Record producer Phil Spector will stand trial on Sept. 16 for the 2003 murder of a B-movie actress at his home near Los Angeles, a judge ruled Thursday.
Spector, 64, known for his layered “Wall of Sound” recording technique and his work with The Beatles, has denied shooting Lana Clarkson on Feb. 3, 2003 after picking her up at a Los Angeles nightclub where she worked as a hostess.
An autopsy report concluded that a gun was placed in the mouth of the 40-year-old actress and fired. The reclusive Spector, who lives in an imitation castle outside Los Angeles, has claimed in pretrial hearings that Clarkson committed suicide for reasons he does not understand.
Spector and his lawyer declined to comment on Thursday following a hearing at which the trial date was set.
Spector is the third celebrity facing serious criminal charges in Southern California. Former “Baretta” TV actor Robert Blake is currently on trial in Los Angeles for murdering his wife and jury selection is underway in Santa Maria for the trial of pop superstar Michael Jackson on charges of child sex abuse.