LOS ANGELES – Music producer Phil Spector (search) was charged Monday with murder with the special allegation of using a firearm in the 2003 death of actress Lana Clarkson (search) at Spector's mansion in suburban Alhambra.
Spector, 64, leaned on the arm of his attorney as the murder indictment charging him with killing the 40-year-old actress was unsealed and read, but otherwise showed no emotion. He remains free on $1 million bail.
He spoke only briefly in court, answering, "Yes, your honor," to Judge David S. Lesley's questions.
Lesley set Dec. 16 as the earliest possible trial date, and Spector waived his right to a speedy trial.
Lesley also agreed to keep the trial in Los Angeles rather than move it to Pasadena, which is closer to Spector's Alhambra home. Attorneys for both sides expressed concern about the crush of news media representatives expected to attend it, and the courtrooms in Los Angeles are bigger.
Clarkson was best known as the star of Roger Corman's cult film classic "Barbarian Queen." (search) She was working as a hostess at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip and went home from there with Spector on Feb. 3, 2003, the night she was killed.
Spector is famed for creating rock music's "wall of sound" recording technique in the 1960s that has influenced the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen and many others.
He suggested in an interview with Esquire Magazine that Clarkson shot herself.