Music producer Phil Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison today for murdering actress Lana Clarkson, reports the Associated Press. Spector is a frail and ailing 69-year-old for whom the required penalty would amount to a life sentence. His lawyer says he is enduring jail by focusing on plans to appeal.
Spector had two trials with essentially the same evidence. His first in 2007 was televised gavel to gavel and spectators flocked to the courtroom. When the jury deadlocked after a five-month trial, his legal “dream team,” at times half a dozen lawyers, bailed out. By the time the second trial started in 2008, interest waned. Much of the case hinged on the testimony of five women from Spector’s past who said he threatened them with guns when they tried to leave. The appeal will assert that the judge erred in allowing the women to testify.