Phil Spector faces re-trial after current jury splits on murder verdict




10-2 vote not enough to secure conviction

Phil Spector's murder trial collapsed on Wednesday (26.09.07) after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler declared a mistrial after the jury were unable to agree on whether the 67-year-old music producer was guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of Lana Clarkson in 2003.

The panel of 12 - which had been deliberating for 12 days - returned a hung vote of 10-2, with the majority favouring a guilty verdict. It is the second deadlock the jury have reached in this five-month case.

Last week, Fidler sent the jury back with new instructions on the definition of murder in the case, and offered various scenarios for the jury to consider, after they returned a 7-5 split vote.

Speaking after Wednesday's court hearing, three jurors admitted that as two jurors remained determined of Spector's innocence it gave weight to the defence's assertions that Clarkson may have accidentally committed suicide.

One juror added they had trouble understanding why there was so little blood spatter on Spector if he was guilty of shooting the 40-year-old actress in the mouth.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office immediately announced it would retrial Spector, who remains free on a USD1 million bail.

Spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said: "We're disappointed the jury was unable to reach a verdict in this case, and we will immediately begin preparations for a retrial."

John Taylor, a lawyer for Clarkson's relatives said the family supported the decision to retry Spector, adding: "We will not rest until justice is done."

Judge Fidler has set a new court date for 3 October, at which a new pre-trial hearing will be arranged.

Clarkson was found dead at the music producer's castle in Alhambra, California, on 3 February 3, just hours after they met at a nearby nightclub where she worked as a hostess.




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