Spector defense attacks testimony of women
EmptyFive women who testified in Phil Spector's murder trial that he threatened them with guns long before the death of Lana Clarkson did not reveal a motive, his attorney argued to the jury Friday.
Defense attorney Linda Kenney-Baden described the women as "select past relationships that were brought into this courtroom from 10, 20, 30 years ago."
The women were called in a prosecution effort to show that the record producer has a pattern of getting drunk and threatening women with guns when they try to leave his presence.
"The government wants you to believe that these alleged incidents prove that Phillip Spector had a motive to kill somebody he only met ... a couple hours before," Kenney-Baden said.
"All of the women here have long-term relationships with Phillip Spector," she said. "They knew him for a long time. Some of them even continued their relationships after the supposed allegations that were testified to."
Spector, 67, is accused of second-degree murder. Clarkson, 40, died of a gunshot fired in her mouth while seated in a chair in the foyer of his mansion about 5 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2003. The star of the 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen" had gone home with him from her job as a hostess at a nightclub where she met him a few hours earlier.
Kenney-Baden said that from the testimony of the five women it was learned that "there's a period of time with Phillip where he spends time being charming, romantic, thoughtful."
"That doesn't fit the psychological profile of somebody who would just kill somebody the first time he met her -- not the same," the attorney said.
Kenney-Baden was expected to conclude her argument Friday. After a prosecution rebuttal, Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler was to instruct the jury and turn the case over to the panel for deliberations. The judge, however, said the jury might not get the case until Monday.
On Thursday, Kenney-Baden asserted that prosecutors presented a black-and-white view in which Spector must have shot Clarkson because he is a bad man and she was a good woman.
"The government thinks that if you are sympathetic with Lana Clarkson you will want to convict Phil Spector," she said. "And wouldn't it be so easy to convict him on that basis, so easy because you hate him from what you've heard? Wouldn't it be so easy? But it would be so wrong."
The defense sought to show through its expert witnesses that Clarkson was depressed about acting career struggles, a financial crisis and other personal problems, and died of a self-inflicted wound, possibly in a spontaneous act fueled by alcohol.
"How does the government tell the story in order to get you to hate Phil Spector?" Kenney-Baden said.
"First they portray Lana Clarkson as ... happy, hopeful, vulnerable and naive," she said. "They know that if they portray her in this way you will reasonably conclude that Phil Spector controlled all of the events that night and that she had no choice whatsoever about going back to his house with him or about leaving."
Kenney-Baden addressed the issue of how Clarkson would have known there was a gun in a drawer in the foyer.
"Let's get over the idea that the gun was secreted with Phil Spector's bullets in Phil Spector's drawer," she said, citing testimony by a woman friend of Spector that when they first went out he advised her he had a gun in his car.
"So you can infer ... that he told Lana Clarkson, since it was the first time he met her, that he had a gun or carried a gun and that he had put it in the holster and he put it in the drawer when he came home," she said.
The defense attorney said that if Spector shot Clarkson there would have been far more blood spatter and tissue on the white coat he wore, rather than the minuscule amounts that were found. There was no "void area " in the blood spatter on Clarkson where it would have been intercepted by a shooter's hand, arm or body, she said.
And she sought to rebut perhaps the prosecution's strongest point -- Spector's words as related by a Brazilian immigrant chauffeur who said he saw him come out of his house with a gun in his hand. Adriano De Souza quoted Spector as saying: "I think I killed somebody."
Kenney-Baden said De Souza's problems with English -- his second language -- the noise of a fountain in Spector's courtyard, a car radio playing and music coming from the house, made the quote suspect.
"Mr. De Souza had the classic problem of a lot of witnesses," she said. "He was simply mistaken."