Spector to be Sentenced Friday; Still Maintains His Innocence

Phil Spector, who is set to be sentenced Friday on his second-degree murder conviction, continued to maintain in court papers filed today that he did not kill actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra mansion.

In a sentencing memorandum, defense lawyer Doron Weinberg wrote that his client's position is that the evidence presented at trial "did not establish defendant's culpability for the murder of Lana Clarkson."

"Defendant asserts, as he has steadfastly maintained since February 3, 2003, that he did not kill Lana Clarkson, and he is not responsible for her death," Weinberg wrote.

Spector's attorney noted in the two-page filing that the 69-year-old record producer does not dispute that his second-degree murder conviction requires a 15-year-to-life prison sentence. But he urged the judge to add three years -- rather than four as the prosecution recommended last week -- for the gun use enhancement found true by jurors.

The sentence will be handed down by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, who ordered Spector to be taken into custody April 13 after jurors convicted the legendary music industry figure of second-degree murder for Clarkson's Feb. 3, 2003, shooting death.

The two had met hours earlier at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, where the 40-year-old actress had recently begun working as a VIP hostess.

Spector -- who was taken into custody after the verdict despite defense protests that he was not a flight risk -- claimed Clarkson intentionally shot herself with his gun in his foyer.

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In the prosecution's May 19 sentencing memorandum, Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson wrote that "Lana Clarkson was the last in a series of victims to suffer homicidal assaults at the hands of Phil Spector."

"As the court heard during this trial, Spector has been pulling guns on women for decades. This court heard from six women -- each of whom recounted the chilling details of their encounters with Spector in which Spector pulled guns on them and promised that he could and would kill them," the prosecutor wrote.

The first jury to hear the case against Spector deadlocked 10-2 in September 2007, with the majority voting in favor of convicting him of murder.

Spector, renowned in music circles for the "Wall of Sound" technique he invented in the 1960s and used in his work with the Beatles, the Righteous Brothers and other groups, wrote or co-wrote such enduring hits as "Be My Baby" and "River Deep, Mountain High."

Clarkson, who was best known for her starring role in the 1985 Roger Corman cult hit "Barbarian Queen," had bit parts on dozens of television shows and in a few well-known movies, such as 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
 

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