The Darwin Exception

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

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CA vs. Spector – Revisiting Opening Statements – Bruce Cutler

Posted by thedarwinexception on September 2, 2007

OK – here’s a new and different quiz. Below you will find the text of the opening statement of Bruce Cutler. I went through it yesterday and today, trying to compare and contrast what Cutler promised and what was actually delivered. What the opening statements said we would find “from the evidence” and what we actually found when the evidence was all presented and given to the jury.

I went through and found a lot of areas where Cutler promised something, only to find that this was not what was actually testified to at all. I found lots of innuendos and hints of explosive or blockbuster material that never materialized at all, and lots of misstatements of what the evidence would show.

So, here’s your chance. This time you won’t be able to go through and research or look up answers. This time you’ll have to interpret, extrapolate and cogitate.

Find areas of Cutler’s opening that didn’t match the testimony given. Find areas where Cutler says “the evidence will show…” when no, it really didn’t show that at all. And predict what areas Alan Jackson will jump on to refute what the defense said in opening statements that they didn’t actually deliver.

And in the meantime, enjoy the revisiting of the opening statements. I think it’s important to take another look at them before closings, just to remind ourselves what we were promised, and keep these statements in mind when we are listening to closings.

Ladies and Gentlemen – Good afternoon – I haven’t spoken with you since last week – I think it was on Wednesday of last week – so It’s been a week – as you know, I’m Bruce Cutler and I’ve come here to represent Philip Spector in this very, very serious matter. And with the court’s permission, I’d like to begin my opening remarks to you.

Those photographs we saw, the remarks we heard from Mr. Jackson are not evidence – the photographs are, the remarks are not. It seems from Mr. Jackson that he has, from his opening statements, which is not evidence, a very negative view of Mr. Spector. It seems from Mr. Jackson’s opening remarks that he has depicted and described him in the most negative of  terms. So it becomes a problem to alert you to what the evidence will show. Part of what the evidence will show is that being successful, accomplishing so much, achieving so much in life, doing so much for others, when you achieve so much, can come back to hurt you. The car is too nice, the restaurant is too nice, the evidence will show, the hotel in Manhattan, the Carlyle, is too nice, the evidence will show, fame and success comes back to haunt you.

The evidence will show this was a tragic accident and that it’s a sad thing for any jury to see photographs that you saw. And the evidence will also show that back on February 3rd of 2003, before they even had a cause of death, let alone a manner of death, they had murder on their mind, murder on their mind, the police. According to Mr. Jackson, DeSouza, a substitute driver, with a language problem, who was full of snacks and cookies and water and sound asleep, sitting in a closed car with the heat on and the radio on and the fountain going, could hear what Mr. Jackson claimed he heard, and that awakening from a deep sleep, which Mr. Jackson apparently did not mention the evidence will show, he was able to be startled enough and to hear those five fatal words “I think I killed somebody”, “I think I killed somebody”, “I think somebody is killed”, or maybe he didn’t hear anything. Because according to Mr. Jackson the evidence will show that DeSouza asked Mr. Spector “What happened sir?” and he received a shrug. But when I say to you, ladies and gentlemen, murder was on their mind, this is what I mean. This is a quote from Detective Fournier, I hope I’m pronouncing it right, and Tomlin, but I think it’s Detective Fournier, F-O-U-R-N-I-E-R, to DeSouza, in an interview, in Alhambra, on the third of February, right after this incident:

Quote: “This is going to be a high profile case, no doubt about it, he’s a man with a lot of money, he’s wealthy, and it’s going to be considered high profile. It’s going to be in the news, it’s going to be a big thing.” And DeSouza says “What do I have to do?” And the detective says “Tell the truth”. And DeSouza says “I want somebody to direct me.” And the detective indicates “What you saw, you saw, what you heard, you heard, and that isn’t going to change tomorrow, next week, next year, or down the road.”

What I’m getting to, ladies and gentlemen, is that by the time Alhambra responded to the home and by the time they spoke to DeSouza, they had delineated and described this case as a murder. It had no alternative in their mind. It had no alternative in their mind. If the evidence shows you that the decedent who is five eleven, was five eleven, 161 pounds and almost 6 feet in heels, and who was familiar with guns and firearms and the evidence shows you that  – and we prove that to you, and the evidence indicates to you that this was a self inflicted gunshot wound, that at the time of the discharge of the weapon, of the gun, it was in her mouth, by her own hand, not by Mr. Spector’s, and if science proves anything, and we prove to you, that Mr. Spector was at least 2 1/2 to 4 feet away, at the time of the gun discharge, and if you find from the evidence that…

Dixon: Objection – Argument

Fidler: It’s not argument

…the evidence will show, that at the time of the discharge, from what we’ve seen and what we’ve heard, the decedent fired the gun herself, and I’m not suggesting to you and I’m not saying the evidence will indicate to you that this was a suicide. But a self inflicted gunshot wound, ladies and gentlemen, can be an accidental suicide. And if the evidence, and I submit, the evidence will show you that’s the case. And the way we started today, early this morning, was that Mr. Jackson, who was taking Mr. Spector to task for being successful, said he ran with a haughty crowd. Haughty. H-A-U-G-H-T-Y. That means arrogant. Supercilious. He doesn’t run with – the evidence will show that he didn’t run with any haughty crowd. The evidence will show that Philip was born in New York, as I was, a city boy. Lower middle class background and that the evidence will also show, unlike Mr. Jackson mentioned, that at the age of 9 years old he lost his father to a sudden, shocking death.

Dixon: Objection, relevancy

Fidler: At this point I don’t know whether this will be relevant. But I’m going to allow this during opening statement. The offer is made that this is what the evidence will show. There may be a theory of admissibility. I’ll allow it

…and that he moved here with mother, Bertha, at 9 years of age. So, I don’t want any of you to feel that some how, some way anything was given to Philip. Quite the opposite is the case. The evidence will show that he had a talent and he worked very hard at his talent. To make an impact in this world, in the world of music and in the world of entertainment and in the world of art. So when Mr. Jackson talks about these women, he mentions some of them. And that you are going to hear from some of these women who some how, some way, had a romantic interest in him. The evidence will show you what the reason, what the draw, what the attraction was, for them to be interested in Phillip. Why were they interested in him? The evidence will show to you that in his way, he was a true  – and is a true – romantic of a bygone era. He didn’t chase any of these women. They came to him, they wanted to spend time with him.. These were relationships that occurred between him and these women. They have nothing to do with the death of the decedent. Judge Fidler will tell you what, if anything, you can use with regard to the  testimony of the other women. With regard to a narrow legal issue in this case. But be assured, rest assured, that these incidents to which Mr. Jackson referred, go back as far as 30 years ago, at least one of them does, and the rest 20, 25,.18 12, and 10 years ago. Not one of these women, not one, stopped seeing Philip, not one of these women prosecuted him. Phillip was never charged once for assaulting or hurting another human being, and he’s in his 6th decade. Not one of these women came forward to them until after this incident. In this day and age, the evidence will show, with the excessive information that goes around the world, as you see from our friends here in the audience, after February 3 of 03, they decided, and the prosecutors decided, to come together. And they came forward at that time, or they reached out to them at that time. But if you listen to what Mr. Jackson the prosecutor said here, they had murder on their mind on February 3 of 03. Their case was DeSouza right then and there. They didn’t have any need at that time, the evidence will show, for a cause of death. They didn’t have any need, the evidence will show, at that time for a manner of death. The evidence will show that when the coroner, who they will call in this case, had some misgivings and some doubts about how the decedent died, and wanted some further information about the decedent, the prosecutors office, at that time, said no. And from February 3 of 03, to September of 03, there was subtle and direct pressure put on Dr. Pena and some of the others in the coroners office, to declare this death, as gory as it is, as horrific as it is, as egregious as it is, to declare it a homicide. Because as you heard from the prosecutors, there were no witnesses to this. What you’ve heard from the prosecutors here today, is that this is some continuation of a pattern. The evidence will show otherwise. That this was some evidence of intent on the part of Phillip, the evidence will show otherwise. That this was a motive on the part of Philip. The evidence will show otherwise. That there was some malice on the part of Phillip, the evidence will show otherwise.

The evidence will show that the decedent approached Phillip. When she found out who he was, she came over to him, she showed an interest in him. I mean, sit back, take in so much, Mr. Jackson made such an efficacious and forceful argument, painted a man he doesn’t know as almost a stark raving maniac. And the opposite is the case. These other women have nothing to do with the death of the decedent. These other women had relationships with Phillip, the decedent and Philip were strangers according to the evidence in this case. And, according to the evidence in this case, the decedent, at her own volition, there was no pressure, there was no pressure applied, she decided to come home with him. She found out who he was. You’ll hear from the evidence in this case, that the decedent, and she should rest in peace, had some difficulties with her life. I told you in the beginning I will not besmirch the reputation of a decedent. I won’t do it. But if it’s relevant as to manner of death, I will go into it, because it’s relevant to clearing Philip of these false charges. And you’ll understand and appreciate that she was 41 years old, she shouldn’t have gone like that.

How do I speak to you jurors, after you see photographs like that, you probably want to strangle me, I don’t mean that literally, but you’re probably so against us, you think that there’s something to it, because of 5 words allegedly said to one taking a siesta. DeSouza, he was asleep, he claimed, at the time he heard the noise. That’s what I learned was the term for a nap, but 5 words to one person, that’s what they said. They’ve taken that and they’ve added, and what’s called, the evidence you’ll see, is like an interstitial filler, like those foam peanuts you see in a box when you get a fancy present from a store, maybe a clock from Cartier, if you’re fortunate, or a clock from anywhere that works, and they surround the item with the foam peanuts so it doesn’t break. But here the evidence will show when you open the box, it’s just the peanuts, there is no clock in there. These women are being permitted to testify under the aegis of Judge Fidler. They’re permitted to do it. I submit to you that the evidence will show they are being called to assassinate Phillip’s character. To make him look bad. To make him look like something he’s not. This is a man whose music changed the world.

Jackson: Objection your Honor.

Fidler: The objection is sustained, that’s going into argument.

This is a man that Hal Blaine, who is on the prosecutors witness list, said in the 37 years I worked with him I never once saw him with a gun. I never saw him in the studio doing anything off color. Ever. I heard the rumors he said. The problem is, out here, the evidence will show, with the insatiable, insatiable appetite for well known people, the insatiable news about well known people, rumors begin, innuendos start and stories are started. Fiction becomes fact. Untruth becomes truth and that’s what you’ll see. And you’ll see that even our great writer, from the evidence, Tom Wolfe, indicated that back then, when Philip hit his high note, through the 60’s and 70’s and the late 50’s, he closed down his non music life, he became a very private person, and so, when you become a private person, then Mr. Jackson can show on the screen, that he owned a home in Pasadena. The home in Pasadena didn’t have a back door, but they say it anyway. Then he can say that he lived in Hollywood. The evidence will show that Phillip never lived in Hollywood. Then he can show a photograph of the Pyrenees Castle.  Built in 1919. It was called the Pyrenees castle when it was built, which is a landmark in Alhambra, and make it seem like it’s some den of iniquity, and it’s some private possession and somehow was given to Phillip. Because he came here from the Bronx with his mother at 9 years old. Nothing was given to him. He didn’t mistreat these women.

This is an example, the evidence will show, that something terrible happened in his home, he was arrested for it – not charged until 10 1/2 moths later. Not indicted until 17  months later. But he was charged with it because the police had murder on their mind. And that’s how they went to the house. The evidence will show that when they approached Phillip’s home they waited outside for 30 or 40 minutes. You listen to Mr. Jackson the prosecutor you’d think they were storming the Bastille. And they knew from DeSouza, if he was honest, that there was nobody in the house. The decedent died a shocking, horrific death, most shocking kind of thing, and the evidence will show that you can’t point a finger and have somebody pay for that because it happened in his home. The evidence will show that the prosecutor has to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt. Those are not empty words. That’s the highest form of proof we have in this whole country. Shadow of a doubt is nice, Mr. Jackson said, there is no shadow of a doubt.

Jackson: Objection – this is argument

Fidler: The objection is sustained. You may proceed into opening statement..

Beyond a reasonable doubt, Judge Fidler will tell you. That’s the standard in this country. When they approached the castle, and they saw Phillip, they claim, according to the opening statement by the prosecutor. They saw him on the second floor. The evidence will show he wasn’t doing anything improper. This was a shocking event. This was an event that shocks you to the core. So, not everybody, the evidence will show, knows what to do. Not everyone, the evidence will show, knows what to say. Not everyone, the evidence will show, has worked for the EMS or the 911 folks. Not everybody has done that. And the evidence will show that in a shocking event people do things that sometimes are not explainable. And the evidence will show they’re not consciousness of guilt. But they’re consciousness of terrorized innocence. Consciousness of terrorized innocence

Jackson: Objection

Fidler: The objection is sustained. Please return to your opening statement and do not argue the case.

So, ladies and gentlemen, when they approached the castle and Mr. Jackson says the policemen gave Philip directives and orders. They told him to put his hands up. He did put his hands up. He invited them in. He said “Come in – you’ve got to see this. There’s a dead woman in my home.” Whether he had 14 phones or 1400 phones. The evidence will show how does that change anything?  Whether he ran upstairs or walked upstairs or ran outside or didn’t go outside – the important thing is at the time of the discharge of the gun – at the time the gun was fired  – Phillip was not holding that gun – we’ll prove that to you – she was.

Evidence will show that – this is so hard after seeing the photographs – the evidence will show that playing with guns in a provocative or salacious manner – can result in death. Instantaneous death as Mr. Jackson said. A most horrific death. Completely avoidable. Completely unnecessary. A complete waste. But not because Philip is a man of note. Not because he’s successful. Not because he had arguments with women 30, 20, 18 and 15 years ago. The evidence will show he never hurt anybody. He’s never been charged with hurting anybody. He never put a gun in a woman’s mouth – he would never do something like that.

Jackson: Objection – this is argument

Fidler: That has become argument – the objection is sustained.

Evidence will show you that. None of the so called 1101 B or “incident with gun” women to which Mr. Jackson referred will give that kind of testimony. The evidence will also show why they’re coming. Why they’re coming. The evidence will show that if we were in another site, another place, another city, another state, without the great cache of Hollywood, without the great cache of the entertainment capitol of the world and if Philip didn’t have a name of major note because of what he’s accomplished in his life, they wouldn’t be here. They wouldn’t be here. The evidence will show some of them peddled their stories to magazines. Supermarket tabloids. He mentioned Miss Jennings. She’s a freelance photographer. He called her a professional photographer. I like that. I like that. But she’s not Philip. And neither are the other women. These were women who were drawn to him. To him. And came back to him after these alleged incidents. To be with him. Some of them even called him after the February 3rd incident. Some of them even communicated with his daughter well after the February 3rd incident. So how is it the evidence will show that they decide to come forward now? What’s their motivation?

Jackson: Objection – This is argument

Fidler: That part, the last quoted words is argument. The objection is sustained.

The evidence will show, and I know you will look to see where their heart is. The evidence will show that at times people act a certain way for their own benefit, the evidence will show. You might even see some tears in the courtroom. The evidence will show that some people, when they see another is vulnerable, when they see another is vulnerable, falsely charged with the most serious

Jackson: Objection. Argument

Fidler: The latter portion is argument, the objection is sustained.

Charged with the most serious crime you could be, former girlfriends, boyfriends, employees, paramours, so called friends, can really give it to you.

Jackson: Your honor once again, this is argument

Fidler: Sustained.

Just so it’s clear. When you hear from the prosecutor, you get the impression that it is Phillip who pulled and wanted to go with these women. This was a mutual relationship. The evidence will show that he took these women to the finest places. Now he’s being punished for it. Took them to the Rock and Roll induction ceremony dinners. The evidence will show he himself was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame some 20 years ago

Jackson: Objection – relevance.

Fidler: That may or may not come in. I’m going to overrule the objection at this point.

By his dear friend Tina Turner, who presented him. The evidence will show this is a man who spanned the years from Lenny Bruce through John Lennon. For those who don’t know, Lenny Bruce was a political satirist in New York and all over, who spoke out, in fact, he preceded the great Richard Pryor and many others. He used to speak out in a strong way, and he was prosecuted and persecuted

Jackson: Objection – this is irrelevant

Fidler: The objection is sustained.

So If you want to know who Lenny Bruce is

Jackson: Objection

that’s who he is…

Fidler: The objection is sustained – the jury is admonished to disregard . Any thing where I sustain an objection you are admonished to disregard it.

And Philip spans all the way from that through the John Lennon era. And you’ll hear evidence that he worked with John Lennon. That was his dear friend who was murdered in New York. That he worked with George Harrison. That was his dear friend who died. That he worked with the Rolling Stones. That he worked with all these girl groups. That he extended himself to others. He made livings for others through his talent. He was not a taker the way he’s been described by the Prosecutor. But he was a success and a talent who gave to others. That’s what he was. Whether he became a private person, a private person, because he closed off his personal life, his non music life, as the great Tom Wolfe said, that’s a separate part. But that doesn’t mean, and you should never accept the thought which was put to you this morning, that somehow there’s evil there. Evil in the castle. Dubbed the castle.

You’ve heard not one iota of evidence in this case. Including my statement this afternoon, and including the statement by Mr. Jackson. And if you were going into the room to deliver a verdict now, you know what the verdict would be. So there’s no more problem with having to worry about you prejudging the evidence, because after today and tomorrow, you will be judging the evidence. But I submit to you, please bear in mind what I say. That a theory that the prosecutor has weaved in this case is just that – it’s a theory. The ex girlfriends who are coming forth have nothing to do with the decedent who he had just met. Nothing whatsoever. Some people have arguments and say things and do things, the evidence will show, are not meant for a public forum. It’s interesting to hear today about one of them. Miss Melvin – and the prosecutor indicated that she worked for someone of note. And the evidence is going to show that Phillip was friendly with Miss Rivers. That was his friend. Somebody he knew. That’s why he went to her parties.

The evidence is also going to show that part of the cache and the appeal to be around Phillip Spector was because of the success he had in life. And that does not mean, as I said to you in voir dire, that he’s looking for anything from you other than justice. This tough courtroom, where it takes you so long to get up, so long to get down, wait in line for lunch. Our offices are not here. This tough, tough building is a temple of justice. That’s really what it is. As difficult as it seems to be. This is a temple of justice, and as a temple of justice, you need to understand….

Jackson: I’m sorry to interrupt. This sounds like it’s getting into argument.

Fidler: It’s getting close but it hasn’t quite got there.. I think it’s a precursor, so I’m going to overrule the objection.

This temple of justice is here for you to do justice. To analyze the evidence. To evaluate the evidence. To look at it with a careful eye. A judicious eye. To understand and appreciate. To understand and appreciate why the prosecutor, the evidence will show, is going back so many years. To bring up something that you may or may not think is relevant to this case.

Jackson: Objection. This is Argument.

Fidler: The objection is Sustained.

And judge Fidler will tell you how to use it.

Jackson: Objection. This is argument.

Fidler: Sustained. Please, what the evidence will actually show as far as facts go.

When I mention murder on their mind. You’ll see from the evidence that once the police department had a person of major note. And this has been going on for well over a hundred years. Well over a hundred years out here. Someone of major note had a death in his home. A drowning outside his home. The police had murder on their mind. And so because of that, they did everything they could to take care of Mr. DeSouza. Who called himself on the 911 tape –  Souza. He was here illegally, I don’t fault him. There are 11 – 13 million  people who want to come to the United States. He was here illegally. But he was working. I don’t fault him for that. I don’t fault him for that. I don’t fault him for that. You are going to see from the evidence that he had some animus and antipathy towards Phillip. You’ll hear from the evidence that he said to the police, in his own speaking terms and you’ll consider and appreciate that this happened over 4 years ago, and he’s been in this country under the aegis and protection of the District Attorney, with their help, and his English is better and is better and is better, and you’ll try and think how it was four years ago, when he first heard these things. And you’ll understand and appreciate what they did for him and why. And the jealousy and the animus will be indicated by him on the stand. You’ll hear evidence about that. “Other customers like to talk to me. Other customers speak to me. Mr. Spector didn’t speak to me. Other customers I went home at 2, 3 o’clock in the morning. Or 12 midnight. Mr. Spector kept me late. Kept me late.”

I submit to you the evidence will show that the decedent, the decedent, not only went there voluntarily, and I don’t mean anything unkind about that, moved her car. I believe the evidence will also, and I submit to you, will show, that she had a design of her own. She had a plan of her own. I’m not speaking against her, because that’s not fair, but I’m here to save a life. She had a design and a plan of her own. The people who worked with her and the people who knew her will indicate some of the difficulties she was having, financially and otherwise. We all do, everybody does. Even Mr. Spector, it would be a shock to Mr. Jackson.  Everybody has them. Everybody has them. Difficulties and problems. Problems and difficulties. So the evidence is going to demonstrate to you that she saw an opportunity. And she saw something in Mr. Spector, in Phillip, that would be beneficial to her. Beneficial to her. The evidence will show that sometimes an ornamental gun, an ornamental gun. An ornamental gun, I’ll say it again, an ornamental gun, can be used for all kinds of things even though it’s unsafe to do. It’s unsafe to do. Policemen themselves, the evidence will show, have been hurt with their own guns. But the evidence will show she was fully familiar and facile with guns and side arms. She knew how to use them. And she was a big, strong, strapping woman. I’m not casting aspersions, I wouldn’t do it. No matter what, I wouldn’t do it. I told you it’s not right. But you must consider the woman. You must consider the design. You must consider the plan. This staying for one drink – that’s all coming from DeSouza. “I think I killed somebody:”, that’s all DeSouza. Their whole case is DeSouza. And these other so called victims. One who’s a, Miss Pillegi, who’s a bank thief. You’ll find out she stole from a bank. And the others who pedaled their stories. They’re not bad people. Phillip didn’t know Pillegi Grosvenor was a thief, when she romanced him, when she spent time with him. A sometimes romance, a part time romance, a fling that goes on  – on and off for years, then ends, and there’s animus and resentment. And then you have a problem, a terrible problem, because a woman killed herself in your home, so they come to your aid, and they give a story, a tall tale. That’s what this case is, you’ll see from the evidence, tall tales. “He pointed a gun at me – he pointed it at my face. He cursed at me and pointed a gun.” Well then why do you keep seeing him? There’s no shrugs in Southern California. Not everything is shrugged off. Why do you keep seeing him? Why do you keep taking his money? Why do you keep spending his money?

Jackson: Objection – this is argument

Fidler: This is dipping into argument, so the objection is sustained.

So the evidence will show that they kept spending his money. They kept taking his money. Like Mr. Jackson said, Miss Jennings had a suite at the Carlyle hotel. A hotel he says he can’t go to. Well, I’ll take him there any time he wants. There’s nothing off color about the Carlyle Hotel. And the evidence will show they have a piano bar. And some of the most famous musicians, entertainers and people in Phillip’s life spend time at the Carlyle hotel. That’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing. The fact that he’s talented and successful, they’re not bad things, they’re good things, the evidence will show.

Jackson: Objection, relevancy

Fidler: The objection is sustained, and on that note we will break for the day.

Day 2:

I started yesterday with some thoughts, and what I thought the evidence would show you. I won’t be very long this morning, but I did want to revisit and also mention and revisit some other matters and also mention some new matters, and hopefully I did not mention them yesterday.

Ladies and gentlemen, one of the concepts that I mentioned was that the detectives and the Alhambra police department, when they responded to Phillip’s home, had what I called murder on their mind, and as a result of, the evidence will show, the evidence will show, as a result of murder on their mind, they interviewed and acted in such a way that anything that was consistent, the evidence will show, with their preconceived notions and theories they didn’t rest, and anything that was not consistent or inconsistent with that murder on their mind, they ignored. You’ll hear from the evidence that the detectives worked very hard, and interviewed, by last count, you’ll hear from the evidence, well over 150 or 60 civilians, from the time of February 3 03, to the time charges were filed November 21 03 to the time that they presented this matter to a Grand Jury in September 04. And you’ll hear from the evidence that these devoted detectives who had murder on their mind, spoke to any and everybody who had any thought whatsoever with regard to Phillip. And they even went to the trouble of taping the interviews. And they even went to the trouble of taping the interviews of the policemen who responded to the castle, to his home. And the evidence will show that’s the case here. And the evidence will show that’s why they acted the way they did when they responded to the castle. The evidence will show as I said yesterday, I alluded to the fact, that when they came to the castle, they had spoken to DeSouza, and according to the evidence, they were informed by DeSouza that there was nobody home other than Phillip and the decedent. So after they went banging in and were invited in, the police department, I don’t personally and in no mean to fault them, but you’ll hear from the evidence that they stormed the castle, and you’ll see from the evidence that what they had to do, what they did do, when they brought Phillip out of his home, was unnecessary. 5, 6,7, policemen, to bring a man out of his home who’s 5″ 4′, 135 pounds, unarmed, and a decedent in his home, you’ll see from the evidence was unnecessary. The use of the stun gun, the dangerous tazer gun, was completely unnecessary,  the tackling, completely unnecessary, the hogtieing, the handcuffing, completely unnecessary. But just keep that as a backdrop, so when you hear the phrase murder on their mind, you’ll understand what the evidence will mean in this case. I’m not upbraiding the policemen, but you’ll see that all they needed to do was, the evidence will show, “Phillip, we want you to come with us, would you come with us?” Instead of the tackling, the tazering, and the tying, and the sitting on him and all of that. Why that’s relevant, the evidence will show is, the mindset of the police, and I’m not, in any way, denigrating, or saying anything in derogation of the department. I’m not saying anything in derogation, and the evidence will back me up, that they were not being careful, of course they were being careful.

You’ll also hear from the evidence that DeSouza, who claimed to run down to the end of the driveway so he could see the address of the home, you’ll understand and appreciate from the evidence that the home of Phillip in Alhambra, is a landmark, and you’ll understand and appreciate from the evidence, you’ll hear testimony that the police department in Alhambra know of it as the castle, so if they were called, and they were called, and the evidence will show they were called, all they needed to be told was “I’m here at the castle, please come”. This is to the Alhambra police department. You’ll also appreciate and understand the importance of the witness DeSouza. And you’ll see from the evidence what really happened with him. You’ll see from the evidence that during the interview I broached with you with Detectives Fortier and Tomlin, the very first formal interview following the earlier interview with Detective Pinetta, with the murder on their mind mindset, they were very careful to ask him, what it is he claimed he heard. And during the interview, you’ll hear from the evidence, the detectives saying “are you sure”? They were very careful. And this is on February 3 03. And his response was “Well, I’m not, I’m not, It’s my English, you know, It’s my English, you know.” Now that’s over 4 years ago. But the evidence will show that he was considered their fair haired boy, they treated him that way. So the evidence will show that they posited him, and he looked at them, the evidence will show, as handlers, of him, and he identified with them. I’m not saying the evidence will show that he is an evil doer, but the evidence will show that there was no confession made. Mr. Jackson’s comment and verbiage there was a confession made is not evidence. There was no confession made to him. He’s not Father Confessor. He was a substitute driver who was asleep at the time that the shot rang out. Mr. Jackson didn’t even mention the fountain being on. You’ll hear that there was all kinds of background noise during that period of time. There’s no question a shot rang out. But there was no confession, I submit to you, and the evidence will not show you a confession, it will show you that if a statement was made after a shot, the evidence will show, you’ll consider it in the context in which it was made, and you’ll consider it, if you will, with most respectfully, what they did as a result of the statement, what the detectives did, how they performed their function with murder on their mind.

One of the things I wanted to mention yesterday was the theory that the prosecution put forth in their opening statement. The decedent, and they’ve left you with the impression there was some kind of struggle or difficulty, the evidence, they said, would show. The decedent was 5 foot 11 and over 6 feet tall in high heels. In heels. And Phillip is 5 foot 4 and 135 pounds. As judges of the facts and the facts in this case, you’ll hear evidence of the differential in size. You’ll use it for what you feel it’s warranted for. You’ll also hear evidence of the decedent and whether she was drinking, whether she was taking pain killers or other pills and you’ll decide from the evidence what effect, if any,  that had on her as a labile individual who’s affected by alcohol and pills. You’ll decide from the evidence what, if any, effect it had on her judgment. You’ll decide from the evidence what, if any, effect it may have had on her being somewhat reckless. You’ll see. You’ll judge it. You’ll have an open mind. You’ll see what, if any, effect any of this had on what happened at 5 am on February 3rd 03. The evidence will lead you to what happened. You’ll even keep in mind from the evidence where the bottle of tequila came from. Maybe a query in this case. The evidence will demonstrate that.

The last, the other item, I shouldn’t say last, the other item I wanted to mention was the Carlyle hotel incident. You’ll hear from the evidence in this case, that one of the incident with gun women occurred, according to Mr. Jackson, which is not evidence, occurred at the Carlyle hotel, and he put up a police call, somebody responded, or at least a call was made and there was a response to the Carlyle hotel. You’ll see from the evidence in New York, unlike California, that if you have a gun in a hotel without a permit. They don’t look to a woman, to ask you to come to them, meaning, if you have a gun, you’re going to be arrested, when they respond to a hotel in New York City. You are not permitted to carry a gun unless you have a carry permit, you’ll hear evidence to that effect. So the woman Stephanie Jennings has no say, you’ll hear from the evidence, in whether or not Mr. Spector had a gun or was charged with carrying a gun. He didn’t and he wasn’t. He didn’t and he wasn’t. You’ll hear from her that she was given taxi fare, or train fare, back to Philadelphia after a ruckus that occurred, because the people at the hotel, and I’m not being in any way pejorative here, thought she was a prostitute. Because of all the ruckus. Of course she is not, but that’s what they thought. And that’s what will be put forth to you as evidence in this case. That’s why she left the hotel, that’s why she was given train fare from the hotel. And, of course, you’ll also hear that the suite and the rooms were all paid for by Phillip, you’ll also hear evidence in this case with regards to Stephanie Jennings, like the other three women they mentioned, that they continued to see Phillip. After this incident they accompanied Phillip to affairs and other things, and they stayed at the Carlyle, she did, for a week, and Phillip wasn’t even there.

So I was trying to say yesterday, and I reiterate today, that bear in mind when you hear the evidence in this case from these women, as judges of the facts, I implore you to keep in mind motive, incentive, bias and purpose. With Stephanie Jennings you’ll hear, that, evidence, that, after February 3 of 03, in this world of immediate access, she took out photographs she had that she collected of Philip, and she spoke to a reporter from the National Enquirer. And you’ll hear evidence of what kind of newspaper that is. And you’ll hear from the evidence that she sold her story. She sold her tall tale and what they really wanted was a photograph of her and Phillip and she gave it to them. So please keep all of that in mind when you consider hearing from her or from any other incident with gun women who are not witnesses in this case. Also bear in mind DeSouza is not a witness to what happened at 0500 inside Philip’s home. He’s not a witness to it. Bear in mind that DeSouza will indicate to you, the evidence will show, that he served in the Brazilian army for 8 or 9 years. Nothing wrong with that, you have to have respect for that. But as soon as he saw a woman in distress, according to what Mr. Jackson said, he ran away. Fully familiar with guns, fully familiar with the military lifestyle. He ran away. You’ll hear from the evidence he himself said Phillip was not a violent person. But he did have an argument with him a week or two before. But consider that in judging credibility, perceptibility, availability and truth telling. Please keep that in mind as well.

One of the other incident with gun women that Mr. Jackson mentioned was a Dorothy Melvin. Bear in mind that the evidence will show that she told authorities, and don’t forget all of these people came in after February 3 of 03, all of these people got together with the detectives after February 3 of 03. To talk about incidents that went back to 1987, talk about incidents that went back to1991, to talk about incidents that occurred in 1993, to talk about incidents that occurred in 1994. This is all after 2003, and as I said yesterday, none of them prosecuted Phillip, none of them sued him civilly, and all of them saw him afterwards and none of them ever sought any medical attention. Dorothy Melvin herself, you’ll hear evidence in this case, claimed, claimed, when she wanted to get her pocketbook, because of the precious passport belonging to Joan Rivers her boss, and her, that she was hit twice in the head with a handgun. Not what Mr. Jackson said in his opening statement, which is not evidence, that she was slapped by Phillip, by Phillip’s hand. She said she was slapped twice in the head with a handgun.. And so we’d expect, that the evidence will show, that detectives, that policemen from Pasadena, that she called, would have seen some difficulty with her head. You’ll hear evidence that, and you’ll use your common sense, that if you’re hit twice in the head with a handgun, there’s bruising, bleeding and injury. And you’ll hear from the evidence in this case that there was no bruising, bleeding or injury. And there was no acceptance of any medical aid or needed. In this case. In this incident, I should say, in this incident that is used in this case, the evidence will show. The evidence will further show that as far as this incident. The policemen who responded didn’t arrest Phillip, they themselves gave the pocketbook to Miss Melvin. They saw a shotgun, they left it in the house, and they have no recollection, at least as far as we know, the evidence will show, about her indicating she was hit in the head. Twice with a gun. No injury, no medical attention, no police recollection. Because it’s not so.

Keep in mind as tryers of the facts, that a case can be rehearsed, scripted, choreographed and put together. I’m not talking about anything unethical or illegal. It can be scripted, rehearsed, choreographed and put together. So it looks like, the evidence will show, that there’s some relationship between relationships that Phillip had in his life that ended on a sour note, and the death of the decedent. If the decedent, the evidence will show, did not fool with the gun and cause her own death, you wouldn’t know anything about Miss Melvin, Miss Jennings, Miss Ogden, or any of the others. And the last as well, you wouldn’t know anything about them. They didn’t say anything about it. Other than the evidence that you’ll hear.

Keep in mind as tryers of the facts, this is not a spectacle or an event. Even though it’s so well covered. It’s well covered, the evidence will show, because of the achievements by Phillip.

Keep in mind, as well, the evidence will show, that according to Mr. Jackson, there was some kind of attempt by Phillip to clean things up and move things. Bear in mind the shock effect when you saw those photographs, bear in mind the shock effect and what it may have. Bear in mind when Mr. Jackson said Phillip was upstairs and took off his white jacket, bear in mind the evidence will show, and you will see, he wasn’t hiding anything, he wasn’t hiding his white jacket, as a matter of fact when they took him after they knocked him down and tazered him and handcuffed him and sat on him and everything else, they took him down to Alhambra, and he, Phillip, asked, “May I have my white jacket? There are phone numbers in there, I want to to call people if you are going to charge me.” So he wasn’t looking to hide the white jacket, he was the person who asked for the white jacket.

Bear in mind the evidence will show, even though it’s presented in a scripted, choreographed, practiced fashion, that these incidents with women he knew and had relationships with, was not a pattern, they were isolated, the evidence will show, isolated spats, over the course of years. Over the course of 20 years. So, when you cherry pick, when you have murder on your mind, and you just pull out anything negative – you have something negative to say about Phillip, you’ll hear, the evidence in this case, come on with us. They so much even went to the hospital where his son was sick, he lost his son, terrible tragedy. He lost his son, his son was almost the same age he was when he lost his father…

Jackson: Objection, your honor. This is argument.

Fidler: The objection is sustained. Please refrain from arguing the case.

Consider the evidence that they, the detectives, the police, who had murder on their mind and had a mindset. Went everywhere and anywhere, to speak to anyone – crackpot or not, about Phillip. And you’ll hear evidence of that. Anybody that saw him in a hotel, anybody that saw him in a restaurant, “tell us – what was he doing, who was he with?” This event, this tragic event, that caused the death of the decedent, was not the fault of Phillip, but it became a cause,

Jackson: Objection. This is argument.

Fidler: I’m going to overrule that. You may proceed.

Form the evidence, it became a cause celebre for the authorities. Because of who he was, that’s what this is all about. All of these nice people here, from all over the world. You’ll see that from the evidence. You’ll see the kind of duplication, and quadruplication, that the detectives did in this case. Interviewed people on the telephone, taped their interviews, saw them in person, taped their interviews. They mentioned Kathy Sullivan,. Mr. Jackson did yesterday in his opening, which is not evidence. They interviewed her, they taped her. The evidence will show that they were together, they were friends, they had a platonic relationship, there was no dismissal of her at the House of Blues. She was tired, she went home. The evidence will show you she was tired, she went home, and the prosecutor in his opening statement made it seem like she was dismissed. Phillip was angry she wouldn’t have a drink. Evidence will also show drinks were ordered, diet cokes were ordered, and we don’t know how much liquor was consumed. And it’s not a crime to have a drink late at night. It’s not a crime to order food late at night. It’s not a crime, you’ll see from the evidence, to go out with your high school friend at 8:00 on a Sunday night. It’s not a crime, you’ll see from the evidence, to take out a friend who works at the Grill. Those things are not crimes. The man has closed off his personal life, his non music life. You’ll see from the evidence there are times, there are times, when the limelight burns. There are times when the limelight is lonely. It’s lonely. You’ve done so much it’s lonely.

Jackson: Objection, your honor, this is argument.

Fidler: The objection is sustained. Again, you are delving into argument.

You’ll see from the evidence, the evidence will show, that when you reach a certain pinnacle,

Jackson: Objection, this is still argument

Fidler: The objection is sustained. Just saying the evidence will show when it’s still argument is still objectionable. The objection is sustained.

I’ll move forward

Fidler: OK, thank you.

Certainly the evidence will show that it’s not a crime to enjoy company of another.

Jackson: Objection your honor, this is still argument.

Fidler: Again, It is.

Ladies and gentlemen the evidence will show, and as I indicated to you in my voir dire and earlier in my opening statement, our evidence will show, through an example of a Dr. Lee and other criminalists, forensic pathologists, blood spatter experts, ballistics experts, and all the rest. Phillip’s home was not a crime scene. From the evidence you will see, no matter how many police labels they put up, no matter how many tags and identification cards they put up to make it seem like a crime scene. You’ll hear from our experts it was a death scene, not a crime scene. You’ll also hear that in the home where Phillip lived, there was a starter pistol, a starter pistol, which resembled the gun that took the life of the decedent. That was a gun found on the same lower floor where the decedent was. You’ll see from the evidence the resemblance between the starter pistol and the gun that took her life. Whatever weight you want to give that, you give that. Those were the only two guns found on the lower level where the decedent was. The gun that that she used to kill herself, and the starter pistol, encased in a holster, like the one Mr. Jackson showed you on the overhead Elmo here. St. Elmo, Elmo, I guess it’s called.

So keep in mind, keep in mind, alcohol, pain killers, a starter pistol that doesn’t hurt, a deadly gun that can kill, almost look exactly alike. Keep in mind the evidence will show, a big strong woman, a take charge woman, an assertive woman, it’s not beyond the pale, in fact it’s consistent with the evidence, that she felt comfortable there in Phillip’s home, and whatever she was doing, whatever she was consuming, however she felt, she took her life, unfortunately. Much too young.

Bear in mind, the evidence will show, I believe the evidence will show, Phillip harbored no malice to the decedent, he had just met her. Bear in mind the evidence will show, there was no dispute, as a matter of fact they were in the back of the car going to the castle, she was riding with Phillip on her own volition. She watching a old movie with James Cagney, which was ironic almost. “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” that was the movie she was watching.. “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”. How prophetic.

Keep in mind the evidence will show again, unlike the women coming in here with tears and tall tales and stories. Phillip never knew this woman, he had no intent to hurt this woman.

Jackson: Objection that’s argument

Fidler: No, I’m going to allow that with that proviso. That’s fine.

The evidence will show he had no motive to hurt this woman. He harbored no malice towards this woman. Most importantly, the evidence is going to show conclusively that the gun was held by the decedent when it fired. The evidence is going to show that the decedent, according to the evidence, was seated, the gun was in her mouth, put there by her. No broken teeth in, everything was out. Everything was out. There was no evidence that a gun was forced in her mouth, there were no broken teeth in – not so, that’s not consistent with the evidence, there was no, the evidence will show, nobody forced a gun in her mouth. Fooling with guns. The evidence will show this was not a pistol, Mr. Jackson. The evidence will show there’s a major difference between a pistol and a revolver. Pistol is a semi automatic, a revolver is not. The evidence will show that to shoot a revolver you press the hammer back and you can pull the trigger and you don’t need as much pressure as you do if the hammer is pulled back. I’m not a ballistics expert, but that’s what the evidence will show.

The evidence will show she had a broken nail, the decedent. Consistent with self inflicted gunshot wounds. What’s consistent with self inflicted gunshot wounds is reasonable doubt. So there is no evidence of any intent to put someone in danger. There’s no evidence of any intent to hurt, harm a woman. Five words according to prosecutors. “I think I killed somebody”, “I think somebody is killed” or nothing. Or nothing. You’ll see from the evidence, you’ll decide, what it means, if anything. If it was heard, by whom, what state he was in.

Phillip says through me everyday in addition to the presumption of innocence

Jackson: Objection. This is argument.

Fidler: I don’t know, I have to hear the whole statement. It’s premature.

Phillip says through me everyday in addition to the presumption of innocence in which he is swathed, in which he is bandaged, I’m not guilty.

Jackson: Objection.

Fidler: The objection is sustained.

I did not fire that gun.

Jackson: Objection.

Fidler: The objection is sustained. The jury is admonished as it has been before to disregard anything I sustain an objection to.

The evidence will show you, Phillip did not shoot the decedent. The scientific evidence is a witness in the home. There were no witnesses to the shooting. Decedent is gone, DeSouza saw nothing in the home at the time. But science, forensics is a witness. To reenact the event. We are going to call witnesses. Miss Kenney Baden is going to go into that in a few moments. But just so you’re receptive to it, Science, we embrace it, it’s our friend. So you’ll see that the evidence will show,  Phillip did not shoot this woman, he did not force a gun in this woman’s mouth. And he didn’t do it. That’s what the evidence will show. And they can’t change that. By bringing in tall tales from other girls with whom he had relationships. So when you hear all the evidence, and we come before you again, I’m confident you’ll find that Phillip is not guilty of this most serious charge. And I don’t expect from the evidence that you’ll appreciate and agree with every aspect of a person’s life. Every single day of a person’s life who’s in his sixth decade. But it’s the evidence of this case that we’re focusing on. It’s the evidence here, the lack of evidence, Judge Fidler will give you a charge on, the lack of evidence can also be considered by you, when the prosecution tries to convince you of something beyond a reasonable doubt. That doesn’t , the evidence will show, that it just doesn’t fit, there’s nothing, the evidence will show, there’s nothing similar to this incident with a stranger and to these spats with other women. There’s nothing similar about it. This was a sua generous, unique, incident the evidence will show. The evidence will show this was an accident, not at the hand of Phillip. The evidence will show that he is not responsible for the death of the decedent. And I want to thank you for agreeing to sit on this case. And I want to thank each and every one of you for the attention you have paid to me. And I want to thank each and every one of you for the way you listened to the things I had to say, and the way you are open to the evidence. I also want to thank Judge Fidler and I want to thank his staff, for making me feel at home in a strange and new and different place. Thank you very much.

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13 Responses to “CA vs. Spector – Revisiting Opening Statements – Bruce Cutler”

  1. kellygreen said

    The evidence will show, the evidence will show Cutler is a fucking pig, a fucking pig!
    The man really loves to repeat himself.

    So much of Cutler’s OS makes me angry–but I find it truly disgusting that he never refers to Lana Clarkson by name, he always refers to her as the decedent–he is a fucking pig, a fucking pig.

  2. Jim said

    I’ll leave the more in-depth and intelligent dissection of M. Cutler’s remarks to my betters (aka the rest of Kim’s readers).

    The one thing that jumped out for this novice is: Where did that bottle of Tequila come from? Did we ever get to the bottom of that little mystery? For “Maybe a query in this case.”

    The evidence will show…?

  3. but I find it truly disgusting that he never refers to Lana Clarkson by name, he always refers to her as the decedent

    Oh Yes! You noticed that too!! That is rather jarring, isn’t it? And when he is talking about “never disparaging the decedent”, it’s most jarring. I think never actually calling her by her name is disparaging.

    Kim

  4. Where did that bottle of Tequila come from? Did we ever get to the bottom of that little mystery? For “Maybe a query in this case.”

    Well for a novice – very good catch!

    Yes, this is one of the areas they were supposed to get into, but then dropped. The defense was going to say that Lana stole the bottle of tequila from the House of Blues. I’m not quite sure where they got that idea from, but since Lana was seen leaving on the video tape and she didn’t have that tequila bottle under her arm (or her dress), they couldn’t really pursue it.

    Maybe someone else knows why this was brought up to begin with – or where the idea came from that the bottle of tequila was stolen – maybe it’s something Spector told the defense team, not realizing that their departure was on tape.

    Kim

  5. Denise said

    OMG, even though I was reading I found myself dozing off. Well, the defense didn’t prove much, did they? How rambling, condescending and downright insulting.

    BTW Kim, your blog is so great and informative and just too damn funny!

  6. Jain said

    Dear Kim,

    Hugs for giving us a second chance but I think this was a trick makeup test: Cutler gave his closing argument in his opening statement. No wonder he left the case. As for Jackson, he should have a field day.

    It’s peculiar to me that Cutler insisted Lana was comfortable in Spector’s castle that night. What evidence pointed to that? Her eyelashes on the back of the bathroom sink? Was that even mentioned to the jury? Was she comfortable enough to die by suicide? Perhaps the jury visit was meant to prove this point along with the fountain’s roar. I’m wondering just how cozy they felt.

    ~ Jain

  7. noor b said

    Cutler:”The evidence will show that the decedent approached Phillip. When she found out who he was, she came over to him, she showed an interest in him.”

    The opposite was proven.

    Cutler:”You are going to see from the evidence that he (Desouza) had some animus and antipathy towards Phillip.
    “And his response (to the police) was “Well, I’m not, I’m not, It’s my English, you know, It’s my English, you know.”

    Say again, Mr. Cutler. Huh?

    I see tons and tons of other statements that Mr. Cutler claimed will come in as evicence, but I have some other things to do today. 😉

  8. Susan said

    Kim,

    Any thoughts about shooting your new BFF? Forget the trespassing charge, should be held as a “lifer” for the “Kimmer” offense.

    Re: Silly Spector:

    The defense team is a joke but then again Mr. Spector doesn’t offer much. The defense attorneys, while not stupid, appear as such because they are limited by their client. Come on, Spector is responsible for Lana’s death – even if he didn’t pull the trigger, though I find that difficult to believe. Spector should have put hubris aside and plead out to a lesser charge. Yet again, that’s asking for the impossible – there is no way, Mr. Phil would admit to any culpability in Lana’s death – and will prefer to die “by the sword”: the sword being main stream media.

    This trial, while very interesting is all about Mr. Spector, his “hired guns’ and Hollywood-type arrogance. Nothing more and nothing less. Given all I have heard, I’d say a verdict of guilty is well within reason but then again, can anyone put the gun the hands of Mr. Phil?

    Channeling Mr.Blake . . .

  9. NEsleuth said

    Well, mostly the evidence of the OS is that Cutler is a liar. The first day was rambling and didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I thought by the second day he would have figured out where he was going with it, but he never did. It was just a rambling mess, trying to cast aspersions on everyone but Harvey, which proved to be their defense stragegy in general. Another technique I noticed is that if he says something three to five times, maybe the jury will think it’s the truth. I saw that happen throughout the trial, too.

    I don’t see anything in that OS, or in their CIC that showed reasonable doubt and the next few days are really going to be intrigueing. I hope the jury can see past all their games to the truth.

    Kim, I love your blogs and check them every day. Personally I’d call the cops on the idiot BFF who walks into your house!

  10. Carolina said

    Kim you are awesome! Your blogs are the best coverage of the trial, and I look forward to a new one every day!

    Reading this over on the eve before closing arguments brings to my mind that Cutler was better off escaping this train wreck of a defense team. He is an arrogant, lying weasel of an attorney, and as much as I thought he was full of shit he was entertaining to watch. Rosen et all, seemed to be utterly incompetent and in WAY over their heads. Of course since Phil was calling all of the shots, who really knows how much of the defense was coming out of his twisted mind?

    Besides trashing all of the prosecution witnesses and slinging everything but the kitchen sink at Lana Clarkson, I cannot believe Cutler implied that De Souza was a coward for getting out of there to call 911. He no doubt saw enough of this evil gnome’s personality to get out of there, pronto!

    Alan Jackson should have a field day tomorrow.

    Justice for Lana!

  11. Glenda said

    I teach people aspects of writing and public speaking in our Funeral Celebrant training. If one of my Celebrants rambled and bumbled and took such a circle route, I would advise them to consider finding another profession. This man is a highly paid professional and he can’t come up with a more concise, understandable and succinct opening than that?

    Yes, I’ve come to believe during the trial that Spector is guilty. No, it had nothing to do with the awful presentations of any of the cast of thousand attorneys on the defense table. But, really. . . what a mess! I’m sure the jurors were wondering just how long the days were going to be if this was the first act!

  12. Some things I saw on the opening but not proven were the “ornamental gun” and the “pressure” on the coronor to rule homicide. The biggest was the idea of “accidental suicide”, ie “playing with guns in a provocative or salacious manner”, this was not a defense argument at all. They always portrayed the victim as committing suicide.

  13. Xspectorant said

    “The evidence will show you that all I did during my opening statement was ramble and talk in circles. I was unable to think clearly because I accidently left my tinfoil hat in NYC. That’s why I kept my hands on my head during much of my opening statement.”

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