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Defense presents its case in Phil Spector retrial

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Today the defense takes center stage in the second murder trial of legendary music producer, Phil Spector. The trial has been trudging along quietly for several weeks in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. The  prosecution has been laying out its case with detailed forensics and testimony from experts and witnesses.

Yesterday the prosecution’s final witness, the mother of Lana Clarkson, took the stand. Donna Clarkson insisted her daughter had future plans and job prospects and was not suicidal. On February 3, 2003 Clarkson, a “B movie” actress, was found with a fatal gun shot wound to the mouth in the foyer of Spector’s Alhambra mansion.

The prosecution is trying to convince the jury Spector pulled the trigger of the Colt Cobra revolver. The defense claims the 40-year-old actress took her own life. In 2007, Spector’s first murder trial ended in a mistrial when the jury could not reach a decision. The jurors were deadlocked 10-2 in favor of conviction. 

If found guilty of second degree murder, Spector faces at least 18 years in prison. The 68-year-old music wizard developed the ground breaking  “wall of sound” technique of layering dense musical arrangements on recordings in the 1960s. Spector used this technique on such classic hits as “Be My Baby” (1963) by the Ronettes. Many artists including “The Beatles”, “The Beach Boys” and Bruce Springsteen have used the technique as well. 

Late Thursday, the defense began presenting its case and is expected to call witnesses today.

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