Judge: Spector Jurors 'Believe They Are Hung'
LOS ANGELES -- Judge Larry Paul Fiddler said Tuesday afternoon that jurors in the Phil Spector murder trial "believe they are hung."
Fiddler made the announcement at 1:40 p.m. after meeting with jurors.
The announcement came during a seventh day of deliberations in the trial as jurors consider whether the music producer should be convicted of murder for the death of an actress who was shot through the mouth in his home. Spector, 67, is accused of shooting 40-year-old Lana Clarkson around 5 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2003, in the foyer of his Alhambra mansion.
On Tuesday morning, jurors asked for and were granted a 1:30 p.m. hearing with the judge. Shortly after 11 a.m., jurors hit a buzzer twice, which signals they have a question.
Details regarding the jurors' questions for the judge were not available, but Fiddler announced later that jurors told him they believe that they are deadlocked.
Fiddler is meeting with attorneys to discuss what options are available.
The defendant, who maintains Clarkson shot herself because she was despondent over her career and finances, faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder, with a possible added 10-year penalty for use of a firearm.
The nine men and three women on the jury met Monday for about four hours and 45 minutes. Prior to the session starting Tuesday morning, jurors had met for about 27 hours since starting deliberations on Sept. 10.
The panel began hearing testimony April 26 in a trial that produced 77 witnesses and had more than 500 exhibits submitted into evidence. Most of the exhibits are located inside the jury room for the jurors to view whenever they see fit.
The jury made two requests from the clerk of the court on Monday. In the morning session, they asked for a cart containing the exhibits. In the afternoon, the panel requested additional copies of jury request forms they will need if they ask the judge a question concerning evidence or testimony.
While the jury deliberated on Monday, Louis Spector, 41, a son the music producer adopted after his second marriage to Ronettes singer Ronnie Spector, sat in the courtroom, as he has done since deliberations began. Louis Spector lives in Calabasas.
Spector and Clarkson met when he went to the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, where she was working as a $9-per-hour VIP hostess. Spector, who had spent the night on the town dining and drinking with two other women, invited Clarkson to come home with him. Hours later, she was dead.
Prosecutors have suggested that Spector shot Clarkson when she rebuffed his romantic advances. Five women testified that Spector pulled guns on them in similar situations over the years when they spurned him romantically and tried to leave.
The defense contends that Clarkson was depressed about her career, but also suggested that she may have accidentally pulled the trigger. She had been drinking tequila and taking pain medicine.
Clarkson was best known for her starring role in the 1985 Roger Corman cult hit "Barbarian Queen," though she had bit parts on dozens of TV shows and in a few well-known movies, such as 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
Spector, renowned in music circles for the "Wall of Sound" recording technique he invented in the 1960s and used in his work with the Beatles and other groups, is free on $1 million bail.