Jim Porter: Two topics: Some good news, and some Phil Spector news
April 2, 2009
Once again we have a dual-topic Law Review of unrelated topics that no legitimate writer would ever attempt. That opens the door for me.
Project Graduation is a nationwide event organized in response to deaths that occurred with partying high school grads. The goal is to finance a fun-filled, safe and sober graduation night for local high school seniors with a surprise venue.
For Truckee High, the main fund raising event is the now famous Senior Fashion Show and Silent Auction/Raffle. Calendar Sunday, April 5th with two shows starting at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Truckee High School Auditorium. Mardi-Gras theme.
If you can help with donations or need tickets contact Kathleen Raber at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monetary donations may be sent to Project Graduation 2009, P.O. Box 583, Truckee, CA 96160. Donations are tax deductible.
North Tahoe High will also hold a Senior Fashion Show as a fundraiser for the North Tahoe High School Project Graduation on April 26 at 2 p.m. For info or to purchase tickets contact Wendy Cole at (530) 412-0761.
During the 2007 five-month murder trial of legendary music producer Phil Spector we dispatched four on-the-scene press reports. Spector is a bad guy and in re-reading the Law Review columns, I see I didn’t hold back.
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While the jury was still deliberating, I predicted that at least one juror would hold out ” resulting in a mistrial. In fact, it was two jurors. The jury voted 10-2 to convict. So Spector is being retried. In fact, as we go to press, the jury in the second murder trial is out deliberating.
The evidence in the first trial and the pending trial is basically undisputed -” until the very end. Spector was out drinking at three different luxurious bars in Southern California before he ended up at the House of Blues where Lana Clarkson, an aspiring actress, was hostess.
Spector brought her home to his landmark mansion known as the “Pyreness Castle” with its suits of armor, coat of arms and red velvet drapes ” the whole over-done package.
Spector was holding his gun to Clarkson’s face, in fact sticking it in her mouth, when it went off killing her and splattering him with blood. He then ran outside and said, as his driver testified, “I think I killed somebody.” His lawyers, best described as the Obfuscation Team, contend Clarkson committed suicide, notwithstanding she was in heels, with her purse over her shoulder and heading for the door, presumably spurning Spector’s advances.
Five women who testified in the earlier trial, and this trial as well, said Spector had brought them back to his residence, brandished a weapon, even threatened to kill them. Testimony showed that Spector continued this practice for over 30 years. One woman testified “he said he was going to blow my brains out.”
Another witness testified Spector was removed from comedian Joan Rivers’ Christmas party in the early 1990’s by yelling obscenities about women and shouting, “these (expletive for women), they all deserve a bullet in their heads.”
Spector, 68, shows up in court every day with his 29-year old “loving” wife. I wonder where she was when he brought Clarkson and the other women home.
Wall of sound
Spector is a famous movie arranger inventing the so-called “Wall of Sound,” essentially a sort of echo-chamber that created music that was greater than the sum of its parts. He recorded: “To Know Him Is to Love Him,” the first record I ever bought, the Ronettes’ classic “Be My Baby,” the Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron” and the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.” He also produced Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep-Mountain High” and worked with the Beatles.
He is going to need a Wall of Attorneys to win this trial, and he has some of the best money will buy, along with hired-gun professional experts paid handsomely to confuse jurors.
In the first trial the prosecutor sought a second-degree murder conviction ” up or down, guilty or not guilty. In the current trial, the judge is allowing a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, meaning Spector killed Clarkson but not intentionally. The manslaughter charge should be an easy one for the jury to find. It will bring a prison term of two-four years. I’m predicting a manslaughter conviction, but hoping for “murder two,” which could happen.
He should be put away simply for having the gall to claim Lana Clarkson committed suicide while he held his gun in her mouth at his house then confessed.
Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon, with offices in Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Reno and a licensed California real estate broker. He was the Governor’s appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson Commission on political ethics and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. He may be reached at email@example.com or at the firm’s web site, http://www.portersimon.com.