Phil Spector found guilty of second-degree murder
Music producer Phil Spector has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of an actress at his mansion six years ago.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury returned the verdict – which could send him to prison for at least 18 years – after 30 hours of deliberation.
The panel could have chosen a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, but decided against it, also finding him guilty of using a firearm in committing a crime.
Spector’s young wife, Rachelle, sobbed as the decision was announced, while he showed no reaction to the verdict.
Forty-year-old Lana Clarkson, star of the 1985 cult film Barbarian Queen, died of a gunshot fired in her mouth as she sat in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in 2003.
She’d met Spector only hours earlier at her job as a nightclub hostess.
The defense suggested the wound was self-inflicted, but the prosecution argued that Spector had a history of threatening women with guns when they tried to leave his presence.
Five women provided testimony in the trial, telling of being threatened with a gun by Spector when they tried to leave his home.
Phil Spector was one of the biggest music producers of the 60s, with Ike and Tina Turner’s hit River Deep, Mountain High and The Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ being just a couple of the hits under his belt.