The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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CA vs. Spector – Dude Look Like A Lady – With a Gun

Posted by thedarwinexception on June 5, 2007

Phil Spector just can’t catch a break in the “ego” department.

First it was the repeated references to Lana Clarkson’s misidentification of him the night that they met, and the fact that once he identified himself to her, she called him “MRS. Spector”.

Then it was the allusion to him as looking like Elmer Fudd  made by the witness who saw him coming down the stairs in a  plaid jacket toting a rifle.

Now, we have the first witness after the many days of Dr. Pena’s testimony, Mark Lillienfeld, who was the homicide detective who collected evidence from Spector’s home. And one of the first things he says on the stand is that the white dinner jacket Spector was wearing the night Clarkson died, and which Lillienfeld collected because of the blood spots that were present on it, was not exactly purchased in the men’s department. “It is actually a ladies garment. The buttons are on the left and the button holes are on the right,” Detective Lillienfeld tells jurors.

Ooopps.

Lillienfeld also displayed all the guns that were collected from the Spector home – and there were a bunch of them. All told, there were 12 firearms taken that night. Lillienfeld has brought 4 of them to display to jurors. The .38 special Colt Cobra revolver that she was shot with; which  was found on the floor under Clarkson’s left leg. She was right-handed. Two other revolvers which were recovered in a case in a master bedroom closet; and a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun from the floor of the same closet.

Lifting the revolver out of a yellow evidence envelope and holding it toward the jury, Lillienfeld recalled seeing wet blood and the words “38 SPECIAL” engraved on the gun handle. The detective noted that inside a partially opened drawer in a bureau in the foyer was an empty gun holster that matched the Colt revolver

“That holster fits a 2-inch 38-caliber revolver. It’s manufactured for that purpose,” he said.

Prosecutors can’t tell jurors about the eight other weapons in the house because they were deemed irrelevant to the alleged crime. The handguns from the master bedroom, a place where Clarkson never set foot, are coming in as evidence because they were loaded with the same type of unusual “Plus P” ammunition. Lillienfeld explains what this designation means when it is referenced by ammunition manufacturers. He explains that it indicates it has “added pressure” to heighten the velocity of the bullet as it travels down the barrel of the gun. The prosecution will argue that the matching ammunition in the .38 special and the gun from the closet floor proves the gun that shot Clarkson was Spector’s. It is unclear why the unloaded shotgun is OK to show jurors. Perhaps to corroborate Dorothy Melvin’s account of being chased from the estate grounds by a shotgun-wielding Spector?

Interestingly, when Spector was deposed in a civil suit by his first lawyer, Robert Shapiro, he claimed he was unaware the weapons were in his house.

“When did you find out you owned a lot of weapons?” Shapiro asked.

“After the police told me I did. I had forgotten they were — yes, I do,” replied Spector.

Along with the guns and the ladies dinner jacket, a strange and fascinating array of objects were collected by the Detectives and presented to the jury by Lillienfeld.  An empty liter of tequila was found on a coffee table in Spector’s living room. Nearby was a snifter, half full with an unidentified type of liquor. In a powder room off the foyer, detectives found a second snifter, empty and resting on the sink, and a pair of false eyelashes.

Lillienfeld said that he found a “three-pack” of Viagra in a leather briefcase engraved “PS” on a chair just a few feet from Clarkson’s body. Two of the pills were gone from the packaging. Adriano De Souza, Spector’s driver that night,  previously testified that Spector came out of the house to retrieve the briefcase from his Mercedes shortly after he and Clarkson entered the house.

Lillienfeld said the same briefcase also contained a DVD of a 1950 movie, “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” starring James Cagney. Adriano DeSouza, told a grand jury that Clarkson and Spector watched the movie in the back of the car as he drove them to the mansion from the House of Blues.

Deputy District Attorney Patrick Dixon questioned Lillienfeld about the number of phones in Spector’s home. The detective said he found more than a dozen, including a landline and two cellphones just a few steps from Clarkson’s body. Spector did not phone 911 for help after the shooting.

The defense will cross examine Lillienfeld Wednesday. There is no court Thursday or Friday this week.
 

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