Jurors in Phil Spector’s murder trial were bombarded Tuesday with photos of actress Lana Clarkson’s face, some showing blood oozing from her mouth and nose, as a forensic analyst described her wounds.
Seated in the courtroom’s front row, Clarkson’s mother and sister averted their eyes from the more gory photos, which were displayed on a big screen.
Jurors had seen the photos previously, but sheriff’s criminologist Lynn Herold’s testimony was more graphic than that of other forensic experts who testified. She spoke of clotting and stringy blood, blood spatter and bodily fluids, using the pictures to illustrate her points.
Clarkson, 40, died from a single bullet fired into her mouth in the foyer of the music producer’s home on Feb. 3, 2003. The defense claims that Clarkson, whose body was slumped in a chair, killed herself.
Herold said that blood on the gun that killed Clarkson and on her face and hand was smeared at some point, but that it was hard to tell how. She said three sources of “moving blood” would be the gun, a bloody cloth found nearby and “Mr. Spector.”
“But the gun doesn’t move itself, so he moved it?” asked prosecutor Alan Jackson.
“That is the inference,” said Herold. “I’m assuming no law enforcement personnel moved it.”
The expert said she was not at the death scene in Spector’s mansion and made her analysis primarily from photographs and examination of evidence in her laboratory.
Herold testified that it was clear someone had moved Clarkson’s head before police arrived, saying Clarkson would not have been able to move after the gunshot.
Henry Lee, a forensics expert for the defense, is expected to testify on that point later in the trial.
Herold said she was not involved in gathering evidence at Spector’s mansion and based her analysis primarily on photographs and the examination of evidence in her laboratory.
Citing the graphic nature of the testimony, Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler called a recess. The trial is expected to resume Thursday.
Clarkson, who appeared in the 1985 movie “Barbarian Queen,” died just hours after meeting Spector at her job as a House of Blues hostess and agreeing to go home with him for a drink.
Spector, 67, was a leading music producer in the 1960s and ’70s, rising to fame with a revolutionary recording technique known as the “Wall of Sound.”