The producer remains free, but maybe not for long
The drama-filled murder trial of famed record producer Phil Spector came to a close yesterday (September 26), with the judge declaring a mistrial because jurors could not agree on the verdict after 12 days of deliberation, as previously reported.
After sitting through five months of heated testimony, the jury reached a 10-2 deadlock in favour of convicting Spector.
But what does this mean for Spector? Will he go free? Not necessarily. Although the producer is currently out on bail, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has stated that they are immediately preparing for a retrial.
Spector was charged with second-degree murder over the death of actress Lana Clarkson nearly five years ago, for which he would have faced a minimum of 18 years in jail if he had been convicted.
Now that a mistrial has been declared, prosecutors have the option of pursuing lesser charges of manslaughter, seeking a murder conviction again or negotiating a plea deal.
In the meantime, Spector appears to be viewing this outcome as a victory. Yesterday afternoon he was spotted outside his Los Angeles mansion holding his fingers up in a V symbol for victory, and grinning and waving at news helicopters with his wife Rachelle by his side.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, who presided over the case, asked Spector and the attorneys to return to court for a pretrial hearing on October 3 to determine what the next step will be.
Meanwhile, the Spector mistrial adds to the frustration of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, still haunted by the infamous murder acquittals of football player OJ Simpson and actor Robert Blake.
–By our Los Angeles staff.