Phil Spector Loses Last Bid to Overturn Murder Conviction

on February 22 2012 1:59 PM
Music producer Phil Spector stands in court after he was convicted of second-degree murder in Los Angeles
Recording legend Phil Spector has run out of options in his fight to overturn a conviction for the 2003 shooting death of an actress now that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case. Reuters

The music has ended for recording legend Phil Spector after the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday declined to hear his appeal of a 2009 murder conviction.

The justices gave no reason for denying a petition from Spector, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer convicted for the 2003 shooting death of actress and model Lana Clarkson.

Spector has been fighting his second-degree murder conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct, but the Supreme Court decided to let stand a California appeals court decision that upheld the jury verdict, which resulted in a 19-year prison sentence.

The 72-year-old Los Angeles-based recording pioneer was best known for the Wall of Sound technique and his work with 1960s girl groups such as The Ronettes. Spector, known later in life for his eccentric behavior and style, has maintained his innocence in Clarkson's death; his lawyers say the actress shot herself either intentionally or accidentally.

After the trial, Spector's counsel argued to a California appeals court the conviction should be tossed because prosecutors showed a videotape at trial showing statements the judge had made about an expert witness' testimony on blood splatter, according to Reuters.

The California appeals court upheld the conviction; the state's Supreme Court refused to review the decision, leading Spector to take his case to the Supremes.

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