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 Phil Spector guilty of murder

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Dawnie
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PostSubject: Phil Spector guilty of murder   Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:54 am

Music legend Phil Spector is facing a lengthy jail term after being convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson.

A jury in the five-month retrial of the 69-year-old producer unanimously convicted him of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life imprisonment.

Ms Clarkson, 40, died of a gunshot fired into her mouth while sitting in the foyer of Spector's hill-top mansion in 2003.

The producer - famous for his Wall of Sound recording technique - denied the charge and was gaunt and quiet as the verdict was read out in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

He was remanded in custody until sentencing on May 29 and his lawyer said he planned to appeal.

Second-degree murder falls between first degree murder, which requires proof of pre-meditation, and manslaughter.

Judge Larry Fidler said: "In Mr Spector's favour is the fact he has made all his appearances throughout the two trials."

But he said his conviction and history of violence weighed against that, adding: "Public protection and public safety are paramount."

Spector looked frail and yawned as he entered the courtroom to learn his fate. He was wearing a black suit and a red tie with a red silk handkerchief in the pocket.

The jury of six men and six women had deliberated for around 30 hours before pronouncing him guilty.

Spector - who worked with the likes of the Beatles, The Righteous Brothers and Tina Turner - spoke only to whisper "Yes" in agreement to the date of sentence. His wife Rachelle sobbed and left court with a bodyguard.

Ms Clarkson was murdered on February 3, 2003, hours after meeting Spector at the House of Blues nightclub.

The actress and bar hostess was killed in the early hours of the next morning.

Two successive juries heard testimony from Spector's driver claiming Spector emerged from the house brandishing a gun and saying: "I think I killed someone."

But his lawyers maintained Ms Clarkson committed suicide. In an magazine interview, Spector said she "kissed the gun" before pulling the trigger herself.

The first trial was ended in 2007 after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision required under law. They were stuck at 10 to two in favour of a conviction.

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