California Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Phil Spector Murder Appeal
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review a murder conviction against record producer Phil Spector, serving a 19-year-to-life term for the February 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson in the foyer of his Alhambra mansion.
The state’s highest court rejected a petition filed by defense attorney Dennis P. Riordan seeking a review of the case where Spector was found guilty of second-degree murder in April 2009.
Three months ago, a three-justice panel from the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld Spector’s conviction. The trio rejected the defense’s claim that jurors should not have heard the accounts of five women who testified they were involved in gun-related incidents with the music industry figure between 1975 and 1995 — years before Clarkson’s death.
“The evidence showed that, when fueled by alcohol and faced with a lack or loss of control over a woman who was alone with him and in whom he had a romantic or sexual interest, Spector underwent a sharp mood swing, exhibited extreme anger and threatened the woman with a gun when she refused to do his bidding,” Presiding Justice Joan D. Klein wrote on behalf of the appellate court panel in a May 2 ruling.
The appellate panel also rejected Spector’s contention that there was prosecutorial misconduct during the closing arguments of his retrial. Clarkson, then 40, met Spector at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip soon after beginning work as a VIP hostess at the West Hollywood venue.
The first jury to hear the case against him had deadlocked 10-2 in favor of guilt in September 2007.
About three weeks after the appellate court panel’s ruling, the 2nd District panel rejected a defense petition asking it to re-hear the case.
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