Spector Hung Jury Told To Forget About Lesser Charge
LATEST: The judge overseeing record producer Phil Spector's murder trial is refusing to allow his jury to consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter as it struggles to make a decision.
Judge Larry Paul Fidler spoke with the jury foreman on Tuesday (18Sep07) after learning the 12-member panel was deadlocked after spending seven days deliberating over the evidence and testimonies of 77 witnesses.
Lawyers revisited certain aspects of the case with the jury before the members were sent home early.
Fidler had hinted he might be prepared to lessen the second-degree murder charge against Spector to aid the jury, but on Wednesday (19Sep07), the judge stood firm.
He told the jury members they should only consider the charge of second-degree murder.
He said, "I do accept that it would be inappropriate at this time to instruct the jury with a new offense, that being the lesser offense of manslaughter, because I believe it's basically directing them, if at all possible, that's what they should find. And that is inappropriate."
Fidler told the jurors he's considering asking attorneys to reargue parts of the case to help them come to a decision.
Spector is charged with murdering actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California mansion in February, 2003.
His lawyers maintain the depressed actress shot herself either on purpose or by accident.