Yesterday the second Phil Spector murder trial finally ended. After more than 6 long years and 2 trials, Phil Spector was on the spot. The jury buzzed 3 times a few minutes before noon which was the signal for a verdict. He had been accused of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in the early morning hours of February 3, 2003 by a gunshot in the mouth as she sat in the foyer of Spector's "castle" in Alhambra, CA. The first trial ended in a mistrial due to the foreman of the jury not being willing to deliberate.
I watched most of the first trial and as luck would have it, I was out of town, traveling with my Mom and Stepdad, when it went to the jury and when the mistrial was declared. For the retrial, I followed the trial on Sprocket's Trials and Tribulations blog (Thank you Sprocket!) and on the InSessions message boards. It was frustrating not to be able to watch the testimony and presentation of the evidence this time, but we all made it through. And again, when the case went to the jury, I left on another trip with my Mom and Stepdad. Only this time, I came home before the jury finished deliberating. So yesterday I was able to sit here in my chair and read when Sprocket posted the "Buzz buzz buzz" when it happened. She posted the message that a verdict had been reached a few minutes before noon and then posted that it would be 1:30pm or 2pm before the verdict would be read. Those 2 hours between the buzz, buzz, buzz and the actual reading of the verdict seemed to take forever. Then, it came... Guilty of Murder in the second degree and guilty of the added "use of a gun". The minimum sentencing Phil will recieve, if I've read the right things, is 18 years to life. Now we wait until May 29th for the sentencing hearing to see what the judge will hand down. I wonder if the main stream media will show up in time to get a camera inside that courtroom this time. Yesterday, they had a camera in the courtroom, but they couldn't get the live feed working before the verdict was read. Disappointing, yes. But, at least there are videos available on the net where the reading of the verdict and Phil's reaction (or non-reaction!) can be seen. In my opinion, Phil's attorney, Mr. Weinberg, had more of a reaction than Phil did.
My thoughts went out to Lana's family and friends, hoping that this verdict would finally bring them some peace. I'm sure it doesn't bring "closure", whatever that is, but it has to give them some peace of mind knowing that Phil will be going to prison to pay for what he did. My thoughts also went out to the sons and daughter of Phil Spector. Two of whom had been posting on the InSessions boards for the last few years, Gary and Louis. I have a lot of respect for those two young men for their patient and reasonable postings on the message boards. I also have a "job" to do for Gary, now. He's a fan of the SR71 Blackbird as am I. Somewhere among all the boxes that have been packed up and moved around for the last 15 to 20 years I have some photos of that beautiful plane and I've promised Gary I would try to find them, scan them and email them to him.
Anyway, back to Phil Spector. The years of Phil's "freedom" over the last 6 years haven't been kind to Phil. He didn't look that great in the first mugshot, taken the day of the murder, with the wet hair, evil stare and the quality of the photo. Now we have a new mugshot of him, taken yesterday after he was led out of the courtroom and off to the jail where he will wait for his sentencing hearing. His attorney, Mr. Weinberg argued fiercely for the court to allow Phil to remain free on bond while he waits for the sentencing. The prosecutor, Alan Jackson, argued that Phil was a dangerous man and need to wait it out in jail. He cited the other incidents after Lana was murdered, where Phil threatened people with a gun or threatened to get a gun and shoot them. Judge Fidler agreed with the prosecutors. Phil had had enough freedom in the 6 years since Lana was murdered. The new mugshot is even more spooky looking than the first one. The wide-eyed stare completely creeps me out! When the verdict was read, Phil looked like he was heavily medicated, and he looks medicated in this mugshot as well. There will be another mugshot of him after the sentencing and he is taken to one of the California Corrections Intake units and I hope that TMZ or The Smoking Gun manages to get a hold of it so we can see what changes a jail cell and fewer self-medicating drugs makes in the man.
So the next date to watch for will be the sentencing hearing for Phil, which is scheduled for May 29th at 11:00am if Phil and his attorney don't request a hearing sooner. I'm sure we'll hear from Lana's mother during the impact statements, and perhaps from her sister. But will we hear anything from anyone on Phil's side? His "wife", Rachelle? His sons? His daughter?
I've got my calendar marked. Do you?
I just looked at my stat counter and I'm stunned by how many people/readers are coming in looking at the photo of Rachelle Spector with a gun in a post that I did months ago. Odd.. I hadn't done that many posts about Phil Spector, but for some reason that one with the photo of Rachelle seems to be generating a lot of interest yesterday and today... Hmm...