LOS ANGELES – Prosecutors can introduce evidence in Phil Spector's (search) murder trial to try to show the famed music producer had a history of threatening women before he was charged with killing a B-movie actress in his home two years ago.
In issuing his ruling Monday, Superior Court Judge Larry P. Fidler acknowledged that allowing the evidence was "a dangerous path to go down," but concluded the incidents seemed to illustrate the state's theory.
Deputy District Attorney Doug Sortino had argued before the ruling that Spector used guns to threaten or intimidate people in "an ongoing course of conduct that happens again and again and again."
Outside the courthouse, Spector insisted he "never pulled a gun on these women."
Spector is charged with murdering Lana Clarkson (search) at his Alhambra mansion in early 2003. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail.
Fidler allowed evidence of four incidents that allegedly occurred between 1988 and 1995 to be introduced during Spector's trial. He refused to allow six other alleged incidents to be introduced.
Each of the four incidents allowed by the judge involved women who claimed to have dated Spector and accused him of waving or pointing a gun at them.
In a 1991 incident, a woman identified in court documents as Melissa Grovesnor said she was visiting Spector and was forced to spend the night in a chair after she told him she wanted to return to her hotel room.
Spector pointed a gun at her head and began to yell and swear, prosecutors allege.
The three other incidents cleared by Fidler involved women identified in court filings as Stephanie Jennings, Dianne Ogden and Dorothy Melvin.
Defense attorney Bruce Cutler (search) argued that none of the allegations were true and dismissed the women as celebrity-chasing "acolytes and gold diggers" out for publicity.
He also warned that discussing the incidents during trial could prejudice the jury against Spector.
Among the incidents excluded by Fidler were two cases from the 1970s that led to charges against Spector.
In 1972, the producer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor crime of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and was given a year of probation. In 1975, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of brandishing a firearm and was given two years of probation.