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ALHAMBRA, Calif. — Jurors visited Phil Spector’s mansion Thursday to get a firsthand look at the place where actress Lana Clarkson died four years ago.
Jurors, lawyers and Spector himself arrived at the home, 15 miles northeast of Los Angeles, in several vans shortly before 10:30 a.m. They stopped at the home’s parking area before going inside to the foyer where Clarkson’s body was found, slumped down in a chair, with a gunshot wound through her mouth.
The parking area is where a chauffeur who took Spector and Clarkson to the home has testified he was waiting in his car when he heard a gunshot from inside the house. He said Spector came out and told him, “I think I killed somebody.”
Defense attorneys have contended that the noise from a large fountain, which was running Thursday, may have caused the chauffeur to misunderstand Spector.
Spector is accused of murdering Clarkson four years ago after she went home with him for a drink. The question of where Spector was standing when she was shot and how far blood can travel have been key issues in the case.
Prosecutors contend that blood spatter on Spector’s jacket got there when he shot Clarkson. The defense says Clarkson shot herself and the spatter could have hit him when he stood as far as six feet away.
Later in the day, jurors were expected to return to the courtroom to hear testimony from a fifth woman who claims Spector threatened her with a gun.
Devra Robitaille’s testimony follows accounts from four other women who each said earlier in the trial that Spector had threatened them.
The prosecution has made the women’s testimony the cornerstone of its case against Spector, claiming he showed a pattern of taking women home with him, holding them at gunpoint and refusing to allow them to leave.
They say the pattern was repeated with deadly results when Clarkson was shot Feb. 3, 2003.
Defense attorney Bradley Brunon argued against the additional witness, saying that prosecutors deliberately held back Robitaille’s testimony until near the end of the trial to give it added impact.
Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler said allowing Robitaille to testify would indicate that “other witnesses are telling the truth and there is strength in numbers.”
Spector, 67, gained fame with his “Wall of Sound” music recording technique on hits such as “Be My Baby” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” Clarkson found modest fame as the star of a cult movie, “Barbarian Queen,” in the 1980s, but was working as a nightclub hostess at the time of her death.
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