July 26, 2007 22:53
Phil Spector trial: Day 40
Defence scientist is grilled by prosecution
A defence witness underwent an intense cross-examination today at the murder trial of Phil Spector.
Dr. Werner Spitz, an experienced forensics scientist, had concluded that actress Lana Clarkson shot herself at Spector’s mansion in February 2003, and stuck to his opinion throughout the interrogation.
Spitz, who has worked on thousands of cases, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, did concede that the physical evidence matched the prosecution’s case that Spector shot Clarkson.
However, he said that evidence OTHER than the physical led him to the conclusion that she shot herself, saying he put the pieces together like a puzzle.
"When you work a puzzle, you don't know what is the picture," he said.
Addressing the notion that Spector and Clarkson were embroiled in a struggle before the shots were fired, Spitz said “To comply with that theory you would have a lot of holes in that puzzle. It doesn't fit in this case."
Grilled by Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, Spitz said that the actress in his opinion, did not commit suicide, but did shoot herself in the mouth.
Jackson brought up the fee that Spitz is earning for his consultation in the case, which at $5,000 a day, has so far earned him $45,000. He dismissed the notion that money was a factor in his participation, saying:
"I have plenty of money. What I don't have plenty of is time."
--By our New York staff.
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