Judge Fidler reprimands the defence
Judge Larry Paul Fidler reprimanded the defence team in the Phil Spector murder trial today (August 16) for violating evidence rules.
Fidler said that the defence ignored proper protocol when presenting criminalist Michael Baden‘s surprise testimony that actress Lana Clarkson did not die immediately after being shot, because it did not give the prosecution a chance for rebuttal.
“I have no doubt, let me say that as clearly as I can, that this was done to gain tactical advantage,” Fidler said.
Defence attorney Bradley Brunon insisted that he knew nothing of the new evidence prior to Baden‘s testimony, reports the Los Angeles Times.
When Brunon added that the judge should avoid penalising Spector for sins committed by his lawyers, Fidler got upset.
“That is really offensive,” Fidler said. “You better withdraw that comment.”
Fidler decided to let the testimony stand, but instructed jurors to take the defence’s actions into consideration when deciding whether Baden is a credible witness.
Spector is accused of murdering Clarkson at his Los Angeles mansion on February 3, 2003. The defence contends the actress’ death was suicide.
–By our Los Angeles staff.