Web posting about Spector judge probed

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Jurors continued to deliberate the murder charge against Phil Spector on Tuesday as authorities investigated an Internet posting that appeared to threaten the trial judge.

The posting was on a MySpace.com Web page described as "Team Spector," said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

It was being investigated by the sheriff's judicial services unit, which looks into all alleged, implied or direct threats against judges, he said.

Whitmore would not comment on the wording of the posting, but Superior Court spokesman Alan Parachini said it stated "I love Phil Spector" and "The Evil Judge should DIE!!!!" and was signed "xoxo Chelle."

Spector's wife is named Rachelle, but one of his defense attorneys, Christopher Plourd, said Mrs. Spector denied having anything to do with the posting.

Mrs. Spector, a 27-year-old self-described singer, songwriter and musician, recently clashed in court with Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler when he scolded her about giving a TV interview and then e-mailing reporters about it. The judge imposed a gag order on her and others after she talked back to him in court.

Tuesday marked the 11th day on which the jury has deliberated, but some of those days have been very short.

Spector, 67, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 3, 2003, death of actress Lana Clarkson, 40.

Clarkson was killed by a gunshot fired in her mouth as she sat in the foyer of Spector's Alhambra mansion after going home with him for a drink after meeting him at her job as a nightclub hostess. The defense contended Clarkson was depressed and the shot was self-inflicted, either an accident or a suicide.

The case went to the jury on Sept. 10 and the jury foreman told the judge on Sept. 18 that the panel was deadlocked 7-5. After two days of debate among attorneys, the judge revised the jury instructions and the panel resumed talks late on Sept. 20. In addition to those interruptions, the jury has not deliberated on weekends.
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