Phil Spector's Lawyers Appeal Murder Conviction
The Man, The Myth, The Hair
Rolling Stone reports that Phil Spector's lawyers have appealed his 2009 conviction for the murder of Lana Clarkson at his house in 2003.
His lawyers have requested a new trial on the grounds of "judicial error and prosecutorial misconduct":
In papers filed Wednesday, the attorneys claimed prosecutors improperly used testimony from five women who claimed that Spector threatened them with guns in the past. The accounts, they wrote, "became the heart of the state's case" and were used to persuade jury members to convict Spector "based on his bad character and evil propensities." His lawyers said their testimonies had nothing to do with Clarkson's death and that none of their stories "involved events in which Mr. Spector put a gun in someone's mouth, much less fired it."
The 70-year-old record producer and mastermind of the Wall of Sound is currently serving a 19 years to life sentence.
Spector's lawyers criticized the actions of Judge Larry Paul Fidler, citing that he allowed prosecutors to use the word "pattern" more than 40 times in describing Spector's history with women and guns. They also decried the judge's decision to allow jurors in the second trial to see a taped hearing from the first trial that was conducted outside the presence of Spector. On the tape, the judge was seen interpreting a forensic witness's testimony about the position of the blood spatter on Clarkson's body. "Under California law, a judge may not offer evidence in a trial over which he presides," the appeal states, adding that the judge could not be cross-examined by the defense on what the prosecutors said was the most important fact of the case -- whether the blood spatter showed who pulled the trigger.
Meanwhile, Spector awaits the result of this new round of LA Law proceedings from his uncomfortable cell. We are not sure if he ever received the iPod he requested a couple of months ago, but we'd gladly send him one in exchange for exclusive MP3s of his legendary lost Celine Dion sessions!