The second time around turned out to be a real downer for legendary music producer Phil Spector. Today, the Los Angeles jury in Spector’s retrial found him guilty of second degree murder for the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion in 2003. The first trial in 2007 ended in a mistrial because the jury was unable to reach a verdict. That jury deadlocked 10-2 for conviction.
The retrial began last October. This time Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler gave jurors the option of second degree murder or a lesser charge, involuntary manslaughter. The jury, six men and six women, began deliberations on March 26 and took about 30 hours to reach a verdict. Also, the panel found the eccentric producer guilty of using a firearm to commit a crime. Due to the seriousness of the charges, the judge ordered Spector taken into custody immediately.
Spector became famous back in the 1960s when he created a dense layered instrumental sound on recordings called the “wall of sound.” Spector produced such rock hits as “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” by the Righteous Brothers, and “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “He’s A Rebel” by The Crystals. The 69-year-old music whiz has won two Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
Spector is scheduled to be sentenced on May 26, 2009. He’s could get 18 years-to-life.