Actress Lana Clarkson's mother wiped tears from her eyes as the jurors in Phil Spector's murder retrial were handed the case on Thursday (26Mar09).
A panel of seven men and five women filed out of the Los Angeles courtroom just before noon local time to begin their deliberations, five months after the start of the retrial.
Spector stands accused of shooting Clarkson in the foyer of his Alhambra, California mansion in 2003, and faces up to 18 years behind bars if convicted. His attorneys maintain the depressed actress shot herself.
The music mogul, 69, sat silently in court as Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson told the jurors to pretend they could go back to the night Clarkson left her job as a waitress and agreed to go back to the producer's home in his final argument. He asked them what they'd say to her if they had the chance.
In a chilling conclusion to days of final arguments from prosecution and defence lawyers, Jackson said, "You are all thinking the same thing. Youd say, 'Lana, whatever you do, dont go.'"
According to the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Jackson asked jurors in Spectors 2007 trial to imagine the same scenario. That panel deadlocked 10 to two in favour of conviction and the case was ruled a mistrial.
His comments and the close of the trial brought Clarkson's mother, Donna, to tears.