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Phil Spector Murder Conviction Upheld

Appeals court rules that the producer's 2009 trial was not prejudiced against him

May 3, 2011 8:35 AM ET
Phil Spector listens to the judge during sentencing in the Los Angeles Criminal Court on May 29, 2009.
Phil Spector listens to the judge during sentencing in the Los Angeles Criminal Court on May 29, 2009.
Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images

A California appeals court has rejected Phil Spector's bid to overturn his 2009 murder conviction for the 2003 killing of actress Lana Clarkson in the foyer of his mansion.

Photos: Phil Spector Before the Fall

Spector's attorneys had argued that his conviction resulted from a prejudiced trial and that jurors should not have heard testimony from five women who claimed that the legendary record producer had threatened them with a gun years before Clarkson was shot dead in Spector's home. Ultimately the three-justice panel agreed with prosecutors that this testimony was relevant to the case.

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"The evidence showed that, when fueled by alcohol and faced with a lack or loss of control over a woman who was alone with him and in whom he had a romantic or sexual interest, Spector underwent a sharp mood swing, exhibited extreme anger and threatened the woman with a gun when she refused to do his bidding," Justice Joan Klein wrote in an 81-page ruling on behalf of the panel.

Spector will continue to serve a prison sentence of at least 19 years.

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