Phil Spector Jury Reaches an 'Impasse,' Sent Home Until Wednesday for Further Instructions

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The jury in Phil Spector's murder trial has reached what they characterized as an "impasse," the judge announced Tuesday.

After meeting with jurors, Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler decided to send them home for the night on a break. They were ordered back on Wednesday at 10 a.m. PDT for further instructions.

"The jury has announced to the clerk that they believe they are hung," Fidler told attorneys called to the hearing.

Fidler denied a motion from the defense to declare a mistrial, noting that three of the jurors said that further instructions could help them reach a verdict.

The foreman of the jury told the judge Tuesday, their seventh day of deliberations, that the panel is at a 7-5 impasse but did not indicate which way it was leaning.

"At this time I don't believe that anything else will change the positions of the jurors," the foreman said when Fidler asked if there was anything he could do to help.

Polled individually, some jurors agreed with the foreman and others disagreed. One suggested further instruction about reasonable doubt.

The judge, amid discussions with lawyers, told the jury he wanted them to take a break and sent them home with instructions to return Wednesday, possibly for more instructions or to have the lawyers re-argue part of the case.

"Just set the case aside for the rest of the day," the judge told them.

The jury had asked to speak to Fidler about the difficulty it was having in reaching a decision in the case. He met with and interviewed them after he made the announcement during a 4:30 p.m. EDT proceeding on Tuesday.

"The jury has reached an impasse," Fidler said, reading from the word the jury sent on Tuesday. The jury said it didn't believe it could reach a verdict.

Earlier Tuesday, jurors buzzed twice, meaning the panel had a question. The court clerk went into the deliberations room and returned with an envelope that appeared to contain three pages, which were taken to Fidler.

The jury was on an extended break until the afternoon proceeding.

Spector, 67, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 3, 2003, gunshot death of actress Lana Clarkson, 40. The case went to the jury on Sept. 10.

The music producer is accused of shooting Clarkson in his mansion. The defense maintains Clarkson shot herself.

Jurors have been told they cannot convict Spector of a lesser charge such as manslaughter.

The judge, however, told the attorneys that he was reconsidering and believed he might have cause to instruct the jury to consider involuntary manslaughter.

Spector faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.

Clarkson was killed by a bullet fired from a gun inside her mouth. The defense contended in the long trial that she had many personal problems and killed herself either by accident or suicide.

Spector was a producer of hit rock music records decades ago, creating what became known as the "Wall of Sound" recording technique.

Clarkson had modest success as the star of Roger Corman's 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen." She was working as a hostess at the House of Blues when she met Spector and went home with him after work, just hours before she died.

FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.