Phil Spector convicted of murder

Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:02pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant and Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eccentric 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 layered "Wall of Sound" production technique, faces 18 years to life 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 be paroled only after spending the initial 18 years in prison.

"He's got a better chance of winning the lottery than ever being released," said Kavinoky, who was not involved in the case.

Spector, who worked with The Ronettes, The Beatles, Cher and Leonard Cohen at the height of his fame, denied murdering Clarkson. His lawyers said on Monday they would appeal.

He did not testify at either trial and although his hands shook while the verdict was read, he showed little emotion. He was taken into custody immediately after the verdict.


<p>Music producer Phil Spector stands in court after he was convicted of second-degree murder in Los Angeles April 13, 2009. REUTERS/Al Seib/Pool</p>