WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY? Phil Spector’s defense team had a rough start on Thursday. Judge Larry Fidler ruled that while he wouldn’t strike from the record Tuesday’s controversial tesimony about the gunshot wound that killed Lana Clarkson — according to forensic king Dr. Michael Baden, it didn’t sever her spine, which mean that she was still breathing after the wound. This prompted Spector defense lawyer Bradley Brunon to tell the judge he was “putting a thumb on the scale.” Fidler exploded into a tirade, which prompted Brunon to quickly withdraw his comment from the record.
After the fireworks, Baden ended a tumultuous turn on the witness stand by fielding cross-examination questions from both sides. Recalling the previous day’s “conflict of interest” testimony, the prosecution tried to connect the dots by showing that while Baden says he is an unbiased witness, he does own stock in Spector’s acquittal as his wife Linda Kenney-Baden will receive $150,000 for serving as Spector’s defense lawyer (not to mention her reputation as an elite defense lawyer may be tarnished). In a startling moment, Spector was instructed by his team to pretend he was pointing a gun to show that if he had shot Lana Clarkson, he’d have gunshot residue on his hair, clothes, skin, etc. The point wasn’t really made, but it did create a haunting image for the jury.
IS THIS GOOD OR BAD FOR SPECTOR?: Both. The non-severed spine theory could lead to reasonable doubt, but it begs the question: If Lana Clarkson was still breathing after allegedly, according to Spector, shooting herself, then why didn’t Spector immediately call the police if she was still breathing?
MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE OF COURT: After having a perfect jury attendance for the entirety of the case, the trial lost an alternate juror yesterday due to the alternate’s need to tend to a seriously ill relative. Judge Fidler asked that both the prosecution and the defense pick up the pace, as jurors dropping from the panel seem to have a snowball effect.