Alhambra, Calif. – Lawyers for music legend Phil Spector (search) declared in court Friday that they are not hiding a fingernail from the body of the actress he's accused of killing.
The defense went so far as to bring in famed forensic expert Henry Lee from Connecticut (search) to testify in a pretrial hearing, but the hearing was aborted when Superior Court Judge Carlos Uranga accepted the defense declaration.
Prosecutor Douglas Sortino said he wanted the defense to turn over not just a fingernail but any "physical or real" evidence in their possession. Uranga said he would so order.
As for the fingernail, the judge said if the defense indeed does not have it, neither side will be able to use it if it turns up later.
Prosecutors claimed earlier this year that the defense had a mystery piece of evidence they refused to share. Prosecutors claimed Lee had found a torn piece of actress Lana Clarkson (search)'s fingernail at the crime scene that had been overlooked by sheriff's investigators. They said the nail was blacked with gunpowder residue.
"We want the record made clear. Given the material filed with this court, it's important for Dr. Lee to set the record straight," defense attorney Leslie Abramson said in court Friday.
But Uranga was adamant that Lee's testimony was not needed.
Meanwhile, the judge set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 20 to determine whether there is enough evidence to try Spector for murder. He also scheduled a status conference for Sept. 14.
Outside court, Lee said he participated in a February 2003 search of Spector's home after the sheriff's department had finished its own extensive search. He said the only things he found were a piece of white thread and a speck of blood.
Spector, 62, has pleaded innocent to the charge that he murdered Clarkson, who was found shot in the foyer of his castle-like hilltop home in Alhambra.
A coroner's report showed that Clarkson was shot with a gun inside her mouth and had gunshot residue on both of her hands, indicating she may have fired the weapon.
Abramson declined to say whether the defense contends Clarkson committed suicide.