LATEST: The first police officers on the scene following the death of Lana Clarkson in Phil Spector's Los Angeles mansion were determined she was murdered from the outset of the case, the music producer's lawyer said yesterday (25Apr07).
Spector has been accused of the fatal shooting of actress Clarkson, who was found slumped in the foyer of his home in February 2003. He has pleaded not guilty and claims Clarkson committed suicide.
The 67-year-old's attorney Bruce Cutler told jurors at the opening day of the trial in Los Angeles Superior Court that the cops believed it was murder when they arrived on the scene and were intoxicated by the prospect of arresting such a famous face.
Cutler said, "The evidence will show that back on February 3 of 2003, before they even had a cause of death, let alone a manner of death, they had murder on their mind.
"Fame and success come back to haunt you...
"A self-inflicted gunshot wound can be accidental suicide, and that's what it was."
Meanwhile, prosecutors claim Clarkson's death was another act of violence by a man who has alleged mistreated women for years.
Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson said, "This is a picture of a man, Phillip Spector, who when he is confronted with the right circumstances, turns sinister and deadly.
"Lana Clarkson was the last of a long line of women victimised by Phillip Spector over the years.
"He put a loaded pistol in Lana Clarkson's mouth and he shot her to death."
The trial continues.