Phil Spector’s new defense team lost a series of pretrial motions Tuesday, but the judge promised to reconsider some of his rulings if it becomes necessary during the music producer’s second murder trial.
Spector, famed for his “Wall of Sound” recording technique in the 1960s, is accused of shooting actress Lana Clarkson, 40, at his Alhambra mansion on Feb. 3, 2003. The defense has claimed Clarkson shot herself, either accidentally or on purpose. A jury deadlocked last year and Spector, 69, is facing a retrial this fall.
Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler rejected a defense claim that Spector will be in double jeopardy if the jury considers the lesser included offenses of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. In the first trial, he had ruled there was insufficient evidence for jurors to find Spector guilty of those crimes.
Fidler did not immediately rule on a defense motion to bar instructions on the lesser included crimes but said, “I don’t believe this is a double jeopardy matter.”
He also turned down a defense bid to exclude a videotape of testimony from a witness who has died. The prosecution asked to use a televised version of the testimony of Dianne Ogden, one of Spector’s former love interests who said he threatened her with a gun.
But the judge noted that he has not yet ruled whether testimony of Ogden and five other women will be admissible in the new trial. If it is admitted, he said the videotape of the dead woman would be the most accurate way to present her testimony to the jury.
“It is the only way to show demeanor,” he said.
Fidler scheduled another motions hearing for Aug. 14.