LOS ANGELES – The jury in Phil Spector's trial deliberated another full day without reaching a verdict, but left an intriguing clue about what's happening behind closed doors when they asked for a VCR.
The jury, which was given some new instructions after reporting an impasse a week ago, asked for the video player during Monday's deliberations. They are determining whether the famed record producer murdered actress Lana Clarkson more than 4 1/2 years ago.
There was no indication why the jury wanted the VCR, but during the evidence phase of the case the jury was shown videotape of sheriff's investigators interviewing Spector's chauffeur.
Driver Adriano De Souza was a key witness who testified that Spector came out of his mansion with a gun in his hand and stated "I think I killed somebody" as Clarkson's body sat slumped in a foyer chair behind him.
There also was videotape of a fountain in the courtyard where the chauffeur was waiting at the time. The defense contended the fountain and other noises made it difficult for the Brazilian-born driver to understand Spector.
Spector, 67, is charged with second-degree murder. Clarkson, 40, died on Feb. 3, 2003, from a gunshot fired in her mouth. The defense contends the shot was self-inflicted, either an accident or a suicide.
The case went to the jury on Sept. 10 and the jury foreman told the judge on Sept. 18 the panel was deadlocked 7-5. After two days of debate among attorneys, the judge revised the jury instructions and the panel resumed talks late on Sept. 20.
When the jury returned Monday, the defense filed a motion asking Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler to give the panel more guidance to clarify the new instructions he issued last week to help break the deadlock.
Superior Court spokesman Alan Parachini said the judge informally indicated to the lawyers that he would not grant the motion. The judge, however, did not plan a hearing to formally put his decision on the record.
Last week the judge withdrew a so-called pinpoint instruction that several jurors indicated was giving them trouble.
That instruction said that in order to convict Spector the jury had to find that "the defendant must have committed an act that caused the death of Lana Clarkson," and it specified the act was pointing a gun at her, which resulted in the gun entering her mouth while in Spector's hand.
The judge decided that the instruction misstated the law by unduly limiting possibilities that the jury could consider. He gave a new instruction that included examples of inferences the jury could draw from the evidence, including the possibility that Spector forced Clarkson to place the gun in her own mouth and it went off.
Spector was a hit-making music producer decades ago, gaining fame for what became known as the "Wall of Sound" recording technique.
Clarkson was a struggling actress who took a job as a VIP hostess at the House of Blues, where she met Spector and went home with him for a drink after work. She gained modest fame in 1985 as the star of Roger Corman's cult film "Barbarian Queen."