Spector Loses Round One

A judge in the Phil Spector murder case ruled October 27th that police can testify that the producer initially described actress Lana Clarkson’s shooting death as an accident and not a suicide, as he later claimed.

In spite of pleas from defense attorney Bruce Cutler, Judge Larry Fidler rejected motions to suppress evidence in the February 3, 2003 shooting at Spector’s Alhambra, Calif., mansion.

Among the most damning comments ruled admissible was one overheard by a policewoman at the scene who said Spector declared, “I didn’t mean to shoot her. It was an accident.” Another officer taped a second statement: “The gun went off accidentally,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Spector’s limo driver, Adriano De Souza, is expected to testify the producer stepped out of his house minutes after a shot rang out and said he thought he had shot someone.

Fidler reportedly ruled that police were not interrogating Spector and did not have to read him his rights after they responded to the shooting and found Clarkson’s body.

The judge said accounts of that night’s events showed Spector made statements to police spontaneously and wasn’t being interrogated. Although it was clear the producer was asking for his lawyer, Fidler said police did not press him for information before attorney Robert Shapiro arrived.

The defense contends the gun that killed Clarkson didn’t belong to Spector and that the producer didn’t shoot her.

According to a police report, Spector said Clarkson was waving a gun around and that she ignored him when he told her to put it down.

“Defendant said Clarkson began singing some of his famous songs, such as ‘Da Doo Run Run’ and ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.’ According to defendant, Clarkson suddenly placed the gun to the side of her head and pulled the trigger,” the report stated.

The defense has argued that Spector was having withdrawal symptoms from seven prescription drugs when he made statements to police and that officers refused or ignored his requests for his medication.

Fidler scheduled a trial date of January 30th, though the proceeding could be pushed back until April 24th so Cutler can finish another case he’s handling.

Spector has pleaded innocent to the charges and is free on $1 million bail.