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Phil Spector guilty in Lana Clarkson's death

April 13, 2009 |  2:16 pm

SpectorLatest story: Phil Spector convicted of second-degree murder

Phil Spector has been convicted of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of actress Lana Clarkson six years ago. An L.A. Superior Court jury reached its decision against the legendary music producer after nine days of deliberations. An earlier jury deadlocked 10-2 in favor of guilt.

The decision means the 69-year-old Spector, famed for his work with musical acts such as Tina Turner, the Beatles and the Righteous Brothers, faces at least 18 years in prison when he is sentenced. The jury determined that Spector killed Lana Clarkson, a statuesque blond actress, on Feb. 3, 2003, just hours after they met in the Sunset Strip club where she worked as a hostess.

Over the course of the trial, which began in October, the prosecution portrayed Spector 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.”

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 arrived in court Monday wearing a "Barack Obama" button.

-- Harriet Ryan

Related coverage:

Complete coverage of Spector's trials
Spector's long legal battles may be sapping his fortune
Sick juror interrupts Phil Spector deliberations
Phil Spector's fate is in jury's hands
In closing, Spector defense says all evidence points to suicide
Prosecutor, in closing arguments, calls Phil Spector a 'demonic maniac'