Sabtu, 08 Desember 2007

Spector has new attorney for retrial (AP)

LOS ANGELES - A San Francisco lawyer says he will represent Phil Spector in his retrial on a murder charge and that he could not be ready to proceed until September.

Doron Weinberg's proposed date for the new trial would put it exactly one year after the record producer's first one ended in a hung jury.

Weinberg told Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler on Friday that he needs five months to study 10,000 pages of transcripts from the first, six-month trial as well as 35,000 pages of discovery provided by the prosecution. A mistrial was declared Sept. 26 when jurors could not agree whether he had shot actress Lana Clarkson in 2003.

Members of Spector's previous defense team either resigned or were dismissed after the mistrial. Weinberg said the only remaining lawyer, Christopher Plourd, is involved in two death penalty cases and could not be available to try the Spector case until the fall.

Deputy District Attorney Pat Dixon said the prosecution wants Spector's new trial to begin as soon as possible, but "If Mr. Plourd's cases go we can't argue with that."

He suggested an interim hearing to check on Plourd's schedule, which Fidler set for March 7. As a technicality, Fidler also set May 22 as a tentative trial date but said that will be continued.

Weinberg asked the judge to let Spector and his wife, Rachelle, speak to the news media about the case in coming months. Fidler refused, saying, "I still believe the case should be tried in the courtroom."

Fidler imposed a gag order during the first trial after Mrs. Spector went on television to voice support for her husband.

Clarkson's mother and sister were in court with their lawyers. They have filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Spector that can't be tried until the criminal case is resolved.

Spector, who turns 68 this month, was a hit-making producer decades ago with a recording technique known as the "Wall of Sound" that revolutionized rock music.

Clarkson, best known for the 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen," was working as a hostess at a House of Blues night club when she met Spector and went home with him.

She died of a gunshot fired inside her mouth while seated in a foyer in Spector's suburban Los Angeles mansion. The prosecution claimed Spector shot her; the defense said she shot herself.

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