Phil Spector found guilty of murder

Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:21pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Legendary music producer Phil Spector was convicted on Monday of murdering a Hollywood actress in 2003 and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

In his second trial, held after jurors deadlocked in 2007, Spector, 69, was found guilty of second-degree murder by a Los Angeles jury. The man once revered for revolutionizing pop music in the 1960s with his "Wall of Sound" production technique, faces a minimum of 18 years behind bars when he is sentenced on May 29.

Lana Clarkson, 40, a B-movie actress, died of a shot to the mouth, fired from Spector's gun in the foyer of his home outside Los Angeles on February 3, 2003. The two met hours earlier at a Hollywood nightclub.

California criminal defense attorney Darren Kavinoky said Spector could only be paroled after spending the initial 18 years in prison. Only a few people sentenced to an indeterminate length of time in jail ever get out, he said.

"He's got a better chance of winning the lottery than ever being released," Kavinoky said.

Spector, who worked with The Ronettes, The Beatles, Cher and Leonard Cohen at the height of his fame, denied murdering Clarkson.

The first trial ended in September 2007 with the jury deadlocked 10-2, but in California jury verdicts must be unanimous.

He did not testify at either trial and showed little emotion when the verdict was read. He was taken into custody immediately after the verdict.   Continued...

<p>Music producer Phil Spector and wife Rachelle arrive at the criminal courts building in Los Angeles April 13, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>