LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lawyers for Phil Spector tried Tuesday to persuade a state appeals court to reverse the imprisoned record producer’s 2009 murder conviction of actress Lana Clarkson and grant a new trial based on alleged judicial error and prosecution misconduct.
Attorneys say jurors should not have heard about five women who said they were involved in gun-related incidents with Spector years before Clarkson’s death. The prosecution says Spector’s prior actions with firearms are relevant to the Clarkson case.
If Spector, 71, were to receive a new trial, it would be his third on the charge that he murdered the actress in 2003. His first jury in 2007 deadlocked 10-2 in favor of a guilty verdict. A second jury convicted him in April 2009, and he was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.
Spector’s lawyers in both trials contended he did not kill Clarkson and suggested that forensic evidence showed the star of “Barbarian Queen” was depressed and shot herself in the mouth.
In a reply to the defense appeals brief, Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Daniels argued that evidence pointing to Spector’s guilt was so extensive that any legal missteps would have been “harmless error” which would not have changed the jury verdict.
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