A defense lawyer in another Southern California celebrity case was among those dismissed Tuesday in the second day of jury selection for record producer Phil Spector’s murder trial.
One prospect identified himself as an attorney representing a defendant in the prosecution of private eye Anthony Pellicano, who is accused of wiretapping Hollywood stars and a billionaire’s ex-wife.
Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler excused him and several stay-at-home mothers who said serving on Spector’s case, which is expected to last four months, would be a hardship.
Spector is accused of killing cult movie star Lana Clarkson, who was shot in the foyer of his castle-like home Feb. 3, 2003. She was working as a hostess at the House of Blues when she went home with Spector that night.
The initial phase of jury selection began Monday with 150 prospects screened for availability. A new panel of 75 prospects was brought in Tuesday.
The next phase involves filling out an 18-page questionnaire, which includes a category called “Attitudes About Celebrities and High-profile People.”
Panelists were asked whether celebrities feel they are “entitled to act however they please,” whether they “have bad tempers and act aggressively” and whether they think “they can bend the rules.”
Prospects were asked to say if they agreed or disagreed with statements such as: “Celebrities and high profile people in Los Angeles get away with crimes because of their status.” They were also asked if they believed that “police are more lenient with celebrities and high profile people.”
The completed forms will be given to prosecutors and defense lawyers to study before in-court jury questioning begins April 16.
Spector, 66, and wife Rachelle watched proceedings with three burly bodyguards who accompany them everywhere. They were married in September.
The jury will consider conflicting evidence about what happened before police found Clarkson, 40, slumped dead in a chair, her teeth blown out by a gunshot to her mouth.
The coroner’s office called it a homicide, but also noted that Clarkson had gunshot residue on both of her hands and may have pulled the trigger.
In an e-mail to friends, Spector called the death “an accidental suicide.” He has pleaded not guilty and has been free on $1 million bail since his arrest. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Spector — who created the “Wall of Sound,” which revolutionized how rock music was recorded — produced the Beatles’ “Let It Be” album and George Harrison’s “Concert for Bangladesh,” and has been cited as an influence by Bruce Springsteen and countless other artists.
He also wrote such rock classics as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby,” “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” and “River Deep-Mountain High,” although his name is rarely mentioned along with the artists who recorded the songs.