Phil Spector trial: Day 20

Judge denies request for mistrial

The defence’s request for a mistrial in Phil Spector‘s murder case was denied today (June 11).

The defence moved for a mistrial on the grounds that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler mishandled the controversy over whether forensic scientist Henry Lee took a fingernail-sized object from the scene of actress Lana Clarkson‘s fatal shooting.

Spector is accused of murdering Clarkson on February 3, 2003 at his Los Angeles mansion. The defence contends her death was suicide.

The fingernail would add to the prosecution’s claims that Clarkson was resisting the gun that shot her in the mouth, and could be key to their claim that she did not commit suicide.

Fidler said the defence was “not even close to the grounds for a mistrial” and denied the motion, closing the matter in minutes, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Sheriff’s department criminalist Steve Renteria testified about blood stains at the scene of the crime.

The defence contends that the small amount of blood found on Spector‘s clothing indicates that he was too far away from Clarkson to have shot her. The prosecutors claim that Spector was within three feet of the actress when she was shot.

The proceedings took place today without the presence of the jury.

–By our Los Angeles staff.

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