Prosecutors demanded Thursday that lawyers for record producer Phil Spector, who is charged with murdering a B-movie actress, hand over a mysterious piece of evidence supposedly overlooked by police.
But a judge in the case said he would first consider arguments by Spector’s attorneys, who insisted that they were not required under California law to share evidence with prosecutors if it was missed by authorities.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carlos Uranga said he would give both sides until Feb. 17 to file briefs on the issue, though at one point he cautioned defense lawyer Robert Shapiro: “If you do have a piece of evidence that’s material to the case you have to turn it over to the people.”
Prosecutors said they had no idea what the evidence was and Shapiro was reluctant to concede that it even exists.
“We want to have access to it and know what people have access to it and what changes have been made to it,” Deputy District Attorney Doug Sortino said.
Spector, best known for a inventing a lush “Wall of Sound” recording technique and his work with the Beatles, is accused of shooting 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson to death on Feb. 3, 2003, in the marble foyer of his faux castle in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra.
The 63-year-old producer, who came to court dressed in black and wearing dark sunglasses and platform shoes, has pleaded innocent and suggested in a magazine interview that Clarkson, who starred in such films as “Amazon Women on the Moon” and “The Barbarian Queen,” shot herself.
Uranga was expected on Thursday to schedule a preliminary hearing for Spector, which will determine if he must stand trial on the murder charge. But the judge postponed that decision when Shapiro said that he had not been supplied with needed discovery materials.