WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY? The Phil Spector murder trial entered its likely last week of witness testimony with a few surprises. To start, blood spatter expert James Pex retook the stand to answer questions concerning whether or not the LA Sheriff’s Dept. had the appropriate scientific prerequisites needed to analyze blood residue from the crime scene. Next, the defense shockingly called Lana Clarkson’s mother Donna to the stand. Her testimony didn’t center on Clarkson’s mental state, however. Letters found among Clarkson’s personal papers showed that Lana might have forged documents in an effort to dupe financial executive Harold Quackenbush into loaning her more money to produce her film Lana, Unleashed. Donna Clarkson held it together emotionally until the prosecution questioned her on cross-examination, at which point she began to choke up when reminiscing about shoe-shopping with Lana on February 3rd, 2003, the last time she saw her daughter.
IS THIS GOOD OR BAD FOR SPECTOR? Bad. Pex’s testimony did nothing but bore the jury, and calling Donna Clarkson to the stand not only made the jury more sympathetic to Lana, it helped eliminate any inkling of thought that Lana Clarkson might have shot herself.
MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE OF COURT: Dr. Michael Baden — the famed forensic pathologist, star of HBO’s Autopsy and husband of Spector defense lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden — is on deck to testify for the defense, and will likely serve as their final witness. Baden, who worked on Sid Vicious’ autopsy and testified at the O.J. Simpson trial, has a reputation of single-handedly swaying juries, and he’ll have to be at the pinnacle of his persuasive powers if Spector has any shot of getting a “not guilty” decision.