Six years after actress Lana Clarkson died in [artist id="16648"]Phil Spector[/artist]'s mansion, the jury in the Wall of Sound producer's second murder trial is expected to begin deliberations on Wednesday (March 25).
According to The Associated Press, on Tuesday, Spector's attorney, Doron Weinberg, told the jury in closing arguments that Clarkson pulled the trigger on the gun that killed her, pointing to forensic evidence that included gunshot residue and DNA as proof that the actress committed suicide.
"Mr. Spector did not kill Lana Clarkson," Weinberg said. "That's what the evidence shows." At one point, the defense attorney brought out the gun that killed Clarkson, showed it to jurors and said the blood on its grip proved that she was holding it when it went off, noting that Spector's DNA was not on it, that there was no gunshot residue on his clothing and that the producer's DNA was not found under Clarkson's fingernails.
Weinberg urged jurors to ignore statements made the day before by prosecutors, who called Spector a "demonic maniac" in an attempt to paint the legendary producer as a madman with a violent history of threatening women with guns. Spector, 69, whose first trial in the case ended in a deadlocked jury in 2007, is charged with second-degree murder and faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted, though the jury can consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, which would send him to prison for up to 10 years.
"Every single fact says this is a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Weinberg said, according to the AP. "How do you ignore it? How do you say this could have been a homicide?" Weinberg had asked for a mistrial on Monday in the case, which has lasted nearly six months, arguing that prosecutor Truc Do was attempting to convict Spector based on his character rather than evidence.
Spector's chauffeur has testified that the producer — who has worked with everyone from the Beatles to the Ramones to Leonard Cohen — came out of his house on the night Clarkson died, February 3, 2003, and said, "I think I killed somebody." Spector invited the 40-year-old cocktail waitress and B-movie actress back to his mansion after meeting her that night at the House of Blues, where she was working. The prosecution has argued that the alleged murder was part of a pattern of violence toward women that Spector has shown in the past.