LOS ANGELES – Music producer Phil Spector was confronted Tuesday with prospective jurors who declared they had already decided he was guilty of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.
"Honestly, I think he did it," a young aspiring actress said during jury selection. "I think I'm a fair person but it would be very difficult to forget what I read."
She said she believed celebrities often have things handed to them and as a result they "just act inappropriately."
"I moved out here to be an actress and I have strong morals," she said. "But it's easy to see how you start to think the world is just about you."
Clarkson was shot through the mouth in the foyer of Spector's suburban Alhambra home on Feb. 3, 2003, after going home with him from her job as a hostess at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. Spector, a top record producer in the 1960s and '70s has pleaded not guilty to murder.
About 100 people are being questioned for jury service after filling out wide-ranging questionnaires a month ago. As of late Tuesday morning none had been removed from the panel.
The next prospect questioned, also a woman, said she also concluded that Spector was guilty. But she said she had served on juries before and thought she could separate her opinions from evaluation of the evidence.
She had written on her questionnaire: "In my opinion Phillip is at fault for her death."
Asked by defense attorney Roger Rosen to elaborate, she said, "If she hadn't gone there she would be alive."
An immigrant woman who said her English was limited stated that she knew little about the case but felt "you have to know who's coming to your home for your own safety. ... I'm thinking if somebody's coming to your home you have to be responsible for your guest."
Another prospect who is a prosecutor said she could be fair.
Rosen moved on to a young woman who wrote on her questionnaire: "I think he's guilty, just like O.J. Simpson."
Under questioning the woman said she followed the Simpson case very closely, thought there was a lot of evidence to support his guilt and thought prosecutors did a bad job of presenting the evidence.
As a result, she said, she thought jurors did the right thing in finding there was a reasonable doubt, but she added that she still thought Simpson was guilty.
"In this case, do you equate Phillip with O.J. Simpson?" asked Rosen.
"Yeah, I guess that's right," said the woman.
Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.