Jury Deadlocked In Phil Spector Trial
September 19, 2007 at 5:23 AM (PT)
The judge in PHIL SPECTOR's murder trial said he is considering giving jurors the option of finding the record producer guilty of a lesser charge than second degree murder after the panelists reported a 7-5 impasse following seven days of deliberations.
SPECTOR's defense team was expected TODAY to vigorously oppose Superior Court Judge LARRY PAUL FIDLER's expected proposal to help jurors break their deadlock, while legal scholars said a conviction on lesser charges could be vulnerable to appeal.
SPECTOR, 67, is charged with murdering actress LANA CLARKSON in his ALHAMBRA, CA mansion on FEBRUARY 3rd, 2003, a few hours after she met him at her job as a nightclub hostess and went home with him. The defense maintains CLARKSON, 40, was depressed and shot herself in the mouth either on purpose or by accident.
The jury foreman, a 32-year-old civil engineer, told the judge that he saw little hope of resolving the impasse and indicated jurors were in disagreement about facts in the case, not about the law.
"I believe it comes down to the individual jurors' conclusions that are drawn from the facts," said the foreman. "At this time I don't believe that anything else will change the positions of the jurors, based on the facts that are in evidence."
He said the panel had taken four votes before reporting the deadlock.