Phil Spector Trial: Day 24

Lawyer ordered to jail for contempt

A former defence lawyer in the Phil Spector trial was today (June 18) ordered to jail by Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, who is holding her in contempt of court.

Sara Caplan has refused to testify in front of a jury regarding a previous comment made that she saw forensic scientist Henry Lee pick up and conceal a vital piece of evidence.

As a former lawyer on the Spector defence team, Caplan is claiming attorney-client privilege but Judge Fidler is saying that privilege does not apply in cases where evidence may have been destroyed or concealed.

Caplan last month told the court without the jury present that she saw forensic expert Henry Lee pick up an object that looked like an acrylic fingernail, and put it in a vial. Lee is saying he did not pick up the object, but on May 23 the judge ruled that Lee did in fact find a flat, white item and Caplan’s story is more credible than Lee’s.

However, the judge said he did not know for sure if it was a fingernail as it has never been presented in court.

The evidence is considered key as it could prove that Lana Clarkson struggled against being shot in the mouth at the home of Phil Spector in February 2003. Spector is charged with her murder, he says she shot herself.

“I have great respect for this court, for the Constitution of the United States and the State of California, and the ethical obligations of attorneys in this state,” Caplan said today in court, but she refused to answer any questions.

Her sentence has been delayed until Friday, so Caplan can appeal. She is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday.

–By our New York staff.

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