- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles judge has ruled that jurors in Phil Spector’s trial can consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter instead of second-degree murder.

Superior Court spokeswoman Vania Stuelp (VAHN’-yuh STULP’) says Judge Larry Paul Fidler made the decision Friday.

The ruling reverses Fidler’s decision in Spector’s first trial where he refused to instruct the jury that it could consider voluntary or involuntary manslaughter in the death of actress Lana Clarkson.

The music producer is accused of fatally shooting Clarkson at his home in 2003. The defense says she killed herself.

His lawyer says Fiddler’s ruling would confuse the jury.

Jurors in the first trial deadlocked with the majority favoring conviction on second-degree murder.

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