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Spector trial delayed again over lawyer’s illness

Testimony in the Phil Spector murder trial has been canceled for the rest of the week, but the judge scheduled a hearing without the jury for Wednesday to hear arguments on pending motions.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Testimony in the Phil Spector murder trial has been canceled for the rest of the week, but the judge scheduled a hearing without the jury for Wednesday to hear arguments on pending motions.

The court confirmed that the delay in testimony has to do with health concerns involving lead defense attorney Bruce Cutler.

Another member of the defense team, attorney Christopher Plourd, said, “There were some health concerns for Bruce which we think will be resolved and will be able to go forward next week.”

He said that reports of problems with Cutler’s medication for diabetes were essentially correct but declined to go into details about his ailment.

Plourd said the defense would offer “a very strong response” to a prosecution claim that it withheld information that was discussed by forensic expert Henry Lee on a TV show.

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Prosecutors claimed that they were not told about a key opinion Lee will offer as an expert witness regarding the velocity of blood spatter, according to documents filed Monday.

“The result is that the jury has been given an incorrect view of the state of the case and the people’s case may have been unfairly damaged,” prosecutor Alan Jackson said in the filing.

Prosecutors say the music producer shot actress Lana Clarkson, who was killed by a bullet through the mouth.

Jackson said Lee disclosed an unusual theory that blood spatter could travel 72 inches during a Court TV interview broadcast on the eve of a defense opening statement that utilized the same information. He said the prosecution was unaware of the defense theory until Lee was interviewed on Court TV.

By then, he said, the prosecution’s opening statement had concluded and he could not address the issue before the jury.

Plourd said that documents which were ordered sealed by the judge would clear up the matter.

“They know all about this case. Both sides do,” said Plourd. “It’s kind of a tempest in a teapot.”