Spector On The Defense

The defense in the Phil Spector murder trial is finally having its say after more than two months of trial.

Defense attorneys called their first witness to the stand June 26th, a physician and gunshot wound expert, who testified the case was a suicide.

Dr. Vincent DiMaio concluded that actress Lana Clarkson, 40, took her own life on the night she went home with renowned producer Phil Spector, 67, four years ago. The prosecution aims to prove that Spector killed her by firing the single gunshot into Clarkson’s mouth.

"She died of a self-inflicted wound," DiMaio said. "There is no objective scientific evidence that anyone else held the gun. Everything else is speculative."

DiMaio said he has only seen three homicides with intra-oral wounds after performing thousands of autopsies since the ‘70s.

He defended his suicide theory by pointing out that 75 percent of suicides don’t leave notes and that sometimes suicide is impulsive and may be done in public.

The prosecution has called 33 witnesses to testify against Spector, including forensic specialist Dr. Louis Pena, who testified May 29th that "this is a homicide."

Spector’s chauffer testified the producer exited the house the night of the murder and said, "I think I killed somebody."

Although Pena ruled the case a homicide, he, like all the witnesses the prosecution has brought forward, have been unable to say it was Spector who pulled the trigger.

The same goes for the prosecution’s top forensic witness.

When defense attorney Linda Kenney-Baden asked sheriff criminalist Lynne Herold June 25th, "In any of your reports, did you conclude with any degree of certainty that Phil Spector pulled the trigger on that Cobra [revolver] on February 3, 2003?"

"No," Herold said.

Before a two-day cross-examination, Herold, an expert in blood spatter and fiber analysis, led the court through an examination of the spattered blood on Spector’s white jacket.

When the bloodstains on Spector’s white jacket were magnified 60 times, Herold explained the miniscule spots proved "That piece of fabric was within two to three feet of the bloodletting event."

Herold said the bloodstains showed he was facing forward and had his arms raised, suggesting the producer must have been in the position to fire the deadly shot.

The defense says Spector was six feet away and not close enough to have shot her. During cross-examination the defense attorney got Herold to admit it was possible Spector was walking or running toward the actress.

Ex-Spector lawyer Sara Caplan’s fate is also up in the air as she has been found in contempt for refusing to testify about possible missing evidence and may still be headed for jail.