his mansion with a gun in his hand and stated “I think I killed somebody” as Clarkson’s body sat slumped in a foyer chair behind him. There was also videotape of a fountain in the courtyard where the chauffeur was waiting at the time. The defense contended the fountain and other noises made it difficult for the Brazilian-born driver to understand Spector. Superior Court spokesman Alan Parachini said later that the judge informally indicated to the lawyers that he would not grant the motion. The judge, however, did not plan a hearing to formally put his decision on the record. After the jury reported the impasse last week, the judge withdrew a so-called pinpoint instruction that several jurors indicated was giving them trouble.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more