Legendary producer Phil Spector has been found guilty of second-degree murder for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.
The verdict was read in a Los Angeles courtroom shortly after 5 p.m. ET on Monday (April 13). The jury in the case — six men and six women — began deliberations March 26, trying to decide if Spector, 69, was guilty of second-degree murder or a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. They opted for the former, and Spector now faces a minimum of 15 years in prison and could serve a life sentence.
In 2003, Spector — known for his famed "Wall of Sound" production techniques and his work with acts like the Ronettes, the Beatles and the Ramones — was charged with the shooting death of Clarkson, 40, who was found dead in the foyer of the producer's Alhambra, California, home.
The case went to trial in 2007, with Spector's defense arguing that Clarkson was depressed after a recent breakup and shot herself, while prosecutors attempted to paint him as a gun-toting villain who had threatened several women in the past. They also had testimony from Spector's driver, who said he heard a loud noise inside the house and saw the producer leave the house, brandishing a pistol and saying, "I think I killed somebody."
After deliberating for 15 days, jurors told a Los Angeles superior court judge that they were unable to reach a verdict, and the case was declared a mistrial.
The retrial began late last year, and this time, the prosecution portrayed Spector as "a sadistic misogynist who had a three-decade history of playing Russian roulette with the lives of women when he was drunk," according to the Los Angeles Times. The producer's defense team maintained once again that Clarkson was depressed over her career and financial concerns and may have committed suicide after a night of heavy drinking with Spector.
At press time, it wasn't known when Spector will be sentenced, but moments after the verdict was read, Spector's attorney, Doron Weinberg, told reporters he plans to appeal the decision.