Prosecution accuses defence expert of conflict of interest
Renowned criminalist Michael Baden was cross-examined by the prosecution today (August 15) in the Phil Spector murder trial, following Baden‘s controversial testimony yesterday.
As previously reported, Baden put forth a new theory that actress Lana Clarkson did not die immediately after being shot at the producer’s Los Angeles mansion. He suggested that the actress may have remained alive long enough to spew blood onto Spector‘s jacket.
Today, prosecutor Alan Jackson accused Baden of having a conflict of interest because his wife, Linda Kenney Baden, is one of Spector‘s attorneys.
After being asked a series of questions about professional conflicts of interests, Baden exploded and said he could not define “conflict of interest” because he’s “not a lawyer.”
Jackson took this opportunity to quote ethics guidelines from the American Medical Association, and insisted that Baden had a personal and financial interest in the outcome of the case, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Jackson went on to suggest that if Baden drew conclusions that contradicted those of his wife, “you’d probably be sleeping on the couch for several months, right?” The courtroom erupted in laughter.
Despite the prosecution’s relentless interrogation, Baden insisted that there was no conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, Judge Larry Paul Fidler ruled that the defence violated evidence rules by presenting Baden‘s surprise testimony.
“There is a deliberate, knowing violation of discovery,” Fidler said, stating that the law requires attorneys to preview trial evidence for their opponents so the other side can form a rebuttal.
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.