Blood spatter analyst supports Spector defense

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The defense in Phil Spector's murder trial on Monday called one of its most highly touted forensic experts, who told jurors that blood spatter from a gunshot wound can travel up to six feet.

The testimony by Stuart James is critical to the defense claim that Spector was too far from actress Lana Clarkson to have shot her but not so far that he could not get a small amount of blood on his jacket if she shot herself.

Clarkson, 40, died from a gunshot fired in her mouth on Feb. 3, 2003.

James, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., scientist who lectures around the world and has written a book on blood stain pattern analysis, showed jurors photographs from his book including one depicting blood spatter produced by a high-velocity mechanism such as a gunshot.

"At six feet you are still getting millimeter-size stains or less. Even small droplets can travel that distance," he said.

"Did you ever suggest that (blood) back spatter is limited to three feet or less?" asked attorney Linda Kenney-Baden.

"No," said the witness.

But James said he has never specifically studied intra-oral gunshot wounds because "You see so few of them. Intra-oral gunshot wounds are not that prevalent."

In her questioning, Kenney-Baden reminded jurors that a key prosecution witnesses, sheriff's criminalist Lynne Herold, said she had taken one of James' courses on blood spatter. She gave the opinion that blood spatter could travel only about two-to-three feet.

Spector, 67, revolutionized rock music recording decades ago with a technique that became known as the "wall of sound." He is charged with murdering Clarkson after she went home with him from her job as a hostess at the House of Blues nightclub. Her most famous role was in the 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen."

Testimony has been under way in Spector's trial since late April.
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