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Spector sentenced to 19 years to life in fatal shooting of actress

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A judge has sentenced Phil Spector to 19 years to life in prison for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

Before the sentencing, the victim’s mother, Donna Clarkson, told the judge she was heartbroken over the death of her daughter.

“All our plans together are destroyed. Now I can only visit her in the cemetery,” she said.

Spector’s attorney said the defense sympathized with the family “with its loss.” But attorney Doron Weinberg maintained that Spector was convicted wrongly.

“The evidence did not establish Mr. Spector’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,”  the lawyer said.

The 69-year-old music producer, his normally pale face even more wan after a month and a half in jail, stared impassively at the judge as he spoke.

Spector was convicted last month of second-degree murder in the death of Clarkson, 40, who was shot in the music producer’s Alhambra mansion.

Over the course of the six-month trial, the prosecution portrayed Spector, 69, as a sadistic misogynist who had a three-decade “history of playing Russian roulette with the lives of women” when he was drunk.

A prosecutor told jurors in her summation that “by the grace of God, five other women got the empty chamber and lived to tell. Lana just happened to be the sixth woman who got the bullet.”

But Spector’s defense contended Clarkson died by her own hand. They said she was depressed over her flagging career and the accompanying financial worries, and may have committed suicide impulsively after hours of late-night drinking with Spector.

Spector’s six-year odyssey in the Los Angeles County justice system included a grand jury presentation and two trials.

His defense has vowed to appeal the conviction.

-- Harriet Ryan

Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (35)

I grew up in the early 60s and Spector's fabulous music was the background to much that I enjoyed. But he grew up to be a viciously violent misogynist with a belief he could get away with anything. Frankly, I hope I never hear his name again.

Spector should have just confessed to an accident, gotten involuntary manslaughter, and he'd be out by now. The suicide claim is ludicrous. What a waste of both lives.

So long ago PS hit on me at Cantor's & when I turned from his attentions my friends wailed "Do You Know Who THAT Wassss?" I replied "I don't care - he's __" louder then polite.
Later anyone in Hollywood knew who did what to whom; what men were abusive, what women did to get ahead - or not.
We so often speak of 'kharma' not understanding what that may eventually bring us or not bring us. Once upon a time everything was so exciting & fueled by alcohol, drugs & madness. There are too many dead genius's; & too too many dead innocents.
I truly hope Mr Spectre finds some peace in prison eventually. RIP Ms Clarke.

May 29, 2009

Dear LA Times,

Apparently now a days you literally can get arrested and locked up just for saying something to defend yourself, You ought to come out here and see this trio of "female" "lady" libriarans, poor excuses of human beings let alone women, as well as MOST of these coed students, I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemby, @ San Diego State "College".

"a reader"

He will never last in prison. All the gangs will lay claim to him and his money. His wife will be sending a lot of money orders to his new pals who will protect him. He can be the musical director and play the star spangled banner on the piano on 4th of July. Good luck Phil your BS finally caught up with you.

Wow! I feel good to know that another psycho celebrity who thinks their above the law didn't out smart the law and justice this time.

I heard stories about Spector (some crazy Mephistophelian name eh?) back in the 90's....Crazy gun totin' Phil.
I don't doubt that he did it...that he "finally" succeeded in stepping over the line of his violent fantasies.
Jerk.
The music is tainted now as well.
Double jerk.

All of the state's time and money spent prosecuting a man so obviously GUILTY of this selfish evil crime. All because she probably rebuffed his creepy advances, or whatever.

I mean does it matter. To further victimize her Spector's creepy defense team went on and on about her supposedly offing herself in front of Specter in his creepy house of all places.

Time served will not be enough for this monster - even if he lives to see the light of day again.

Time served will not bring back this woman he "offed" by shooting her in the mouth, of all things...

This guy may be a musical genius, but he has been a nut case for years. Looks like his luck ran out.

...This case is so clear-cut & obvious, it's a bit of a shame that he's managed to weasel out of it for this long. Considering his reckless past and the selfish absurdity of this murder, I feel the sentence was extraordinarily light. Self-indulgence of this variety is the calling card of those who should NOT be walking free in society. Spector & Suge Knight are prime examples of money, twisting and mocking our societie's laws and the institutions which are supposed to uphold them.

Anyone else would've been given life in prison years ago.

Could we please have Phil Moneybags reimburse our bankrupt city for the cost of this trial? PLEASE?

We need to ban handguns. Just think how many murders and accidental deaths it would prevent. Crazy NRA types can stuff it.

Yes he is an obviously mentally warped freak with an odd 1968 time-warp wardrobe and a collection of unflattering dutch boy and rocker length toupes. However, unlike Michael Jackson, Spector's major mistake seems to have been waiting until he was an old, unlikeable, weirdo has-been to break the law.

"In 2006, Spector quietly wed for the fourth time marrying model/actress Rachelle Short, who is about 30 years his junior."

Spector in 2006: Rachelle, I have to marry you to show a jury that I love at least one woman. I'll take care of you financially. No sex.
Rachelle: Cool. (Thank God I don't have to touch him)

He will die in prison, as he should. I hope the Clarkson family civil suit is settle before he dies.
He will not fare well in prison. All the prisoners are gonna make fun of him trying to eat with his trembling hands.

Today Phil Spector was sentenced for taking Lana from us. Oddly, it rained. The sky is as gray and heavy as is my heart, and I felt so strongly that Lana was with us. Donna and Fawn, there are millions of people whose thoughts and prayers are for your comfort. Mine are too.

Rest in peace, sweet girl. We will see you again someday.

I am happy to hear that another so called star could not buy their way out of a guilty verdict and proper sentencing. If he had been any one else, the trial and verdict would have been over a long time ago.
The Clarkson family finally got justice a long with the public.
The last thing that infuriates everyone is that they had to go to trial twice. This cost the tax payers a fortune.
Justice costs, but in this case, it was worth it..................

BG, you must be dreaming if you think his wife is going to pay out a single dime to keep him safe. She's in fat city now, why on earth would she want to spend anything on the crazy guy? Presumably Phil married her on advice from his lawyers, so that he could appear as "normal family man".

Do I think he did it? Yep...

Do I think he planned to do it? Probably not. Just wanted to scare women like he needs to, little elfin dwarf that he is.

Does it matter? Not to Lana Clarkson -- and that's the point. Drunk drivers who kill people while DUI don't leave their house planning on killing anyone, but they do anyway.

"Depraved indifference to human life" is the classic description of 2nd degree murder in most U.S. states. That suits Phil to a 'T'.

And for that indifference, he will probably die in prison -- no matter how much money he drops trying to appeal the case. I just hope Ms. Clarkson's mother can get as much of that money away from him ASAP so he cannot buy his way out of prison. You cna only do that so long... ask O.J.

19 years in jail, which the appeals will shorten to, what? Spector can afford the best lawyers to endlessly talk the sentence down.
19 years.

Much better sentence than what he drunkenly gave Lana Clarkson.

The fact that the jury convicted him of 2nd degree murder means that the jury found enough evidence to blow "reasonable doubt' out the window. Did anyone that followed the story really believe that that woman picked that particular night and that guy to be with her for her last night out? Umm... uh... no desperation in the world would make anyone want Phil Spector to be the last human being they'd see in their life. It's the one reality that you can't avoid: celebrity or no, Phil is just simply yucky to look at.

Little man; big ego, it's just too bad somebody had to die before this crack-head was reined in.
If I were him I'd shave my head, grow a beard & get religion. He's gonna need it.

When i used to work in the music industry, we used to hear all kinds of stories about how Spector would have guns around all the time and cavalierly point them at people. Evidently, he fired one in a studio to get the band's attention once. I'm nut surprised at all that this has come to pass. Never point a gun at something you don't intend to destroy.

I hope LA County will sue his estate and recover what we have paid in court costs for this killer. Finally justice was served in the criminal courts. Hopefully, Lana's family will be able to collect in full from the Spector estate in their civil case. Mr. Spector, you are not above the law with your money and lawyers.

I hope you all are treated as cruelly when your time comes.

Ban handguns??? That is a ridiculous statement. How about banning alcohol. Alcohol was the reason Phil pulled out a gun. If we don't have guns, how will we protect ourselves from criminals who WILL have them. Take our guns away and there goes our freedom.

 
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