The first day of testimony in Phil Spector’s murder retrial was canceled Thursday after an alternate juror fell in the court parking lot and broke his foot.
Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler said he spoke with the juror who wanted to get medical attention and return on Monday. The trial is not in session on Fridays.
“As of now it’s a minor inconvenience,” the judge told lawyers.
He said he was reluctant to lose an alternate juror so early in the trial and decided to await the man’s return. Six alternates were previously selected to be available in case a regular juror has to leave.
The first scheduled witness, retired New York City police detective Vincent Tannazzo, was in court ready to testify and was ordered to return Monday.
Spector’s lawyer Doron Weinberg said in his opening statement that he would show Tannazzo “is not who he says he is.”
Tannazzo testified at the first murder trial that Spector had been ejected from two Manhattan Christmas parties given in the early 1990s by comedian Joan Rivers after yelling obscenities against women and shouting, “‘These (expletive for women). They all deserve a bullet in their heads.'”
Weinberg called that claim “preposterous,” and said the words were never spoken.
The testimony was the subject of pretrial disputes, with the defense claiming the incendiary language attributed to Spector was prejudicial.
The retrial opened Wednesday with Weinberg casting the shooting of Lana Clarkson as a probable suicide, and prosecutor Alan Jackson promising to show jurors “the real Phil Spector,” a violent woman hater.
Spector, the renowned inventor of the “Wall of Sound” recording technique, produced some of the biggest songs in rock music history, including “Be My Baby” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”