Phil Spector stepped out of his mansion with a gun in his hand at 5 a.m. four years ago and said, “I think I killed somebody,” a chauffeur testified Tuesday in the record producer’s trial on charges of murdering an actress.
It was the first time that Adriano De Souza gave his account in public, though he has told the story to police and grand jurors.
The chauffeur said he had delivered Spector and actress Lana Clarkson to the home about two hours earlier. He said he first heard a “pow,” got out of Spector’s car to see what the noise was and then got back into the car. A short time later Spector emerged, De Souza testified.
Spector said, “I think I killed somebody,” according to the driver, who testified that he then asked, “What happened, sir?”
The producer responded with a shrug, he said.
De Souza said he looked past Spector into the foyer of his castle-like home in suburban Alhambra.
“I saw the legs of the lady,” he said. “I stepped inside and I saw the blood on her face.”
Prosecutor Alan Jackson illustrated his account of Spector’s night out and return home, using photos and security videos.
Clarkson died of a shot fired from a gun inside her mouth. The defense claims she killed herself. Four women have testified Spector threatened them with guns when they tried to leave his presence.
De Souza spoke in accented English and was asked several times whether he had been able to fully understand Spector. The Brazilian-born driver said he had no problem understanding him.
Earlier witnesses told how Spector ordered a series of drinks during a night out on the town that began on the evening of Feb. 2, 2003, and ended early the next morning after meeting Clarkson a club where she was a hostess in the VIP room.
Members of the jury took notes as De Souza described how Spector had gone out with several women that night and stopped at four restaurants and bars.
At the House of Blues, he said, Spector had him drive a woman home and then return for him.
When he returned, he said, Spector emerged from the club with Clarkson, and “he invited her to go to the castle. ... At first it was ‘No.’ She said, ‘I have to work in the morning,’ ” De Souza testified.
Eventually Clarkson agreed to go with Spector, De Souza said.
“I opened the door for her, and she said she was going just for a drink,” De Souza said.
“What did Mr. Spector say?” the prosecutor asked.
“Don’t talk to the driver. ... He screamed it,” De Souza said.
He said Clarkson had them drive to a parking structure where she had left her car. Spector relieved himself behind a wall, and they then moved her car out to a street and parked it before continuing to Spector’s home, he testified.
Spector rose to fame in the 1960s and ’70s, changing rock music with the “Wall of Sound” recording technique. Clarkson was best known for a role in the 1985 film “Barbarian Queen.”