LOS ANGELES – A prosecutor told jurors Wednesday to imagine what they would have said if they had been in a parking lot outside the House of Blues more than four years ago as record producer Phil Spector coaxed a reluctant Lana Clarkson to come to his home.
"You'd lean over and you'd whisper, 'Don't go. Don't go.' You'd simply say, 'Lana, don't go,"' Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson said as closing arguments began in Spector's murder trial.
"The reason that you would say that is because you know something she didn't know," he continued. "You know the real Phil Spector. ... You know in your heart of hearts he is responsible for her death. He killed her."
In the first of two days of arguments, Jackson accused Spector's defense of dragging Clarkson's name through the mud and presenting scientific testimony that was not credible.
"Their defense can be broken down into two categories: basically the attacks on Lana, and they attacked her over and over and over ... and the second thing is buying their science ... the science that they attempted to sell you. And it just doesn't stand up," Jackson said.
Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler said he expects the case to be submitted to the jury on Friday.
The judge has ruled that the jury will only decide whether Spector is guilty or innocent of second-degree murder, and they cannot consider so-called lesser included offenses, such as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
Spector, 67, is accused of second-degree murder in the death of the 40-year-old actress, who was killed around 5 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2003, by a bullet from a revolver that was fired inside her mouth.
Clarkson had met Spector just hours earlier at her job as a House of Blues hostess and had gone home with him. For Spector, their meeting came at the end of a chauffeured night of eating and drinking on the town.
Clarkson's body, with a purse slung over one shoulder, was found slumped in a chair in a foyer of Spector's castle-like home in suburban Alhambra. The gun was on the floor below her legs.
Jackson replayed for the jury the panicked 911 call made by Spector's chauffeur, Adriano De Souza, and recounted the driver's testimony that he heard a pop sound as he waited outside the home, and that Spector then emerged from the home.
"He said Phil Spector, seconds after the gunshot, literally had the smoking gun in his hand, in his right hand, across his waist," Jackson said. "He literally had Lana Clarkson's blood on his hand. He looked Adriano De Souza right in the face, they were standing four to six feet apart ... and Phil Spector looks at him and says, 'I think I killed somebody."'
The trial played out over five months.
The prosecution presented its case under the theory of "implied malice," which requires the taking of an extreme risk that could lead to death and a callous disregard for human life. There was no allegation of premeditation or intent.
The prosecution sought to show that blood got on Spector's coat because he was close enough to shoot her.
Prosecutors also called five women who testified they were threatened by a gun-wielding, drunken Spector in long-ago incidents when they tried to leave his home or presence.
The defense called experts who concluded that Clarkson, who was struggling in her acting career and had money problems, was depressed and shot herself in a rash, alcohol-fueled "spontaneous" decision.
The penalty for second-degree murder is 15 years to life in prison. A convict has to serve 85 percent of the base term before becoming eligible for a parole hearing.
Spector was famed for his "Wall of Sound" recording technique that made him a leading producer of rock music in the 1960s and '70s. Clarkson appeared in the 1985 cult film "Barbarian Queen."