Phil Spector Judge Declares Mistrial In Murder Case

Jury, which had been deadlocked, was unable to arrive at a verdict.

The jury weighing the fate of Phil Spector was not able to render a unanimous verdict in the music producer's murder trial, forcing Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler to declare a mistrial Wednesday afternoon (September 26), according to The Associated Press.

All the jurors told Fidler they were at an impasse, with the foreman explaining that the panel was logjammed 10 to 2. There was no indication which way the majority was leaning.

"At this time, I will find that the jury is unable to arrive at a verdict and declare a mistrial in this matter," Fidler said, ending nearly two weeks of deadlocked deliberations in the case involving the death of 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson.

There was no discussion about a possible retrial.

Nevertheless, after the mistrial was announced, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said during a brief news conference, "We're disappointed and we will begin immediately preparing for the retrial," according to the Los Angeles Times. Clarkson family attorney John C. Taylor reiterated that claim, saying, "We will not rest until justice is done."

Jurors also spoke out about the verdict, according to the Times. "The defense put enough out there and it stuck," one juror, who went unnamed, said of the reason why a verdict was not reached. He added: "This country has a great judicial system. When there is a doubt and the jury cannot find a unanimous decision, does that mean the jury has wasted its time? No."

The jury deliberated the case for 44 hours, including Wednesday morning.

"There is deep regret," said another juror, who also went unnamed. "I don't think any jury has worked harder."

Spector, who is 67, had been charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Clarkson. He was accused of shooting the actress February 3, 2003, just hours after the two first met at West Hollywood, California's House of Blues, where Clarkson worked as a hostess. If convicted, Spector would have lived out the rest of his days behind bars.

Throughout the trial, the prosecution claimed Spector killed Clarkson with a single gunshot through the mouth. However, the defense argued the gunshot was self-inflicted, claiming Clarkson suffered from depression. Her body was discovered in the foyer of Spector's Alhambra, California, mansion just hours after her death.

There were signs early on in the deliberations that the proceedings might end with a mistrial. On September 19, after seven days behind closed doors, the jurors informed Fidler they had come to a stalemate and were split 7 to 5.

[This story was originally published at 5:56 p.m. ET on 09.26.2007]