Los Angeles Prosecutors Oppose Motion to Exclude Testimony in Phil Spector Murder Trial

Jurors in Phil Spector's upcoming murder retrial should be allowed to hear testimony about blood evidence and the autopsy of the actress he is accused of shooting, prosecutors argued in court documents.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office opposed a motion by Spector's lawyers to exclude testimony presented at the music producer's first trial by three forensics experts. They include Dr. Louis Pena, who testified that he conducted an autopsy and concluded Lana Clarkson's death was a homicide.

Spector, famed for his "Wall of Sound" recording technique in the 1960s, is accused of shooting Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion on Feb. 3, 2003. The defense has claimed Clarkson shot herself, either accidentally or on purpose. A jury deadlocked last year and Spector is facing a retrial in September.

His attorneys have filed several motions to exclude evidence. They also filed a motion arguing that jurors in the retrial shouldn't be allowed to convict Spector on lesser offenses.

At the first trial, the judge refused to instruct jurors that they could find Spector guilty of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. His attorneys argue that the judge's decision amounted to acquitting Spector on those charges and that the Constitutional ban on double jeopardy means he cannot face them again.

However, that claim "flies in the face of logic and law," the district attorney's office argued in a reply Tuesday.

"The court never impliedly or otherwise factually acquitted (the) defendant of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter," the filing said.

Dennis Riordan, a San Francisco attorney representing Spector, said he planned to file replies Friday opposing prosecutors' arguments.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles judge on Thursday set a May 4 trial in Spector's breach-of-contract lawsuit against the attorney who first represented him.

Spector claims Robert Shapiro did inadequate work during his first trial and wants him to return a $1 million retainer. Shapiro has denied Spector's claims.