Spector DA, Judge Plan for Immediate Retrial
Phil Spector mistrial call sends DA and others scrambling for retrial â€” plus jurors speak outÂ By Stacey Silberman for Hollywood Today
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) September 30, 2007â€“ â€œPhil Spector will be re-arrested within a week,â€ predicted former Lana Clarkson publicist Edward Lozzi. â€œThere will be a new trial.â€ District Attorney Pat Dixon is just as adamant and asked the court for an immediate re-trial. Defense attorney Roger Rosen requested a date â€œ60 days out.â€ Judge Larry Paul Fidler also wanted it on the fast track. â€œThatâ€™s way too long, I was thinking of something in the next two weeks,â€ he said. A hearing that could set it all in motion is set for Oct. 3. READ HOLLYWOOD TODAY
Spector might not actually be re-arrested, unless charges change. He is technically still out on bail for murder, and the prosecutors continue to believe they have a winning case. And since all players now know the evidence, a retrial should move much faster than the original.
The bravado regarding a retrial could not mask Lozziâ€™s anger after hearing Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler declare a mistrial in the Spector case yesterday. After 44 hours over 12 days deliberating murder versus suicide, the jury gave-up, with a deadlock of 10 to 2.
Â â€œNine men on that downtown jury and maybe two of them didnâ€™t think it was a big deal to hold a gun on a lady when they wanted sex,â€ he said. â€œLike many people, Iâ€™m upset but not surprised by the verdict,â€ said Lozzi, who sat through much of the long trial. â€œWhatâ€™s really upsetting is that Lanaâ€™s mother and sister never said anything for four and a half years. Itâ€™s a very negative thing for juries and reporters.â€
But her family is here now talking civil suit. Attorney John C. Taylor will spearhead the Clarkson family suit seeking financial damages from Spector. But only after the criminal matter is settled.
Clarksonâ€™s mother and sister believe that Spector killed Lana and want restitution. They are following the same route as other survivors following acquittals in celebrity trials. Not unlike the cases of O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake.
But justice may be served one way or another for Lana and family. â€œWe will try Phil Spector again,â€ according to spokesperson Sandy Gibbons in the DAs office.Â Many attorneys following the trial have weighed in on the case and its outcome.
â€œSomebody is dead and Spector will get re-tried. We will just have to wait and see another jury of his peers determine his fate,â€ said prominent Century City defense lawyer John Pierson. â€œI think being a celebrity in our celebrity-conscious society has certain benefits. When you look through a jurorâ€™s prism it may affect how they view the facts. So here, where itâ€™s a close call, he enjoyed the benefit of the doubt.â€
But others believe money played a bigger role then celebrity in this case.
Michael Brennan, an expert in criminal defense at USC, said he doubted Spectorâ€™s fame had played a part in the trial outcome. â€œI donâ€™t think Spectorâ€™s celebrity in itself was a factor. Most people had never heard of him until a few years ago. But indirectly it was a factor because he could afford extremely good attorneys to defend him,â€ he told AFP.
According to comments reported by the Los Angeles Times, weary jurors had plenty to say about Spector and the arduous trial.
One juror who refused to identify himself said, Spectorâ€™s defense team â€œboughtâ€ scientific experts.
During the same news conference the juror was asked if Spector should be retried, to which the juror replied, â€œI think so.â€
Another juror said, â€œI thought itâ€™d be quick, a done deal, in and out. It wasnâ€™t.â€
One who voted to convict said, â€œI was insulted by the defense and what they threw out.â€
â€œI can look at myself in the mirror tomorrow and know that I did the right thing,â€ said another juror who voted to convict.
Another member of the jury said he was adamant that Spector was guilty, noting the producerâ€™s failure to call 911 after the shooting. â€œIn my opinion, he acted like a guilty man,â€ he said.
Other jurors responded to questions from reporters about the re-trial saying, â€œThatâ€™s for the judge to decide,â€ said one, who identified himself as the foreman. â€œItâ€™s not our call,â€ said another.
Earlier yesterday morning while jurors finalized deliberations, Fidler held a brief hearing over items seized from Lana Clarksonâ€™s home for use in the trial.
Taylor asked Fidler to prohibit the â€œpublication or disseminationâ€ of hundreds of documents seized from Clarksonâ€™s computer. The judge is currently considering the order only in regard to documents that were either marked for evidence, but not presented or not used at all during the trial.
The order would cover 5,000 pages of e-mail, 2,000 pages of other documents and any other items seized from Clarksonâ€™s home or obtained by subpoena from her mother, Taylor said.
Defense lawyer Christopher Plourd told Fidler he wanted to review the order, if the motherâ€™s request is granted.
Mr. and Mrs. Spector arrived in court with the usual entourage of security. Spector was clad in a dark suit with a red tie. Lead defense attorneys Roger Rosen and Linda Kenney Baden accompanied Spector in court awaiting the verdict.
The hung-jury mistrial can be construed as a victory for Spector who will remain free on bail until a new trial ensues.
Spector was accused of second-degree murder. Prosecutors asserted that he accidentally killed Clarkson while negligently brandishing a gun as she tried to leave his home. The defense claimed she commit suicide after drinking too much alcohol while taking Vicodin. They tried to prove that she was despondent over her failed acting career and her recent disappointments over love and money.
Lana was killed by a gunshot through the mouth on February 3, 2003, while sitting in the foyer near Spectorâ€™s back door. She was found slumped in a chair with her animal-print purse under her shoulder covered in blood, a few hours after going to Spectorâ€™s Alhambra mansion.
Some think he got off by a hair in one of his many wigs, and noted the frightful wigs themselves nearly played a role in celebrity justice. â€œOne of the things shown by this trial and near-conviction, is there isnâ€™t always a bias to celebrity, but to beauty. He would have been acquitted if he looked like Brad Pitt,â€ said celebrity media author Michael Levine. â€œInstead he looked creepy, especially early in the trial, that led to the feeling he was guilty, even though 10 to 2 is not enough.â€
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