LOS ANGELES – Phil Spector could have been walking or running toward actress Lana Clarkson rather than standing in front of her when a gunshot killed her, a forensic expert testified Monday under defense cross-examination in the producer's murder trial.
Lynne Herold, a prosecution witness, testified last week that Spector, arms raised, was within two-to-three feet of Clarkson when she was shot through the mouth, based on how close Spector had to be to have blood backspatter on parts of his jacket.
Under questioning by defense attorney Linda Kenney-Baden, Herold acknowledged that unlike the scenario described by a prosecutor in which Spector was standing directly in front of Clarkson, Spector could have been moving.
Clarkson was shot on Feb. 3, 2003. Her body was found slumped in a chair in the foyer of Spector's home. The defense contends she shot herself.
Kenney-Baden presented Herold with a number of technical questions involving blood spatter on Spector's clothing and then asked her whether she had testified to a grand jury in the case that Spector could have been walking toward Clarkson.
"Yes," said the witness.
"You indicated he could have been running toward Miss Clarkson?" asked the attorney.
"Yes," said the witness.
Kenney-Baden then walked up to the witness box, held up her arms in the manner the prosecutor had done last week, and said that perhaps he was moving when he held his arms up.
The witness agreed that was possible.
But Herold, who has a doctoral degree, declined to compare the case to many of the scholarly studies that were cited by Kenney-Baden in her questioning.
"There is no other case like this case," she said. "It is a unique case unto itself, as is each case."
She refused to accept studies involving the shooting of animals to show how far blood spatter can travel and she said she was unfamiliar with a paper in which another expert said that blood spatter in a suicide can travel six feet.
"I'm not familiar with that paper and I will not comment on it unless I can see it," she said.
"You are not a medical doctor, are you?" asked Kenney-Baden.
"No," the witness said, smiling. "I'm a real doctor, as opposed to a body mechanic."
As jurors and the audience laughed, she added, "A standard lab joke."
As Herold testified, three experts who will testify for the defense were seated in the front row of the audience taking notes.
Spector, 67, was a leading music producer in the 1960s and '70s after rising to fame with a recording technique that became known as the "Wall of Sound."
Clarkson, 40, was a struggling actress best known for the 1985 film "Barbarian Queen." She was working as House of Blues hostess when she met Spector a few hours before her death.