Phil Spector found guilty of second-degree murder

Court case verdict could mean life in prison

Phil Spector found guilty of second-degree murder
Phil Spector was found guilty of second degree murder in a verdict handed down in Los Angeles today (April 13).

The famed music producer was also found guilty of using a firearm to commit a crime, according to the verdict read by Los Angeles Superior Court jurors.

Spector was convicted of shooting and killing actress Lana Clarkson at his Los Angeles mansion on February 3, 2003. He was originally tried for the crime in 2007, but the jury deadlocked 10-2 in favour of convicting Spector, which resulted in a mistrial.

The new jury deliberated for approximately 30 hours. They had the option of convicting him of involuntary manslaughter instead of second-degree murder, but chose not to do so.

When the verdict was read today, Spector showed no emotion, reports the Associated Press. His attorney argued that he should remain free on bail until the May 29 sentencing, but Judge Larry Paul Fidler sent him directly to jail.

Spector, 69, could face 15 years to life in prison as a result of the second-degree murder conviction. The firearm conviction carries a penalty of up to three years in jail.

Throughout the trial, Spector's defence attorneys alleged that Clarkson took her own life because she was despondent over her waning acting career, while prosecutors claimed that Spector shot the actress.

Spector - the pioneer behind the 1960s Wall Of Sound technique - had a long history of threatening people with guns, according to testimony from the trial. His chauffeur - one of the key witnesses in the trial - testified that on the night of Clarkson's death, he heard a gunshot and then saw Spector emerge holding a gun saying, "I think I killed somebody."

Spector met Clarkson at the House of Blues in Hollywood on the night of her death. She reportedly took the producer up on his offer to accompany him to his Alhambra mansion for a drink and was discovered dead a few hours later.

For more on Phil Spector's fall from grace, check our photo gallery.

--By our Los Angeles staff.
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