Judge Says Spector Jury Believes It's At An Impasse

Jurors in Phil Spector's murder trial have indicated they believe they are at an impasse, the judge said Tuesday in a hearing triggered by a note from the panel in its seventh day of deliberations.

"The jury has announced to the clerk that they believe they are hung," Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler told attorneys called to a hearing.

Spector is charged with second-degree murder, and the judge previously ruled that the panel would only decide that charge and not consider possible lesser charges such as manslaughter.

The judge, however, told the attorneys that he was reconsidering and believed he might have cause to instruct the jury to consider a lesser charge.

A recess was called before the jury was called into open court.

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

The case went to the jury on Sept. 10.

Clarkson was killed by a bullet fired from a gun inside her mouth.

The defense contended in the lengthy trial that she had many personal problems and killed herself either by accident or suicide.

Spector was a producer of hit rock music records decades ago, creating what became known as the "Wall of Sound" recording technique.

Clarkson had modest success as the star of Roger Corman's 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen."

She was working as a hostess at the House of Blues when she met Spector and went home with him after work, just hours before she died.


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