Spector Transcripts Revealed
Phil Spector’s defense attorneys have denounced newly released grand jury transcripts that suggest the producer initially told police he accidentally shot actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, Calif., mansion. They say the material is riddled with lies.
The transcripts suggest that Spector later changed his story to imply Clarkson committed suicide. They contain testimony from police officers and the producer’s driver about events leading up to Clarkson’s death.
According to the transcripts, Spector’s chauffeur, Adriano De Souza, testified he drove the two back to the producer’s home in the early morning hours of February 3, 2003, and waited in the car. Apparently, Spector was becoming increasingly inebriated throughout the course of the night after partying at various Los Angeles locations.
At 5 a.m., De Souza heard a sound like a pop, he said, and Spector came outside minutes later holding a gun.
“I think I killed somebody,” he quoted Spector as saying.
In addition, Alhambra police officer Beatrice Rodriguez testified that right after Spector was handcuffed, he said, “What’s wrong with you guys? What are you doing? I didn’t mean to shoot her. It was an accident.”
The statement was not tape-recorded by detectives who later taped everything the producer said.
Deputy District Attorney Douglas Sortino told grand jurors, “He changed his story and now he claimed to two separate officers at two different times at Alhambra Police Department that Lana Clarkson had blown her own brains out, that she had committed suicide.”
A transcript of testimony by homicide detective Mark Lillienfeld, who directed the collection of evidence at Spector’s mansion hours after Clarkson’s death, contained information about 11 guns found in the master bedroom and in Spector’s office. He added that after running a check on the gun that killed the actress no record of a registered owner was found.
Meanwhile, three women testified that Spector, in separate incidents, acted recklessly and threatened them with a gun.
But defense attorney Bruce Cutler said the transcripts offered a one-sided view of evidence in the murder case.
“Much of it contains lies, half-truths and slanted testimony and is biased, prejudicial and unfair,” Cutler said.
“Where is the motive for this? Does it make any sense?” he asked. “This was an unfortunate accident, I believe, and he did not shoot this lady.”
In November, a Superior Court judge said the producer’s lawyers failed to show how releasing grand jury transcripts would prevent a fair jury from being chosen for trial. An appellate court lifted an order staying the release of the documents January 5th.
Spector has been charged with murdering Clarkson. He pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail.