Phil Spector trial: Day 39

Clarkson shot herself, defence expert says

A forensic scientist in the Phil Spector murder trial today said that actress Lana Clarkson probably shot herself in the mouth at the music producer’s mansion.

Dr. Werner Spitz testified that “most likely this is a self-inflicted wound. I’d probably call it a suicide.”

In response to medical examiner Dr. Louis Pena ’s finding that Clarkson‘s death was a homicide, Spitz said “I disagree with his opinion. I think it was a hasty opinion.”

Pena gave his opinion back in June, and was cross-examined for four days by the prosecution.

Agreeing with the prosecution, Spitz said the cause of death was a gunshot wound inside the mouth.

But he said that the pattern of bruising inside Clarkson’s mouth also added to the conclusion that she shot herself and that the force of the shot could have sent blood spatter as far as six feet.

The distance at which blood can travel has been a key issue in the trial, as it could add to the case against Spector who would have to have been within a certain number of feet of the actress when the shot was fired.

If Spector is found to have been within three feet of her, it proves he could have pulled the trigger.

–By our New York staff.

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