- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 12, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) Phil Spector will contend that the shooting death of an actress at his suburban mansion last week was accidental, a close friend of the legendary music producer said.
"I believe his defense will be that this was a tragic accident," said Marvin Mitchelson, a prominent Los Angeles lawyer who has been friends with Mr. Spector for about 12 years and has traveled extensively with him.
Mr. Mitchelson said yesterday that he could not provide details of how an accidental shooting might have occurred, but said: "I've spoken with various individuals connected with the case, and I'm 100 percent certain it's not a homicide."
Mr. Mitchelson said he had not spoken directly with Mr. Spector since the producer's arrest Feb. 3 at his $1.1 million home in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra.
Mr. Spector, 62, remains free on $1 million bond. Sheriff's investigators have not yet presented a case to the district attorney's office.
"We haven't seen any evidence yet, so we can't comment," district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
She said she expects the case to be presented to the district attorney sometime before Mr. Spector's March 3 arraignment.
Mr. Spector's attorney, Robert Shapiro, who once represented O.J. Simpson, has refused to discuss the case publicly.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Dan Rosenberg said his department has decided to make no comments about what investigators have discovered.
Meanwhile, another close friend of Mr. Spector who spoke on condition of anonymity said that actress Lana Clarkson's body was found seated, slumped in an antique chair in the foyer of Mr. Spector's home. She had been shot in the face.
Miss Clarkson, who was working as a hostess at the House of Blues, had met Mr. Spector once before at the club, the friend said, but the night she accompanied him home in his chauffeur-driven limousine was their first date.

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