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Phil Spector’s 24-year-old daughter briefly took the witness stand Wednesday as the defense case wound down in his murder trial, but the judge only allowed her to testify that he is right-handed and stopped questioning that suggested he was an attentive father.
Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler then told the jury that the defense was considering calling a few more witnesses, but that the prosecution would begin presenting its rebuttal case in the meantime.
Spector, 67, is accused of shooting actress Lana Clarkson, 40, on Feb. 3, 2003. The defense claims she shot herself.
Nicole Spector, the daughter from the rock producer’s third marriage, told of living in her father’s house for the first eight years of her life, then seeing him frequently after her parents divorced.
During her high school years, she said, her father would pick her up from school and often they would go to her mother’s home for dinner.
“It was mostly daily during the week. He would pick me up from school, from when I was about 13 starting freshman year to about 17 my senior year in high school,” Nicole Spector said under questioning by attorney Linda Kenney-Baden, who asked if they ate dinner together.
“Yes, my mother would cook and we would go back to my — to our house — and he would eat dinner with us and we would watch ‘All in the Family,”‘ the daughter said.
The prosecutor objected and the judge interjected, “Let’s get to the point.”
Kenney-Baden then asked if the young woman had observed Spector since then and his hand usage.
“Yes,” the witness said.
“Is he left-handed or right-handed?” Kenney-Baden asked.
“My dad is right-handed,” said the daughter.
Prosecutors asked her no questions and she was dismissed.
Nicole Spector was one of a set of twins born to Phil Spector and then-wife to Janice Zavala. The boy, Phil Spector Jr., died of leukemia when he was 9. Nicole Spector has attended the trial a few times as has another of the producer’s children, Louis, 41, who was in court Wednesday.
The question of Phil Spector’s hand usage had to do with defense claims that he could not have shot Clarkson, who died in his home from a bullet fired inside her mouth. The defense has called scientists to discuss the direction of blood spatter from the gunshot.
Spector is a legendary music producer whose “wall of sound” recording technique revolutionized rock music. Clarkson, one-time star of the cult movie “Barbarian Queen,” was a down-on-her luck actress working for $9 an hour as a hostess at the House of Blues nightclub when she met Spector and went home with him for a drink.
Spector is accused of murdering her within a few hours. Defense forensic witnesses have said she killed herself.
Defense witnesses Wednesday included computer experts who had been tasked with extracting and analyzing thousands of e-mails from Clarkson’s computer. They said it was impossible to extract all of the e-mails from the older model Apple laptop. But sheriff’s computer analyst Thomas Fortier said he was able to complete a search for the keywords “murder,” “depression” and “suicide.”
Fortier said he found one message using the word depression on Oct. 25, 2002, in which Clarkson wrote to a friend: “The depression level I am experiencing makes me very spent and worn out.”
He also isolated one message received by Clarkson, which she did not erase, from the Screen Actors Guild announcing a depression screening being offered at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
“And the word suicide does not appear anywhere on Lana Clarkson’s computer?” asked prosecutor Alan Jackson.
“That’s correct,” said the witness.
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