The Phil Spector Trial: We Watch Court TV So You Don't Have To (08/15)

August 15, 2007 9:11 AM ET

WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY? The Michael Jordan of forensic science, Dr. Michael Baden, finally took the stand as the defense's likely last witness. The first two hours of Baden's testimony revolved around his long and prestigious career: over 20,000 autopsies performed; investigations into the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Belushi; consulting for O.J. Simpson's dream team; a stint on HBO's Autopsy. Baden is also, conveniently enough, the husband of Phil Spector defense lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden. Baden confirmed that Lana Clarkson died of an intra-oral gunshot wound, and that only one of the dozens of such fatal wounds he's inspected was the result of a homicide. Baden shocked the prosecution when he testified that Clarkson's spine was not completely severed by the bullet, allowing her to spit blood after the gunshot, and essentially making it possible for Spector to get blood on his white jacket if he approached Clarkson after she, according to the defense, shot herself. However, the prosecution was not properly informed of Baden's recent revelation, leading the judge to declare that the defense violated the rules of discovery, thus rendering Baden's testimony inadmissible. Baden is expected to continue his turn on the stand tomorrow.

IS THIS GOOD OR BAD FOR SPECTOR? Bad, on so many levels. Just when the defense finally introduced testimony that could get Spector off the hook, they invalidated it by trying to sneak it by an uninformed prosecution. The fact that Baden has been paid $80,000 thus far for his work on the Spector trial likely rubbed the jury the wrong way, and even though Baden's wife wasn't in court due to illness, his appearance on the stand has an aura of "mess this up and you're sleeping on the couch" to it.

MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE OF COURT: If all else fails, Spector will be happy to know that Dr. Henry Lee, the defense's original star witness, has returned from his trip from China. Lee has come under fire in the stolen-evidence scandal, but desperate times might call for desperate measures.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »