Nineteen-year sentence for murder handed down to music producer Phil Spector

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Police photograph of Phil Spector
Image: LAPD.

Music producer Phil Spector has been sentenced to life imprisonment, of which he will serve a minimum of nineteen years in prison. This for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson who was shot through the mouth in Spector's Los Angeles home in 2003.

The 69-year-old man had spent two trials and millions of dollars before conviction, with his defense being the claim Clarkson had killed herself due to depression. Spector's chauffeur testified he heard a gunshot before Spector told him "I think I killed somebody" and five separate woman said Spector had previously threatened them with guns.

Spector had a previous conviction for brandishing a gun in the 1970s, and received probation at the time. In addition to the mandatory 15 years imprisonment for second-degree murder he will spend another four years in jail due to the use of a firearm, making him 88 when he is eligible for parole. He was also ordered to pay over $26,000 restitution costs.

Wife Rachelle Spector maintained her husband's innocence, saying "This is a sad day for everybody involved. The Clarkson family has lost a daughter and a sister. I've lost my husband, my best friend. I feel that a grave injustice has been done and from this day forward I'm going to dedicate myself to proving my husband's innocence."

Son Louis Spector, however, felt that his father was guilty. "I'm torn about this. I'm losing my father who is going to spend his life in jail. At the same time, justice is served."


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