Phil Spector’s daughter took the witness stand Wednesday as the defense’s case wound down in his murder trial, but the judge only allowed her to testify that he is right-handed and stopped questioning that suggested he was an attentive father.
Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler then told the jury that the defense was considering calling a few more witnesses, but that the prosecution would begin presenting its rebuttal case in the meantime.
Spector, 67, is accused of shooting actress Lana Clarkson, 40, on Feb. 3, 2003. The defense claims she shot herself.
Nicole Spector, the 24-year-old daughter from the rock producer’s third marriage, told of living in her father’s house for the first eight years of her life, then seeing him frequently after her parents divorced.
During her high school years, her father would pick her up from school and often they would go to her mother’s home for dinner, she said under questioning by defense attorney Linda Kenney-Baden.
“Yes, my mother would cook and we would go back to my — to our house — and he would eat dinner with us and we would watch ‘All in the Family,’ ” the daughter said.
The prosecutor objected and the judge interjected, “Let’s get to the point.”
Nicole Spector then said under defense questioning that her father is right-handed. That question was aimed at supporting defense claims that Phil Spector could not have shot Clarkson, who died in his home from a bullet fired inside her mouth. The defense has called scientists to discuss the direction of blood spatter from the gunshot.
Prosecutors asked no questions of Nicole Spector, who has attended the trial a few times. So has another of the producer’s children, Louis, 41, who was in court Wednesday.
Spector is accused of murdering her within a few hours. Defense forensic witnesses have said she killed herself.
Defense witnesses Wednesday included computer experts who had been tasked with extracting and analyzing thousands of e-mails from Clarkson’s computer. They said it was impossible to extract all the e-mails from the older model Apple laptop. But sheriff’s computer analyst Thomas Fortier said he was able to complete a search for the keywords “murder,” “depression” and “suicide.”
Fortier said he found one message using the word depression on Oct. 25, 2002, in which Clarkson wrote to a friend: “The depression level I am experiencing makes me very spent and worn out.”
He also isolated one message received by Clarkson, which she did not erase, from the Screen Actors Guild announcing a depression screening being offered at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
“And the word suicide does not appear anywhere on Lana Clarkson’s computer?” asked prosecutor Alan Jackson.
“That’s correct,” said the witness.