Closing Arguments Begin in Spector Retrial

Music producer could get lesser manslaughter charge
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 23, 2009 10:24 AM CDT
Attorney Doron Weinberg shows a crime scene photo to Los Angeles county medical examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran during a hearing in Phil Spector's murder re-trial.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Attorneys begin closing arguments today in the second murder trial of music producer Phil Spector—proceedings which drew little attention after a media frenzy surrounding the first, which ended with a hung jury, the AP reports. Spector, 69, faces a second-degree charge in the 2003 death of actress Lana Clarkson, but Friday, a Los Angeles judge said Spector could also be convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

A manslaughter conviction could mean 2-4 years in prison; a second-degree murder conviction could result in 15 years to life for an act “with gross negligence and consciously taking the risk of killing someone.” The manslaughter option is “a huge benefit for the prosecution,” said a law professor, upping the odds it will “walk away with some kind of a conviction.”