- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An actress fatally shot in Phil Spector’s hilltop castle was the last of several women victimized by the legendary music producer in a decades-long series of alcohol-fueled confrontations, a prosecutor told jurors yesterday as they began hearing the murder case.

Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson’s opening statement made it clear the case against Mr. Spector in the death of Lana Clarkson will rely heavily on the testimony of other women dating to the 1970s.

Mr. Jackson outlined what he called a pattern of behavior in which Mr. Spector would become exceedingly drunk, take a woman to one of his residences, refuse to let her leave and then threaten her with a gun when she refused to stay.

He said Mr. Spector is someone “who, when he’s confronted with the right circumstances, when he’s confronted with the right situations, turns sinister and deadly.”

“The evidence is going to paint a picture of a man who on February 3, 2003, put a loaded pistol in Lana Clarkson’s mouth — inside her mouth — and shot her to death,” Mr. Jackson told the nine-man, three-woman jury.

The prosecutor showed a photograph of Miss Clarkson slumped in a chair, her face covered with blood.

Mr. Spector listened glumly during the televised proceeding as the prosecution laid out the murder case against him. His attorneys were to present their opening remarks later.

Mr. Spector, 67, whose “Wall of Sound” transformed rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s, lives in a rambling castlelike mansion in suburban Alhambra, Calif. It was there that he took Miss Clarkson, who wound up dead in the foyer with a gunshot through her mouth.

Mr. Jackson told the jury that Mr. Spector had gone out on the town for an evening with female friends and had many drinks at a series of restaurants before arriving at the House of Blues, where he met Miss Clarkson, 40, who was working in the club’s elite Foundation Room. She had a role in Roger Corman’s 1980s cult film “Barbarian Queen.”

The prosecutor presented video surveillance footage from a House of Blues camera that showed Miss Clarkson leaving with Mr. Spector.

“She was found dead two hours and 55 minutes later,” he said.

A chauffeur who drove the pair to Mr. Spector’s mansion has told of hearing a gunshot and seeing Mr. Spector emerge from the house holding a gun and declaring, “I think I killed somebody.” Mr. Spector later said he thought the shooting was an “accidental suicide” by Miss Clarkson.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Mr. Spector could face 15 years to life in prison.

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