In the Phil Spector murder case, prosecutor Douglas Sortino said in papers filed with the court Friday that he plans to use a statement in which the famed record producer said he accidentally shot actress Lana Clarkson, 40, while Spector’s lawyers have argued the statements he made to police after Clarkson died at his suburban L.A. mansion in February of ’03 should be thrown out because he was suffering withdrawal symptoms from seven prescription drugs at the time and had not been read his Miranda rights.
According to grand jury transcripts, a police officer testified that right after Spector was handcuffed he said, “What’s wrong with you guys? What are you doing? I didn’t mean to shoot her. It was an accident.”
“Mr. Spector denies he shot anyone at his house and denies he said he shot anyone,” defense attorney Bruce Cutler said Saturday. “We have made motions to suppress certain statements that were not admissions and were illegally obtained.”
Prosecutors also plan to use two later Spector statements in which he claimed Clarkson committed suicide to impeach him if he testifies inconsistently with them. Defense attorneys have challenged the use of those statements also.
Judge Larry P. Fidler has set a hearing in Los Angeles beginning Thursday to decide if the statements will be allowed in the trial, scheduled to begin in January. In May, Fidler ruled that prosecutors can introduce evidence in the upcoming trial suggesting Spector had a long “history of threatening women” before the night of Clarkson’s shooting death.