September 10, 2007 20:52

Phil Spector murder case goes to jury

Judge reprimands Spector's wife

Phil Spector murder case goes to jury
The Phil Spector murder case went to the jury today (September 10), with the nine men and three women deliberating whether the famed music producer is guilty of killing actress Lana Clarkson.

Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler issued specific instructions to the jurors before they got down to work, explaining that it was the responsibility of the prosecution to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. He then reminded them that "reasonable doubt" does not mean that all doubt is eliminated.

Fidler also asked the jurors whether they'd heard any news reports over the weekend that might affect their decision, and no one said they had.

Just before sending the case to jury, Fidler slapped a gag order on Spector and his wife, Rachelle, reports the Associated Press.

Fidler reprimanded Rachelle for going against his orders and sending emails to reporters over the weekend.

"Ma'am, I'm going to do something I've never done before," Fidler said. "You are here in the courtroom. You will not talk to the press…until a verdict or other decision is arrived at in this case. If you do, you're in violation of my order and you know what I do to people who violate my orders."

Rachelle began to argue back, but the judge interrupted her and warned her of the consequences of arguing with him.

Meanwhile, Spector denied claims that he told London's Mail On Sunday that he believed the jurors thought he was guilty or insane.

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.
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