The Darwin Exception

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Archive for April, 2007

CA vs. Spector (Almost) Day 3

Posted by thedarwinexception on April 30, 2007

So there were no proceedings today in the Spector trial. Bruce Cutler, the lead defense counsel had to have tests done, and Judge Fidler decided that rather than make the jury wait around an indefinite period of time, that he would cancel court for the day. And court had already been cancelled for tomorrow, since it’s May Day, and the annual “Don’t Take Your Immigrant to Work Day” had been planned. All of the streets around the courthouse are blocked off and courts are closed for all but the most pressing matters. Upwards of 500,000 people are expected for the protest/celebration.

Before court was adjourned for the day, Judge Fidler polled the jury and asked them if anyone saw an airing on CBS of “48 Hours”. They had a show this past weekend devoted to the killing of race car driver Mickey Thompson, which featured lead prosecutor Alan Jackson. None of the jurors had seen the program, which undoubtedly warmed the heart of the “Dateline NBC” producer sitting on the jury.

The judge then dismissed the jurors and took up another issue with the lawyers. Somehow he has learned that two of the defense’s listed witnesses, Dr. Henry Lee and Dr. Cyril Wecht, have appeared on Court TV talking specifically about the case. Witnesses aren’t supposed to be talking about the case – to anyone, and Judge Fidler reprimands the defense team, telling them that if his orders are not followed, he will take appropriate action. So much for seeing *them* on Court TV again.

The defense has also filed a motion with the court asking that the jury have a viewing of the Alhambra mansion where the shooting took place. They want to have the jury see (or hear) for themselves exactly how loud that fountain is that Bruce Cutler addressed in his opening statements. Cutler had said that the fountain in the courtyard was so loud and so overpowering that there was absolutely no way that Adriano De Souza, the limo driver, who was sitting in the limo (sleeping, according to Cutler), could have heard Spector say “I think I killed somebody” as De Souza claims. De Souza was parked quite near the bubbling fountain when Spector emerged from the house. Cutler argued that De Souza, in his lethargic state after being awakened by the sound of gunshots, coupled with the “roar” of the fountain, was mistaken in what he actually heard. Cutler and the defense team want to bolster their claim by having the jury hear for themselves exactly how overpowering the sound of the fountain is.

Jury views are at the sole discretion of the judge. We’ll have to wait and see if Judge Fidler will allow this one.

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Posted in Crime, Entertainment, Legal, News, Phil Spector, Trials, TV | Leave a Comment »