Spector Jury Deliberates As Web Posting About Judge Probed

More than two weeks after the case was submitted to them, jurors continued to deliberate the murder charge against record producer Phil Spector on Tuesday as authorities investigated an Internet posting that appeared to threaten the trial judge.

The posting was on a MySpace.com Web page described as "Team Spector," said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

It was being investigated by the sheriff's judicial services unit, which looks into all alleged, implied or direct threats against judges, he said.

Whitmore would not comment on the wording of the posting, but Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said it stated "I love Phil Spector" and "The Evil Judge should DIE!!!!" and was signed "xoxo Chelle."

The posting was subsequently taken down.

Spector's wife is named Rachelle, but one of his defense attorneys, Christopher Plourd, said Mrs. Spector denied having anything to do with the posting.

Mrs. Spector, a 27-year-old self-described singer, songwriter and musician, recently clashed in court with Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler when he scolded her about giving a TV interview and then e-mailing reporters about it.

The judge imposed a gag order on her and others after she talked back to him in court.

Tuesday marked the 11th day on which the jury has deliberated, but some of those days have been very short.

The jury recessed deliberations Tuesday afternoon and was to resume talks Wednesday.

Spector, 67, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 3, 2003, death of actress Lana Clarkson, 40.

Clarkson was killed by a gunshot fired in her mouth as she sat in the foyer of Spector's Alhambra mansion after going home with him for a drink after meeting him at her job as a nightclub hostess.

The defense contended Clarkson was depressed and the shot was self-inflicted, either an accident or a suicide.

The case went to the jury on Sept. 10 and the jury foreman told the judge on Sept. 18 that the panel was deadlocked 7-5.

After two days of debate among attorneys, the judge revised the jury
instructions and the panel resumed talks late on Sept. 20.

In addition to those interruptions, the jury has not deliberated on
weekends.

Spector emerged on the music scene in the late 1950s and became a top producer using a hit-making recording technique that became known as the "Wall of Sound."

His prominence faded after the 1970s.

Clarkson was best known as the star of Roger Corman's 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen."


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