Tuesday, May 22, 2007

PHIL SPECTOR'S DRIVER GRILLED AT HIS TRIAL FOR MURDER IN LOS ANGELES

Lana Clarkson and Phil Spector

Phil Spector's Brazilian chauffeur wrongly accused the music producer of shooting somebody because he was frightened and his English was poor, a court has been told.Adriano De Souza previously testified Spector had emerged from his Los Angeles mansion - where actress Lana Clarkson was found dead from a shot to the mouth - clutching a revolver on February 3, 2003, and confessed "I think I killed somebody". However, during cross-examination yesterday , Spector's defence attorney Bradley Brunon put it to the immigrant driver that he had misheard his boss. He asked: "Do you think you might have heard, 'I think somebody was killed?' " De Souza - whose native language is Portuguese - replied: "No." The former chauffeur conceded that he was tired, hungry and frightened after seeing Clarkson's body slumped in a chair and her face covered in blood in the early hours of the morning. Brunon asked: "It's hard to see and hear exactly when something is so frightening, isn't it?" De Souza replied: "Yes, a little bit." Brunon also explained to the court that De Souza originally told police officers Spector said "I think I shot somebody" - a slight but important variation on what he said in his testimony earlier this month. He also showed him a transcript of a police interview given less that 24 hours after the shooting, in which he was asked if he could recall Spector's exact words. In the statement, De Souza said: "I think so. I think, I'm not sure. It's my English." Spector, 67, denies murder and his lawyers claim Clarkson accidentally shot herself.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

PHIL SPECTOR GETS READY FOR FIGHT

Phil Spector's lawyers told a court they could scientifically prove the actress he is accused of killing shot herself. On the second day of the music producer's murder trial yesterday, the jury heard Lana Clarkson accidentally committed suicide at the defendant's mansion in February 2003 while under the influence of alcohol and painkillers. Defence lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden admitted they did not know Clarkson's motives but claimed she had been depressed. Kenney-Baden said: "What we do know is that she put the barrel (of the gun) in her mouth. We know she was drinking, we know she was taking pills." Spector's lawyers claim forensic evidence will prove he was not holding the shotgun when it went off, adding he was too far away to shoot Clarkson, 40. Kenney-Baden explained that while "a lot" of gunshot residue (GSR) was found on Clarkson's hands and jacket none was found on Spector's shirt or the right sleeve of his jacket. She said: "It proves that this means he did not shoot that gun. He was too far away to be holding the gun and get GSR on his clothes. "It's not supposition, it's not hypothesis, it is scientific fact." Lead defense attorney Bruce Cutler added Spector - who arrived at the Los Angeles court wearing platform shoes and a dark three-piece suit - "had no motive to hurt this woman and "harboured no malice towards this woman". Meanwhile, prosecutors - who claim Spector, 67, had a "rich history of violence" and had previously pulled guns on unarmed women - called the producer's former girlfriend as their first witness. Dorothy Melvin described a vodka-fueled incident in 1993 during which her ex-lover confronted her with both a revolver and a shotgun, struck her twice in the head and ordered her to strip at gunpoint. She said: "I was sobbing and I said, 'Why are you doing this Phillip? Why are you doing this?' I was crying. I was terrified." When cross-examined, Melvin conceded she never pressed charges and maintained contact with Spector after the episode. The musical genius will face life in prison if he is convicted of killing Clarkson at his Los Angeles hilltop mansion on February 3, 2003. The trial, which is being televised live, is expected to last for up to three months.

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Monday, April 9, 2007

PHIL SPECTOR THREATENED THE WOMAN KILLED AS JURY SELECTION CONTINUES

As the jury selection process continues in Phil Spector's trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson, prosecutors have filed motions to try to get into evidence testimony from four women in Spector's past who say the music producer threatened them and other women. Opening statements in the trial are expected to begin at the end of the month. According to court paper filed last week, a former girlfriend of Spector's claims he pointed a gun at her head after a party at his house. Clarkson was killed by a gunshot in her mouth. Devra Robitaille is prepared to testify that in the mid 1970s, when she was an employee of Spector's record company and involved in a romantic relationship with him, he tried to keep her from leaving his mansion by holding a gun to her head. "She heard something, turned and suddenly Spector was holding a large shotgun, or rifle, using both hands," Prosecutor Alan Jackson wrote in the court document. "He placed the gun against her forehead. Spector, who was drunk, made some sort of joke and then said, `Just so you know, I'll blow your (expletive) head off' or `If you try to leave, I'll blow your (expletive) brains out."' Jackson has four other women ready to testify that Spector threatened them if the judge allows the testimony to show a pattern of behavior by Spector involving guns "whenever women try to leave him."

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