Phil Spector to appeal murder conviction

Phil Spector, the music mogul who produced The Beatles and Tine Turner, is appealing his conviction for murdering actress Lana Clarkson, where he was sentenced to 19 years in jail.

By Jessica Elgot, March 12, 2010
Phil Spector: The music producer is appealing his murder conviction

Phil Spector: The music producer is appealing his murder conviction

Music producer Phil Spector will appeal against his conviction for the murder of the actress Lana Clarkson, for which he was sentenced to a minimum of 19 years in prison.

Mr Spector, 69, was given 15 years to life for second-degree murder of the actress and cocktail waitress and an additional four for personal use of a gun.

Ms Clarkson, best known for her role in 1985 cult film Barbarian Queen, was found dead from a gunshot wound at Spector's mansion in February 2003.

A retrial took place in Los Angeles in 2005 after a previous jury failed to reach a verdict.

Mr Spector did not testify at either trial. His only comment came in a quote given to Esquire magazine: “She kissed the gun.”

Mr Spector claims that prosecution lawyers deliberately used testimony from five women in order to damage his character.

The five all testified that Mr Spector had threatened them with a gun in incidents dating back to the 1970s.

His lawyers argue that this was done to prove Mr Spector had a history of violence against women, and had no bearing on the case in question.

Phil Spector came from a working-class Jewish family in the Bronx, New York; his steelworker father committed suicide when he was nine.

He had a difficult relationship with his mother, Bertha, whose instinct was to smother him — at the height of his success she would come his studio every day, bringing him an un-requested packed lunch.

Mr Spector worked with artists including the Beatles, the Ramones and Tina Turner – producing the Beatles’ Academy Award winning “Let It Be”. His trademark was a layering effect in his music, known as the “Wall of Sound”.

He has been selling off his possessions to fund an appeal and reportedly asked his wife Rachelle Short to sell his mock-French mansion in Los Angeles, said only to be worth around £500,000.

Last updated: 2:22pm, March 12 2010