LATEST: A forensic scientist has told a hearing that a fingernail missing from Phil Spector's alleged shooting victim may not necessarily be of any importance in reconstructing the murder scene.
Lynne Herold said the nail could have come off victim Lara Clarkson's hand as she tried to get out of a door at Spector's home, or that it could have shattered during the shooting.
Spector and the jury were not present at yesterday's (08May07) hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, because of a prior arrangement with a juror.
Herold said, "From my position, this item has potential value or no value, depending on what it is.
"It could be useful in placing her hands at the time of the (gun's) discharge... The flip side is it may have absolutely no value."
The prosecution has accused Spector's legal team of hiding the fingernail evidence - a charge the defence vehemently denies.
Last week (ends04May07), Greg Diamond, who once worked with the music producer's legal team, told another special hearing without the jury that Spector's former lawyer Sara Caplan stole a piece of tooth or nail that had been missed by police.
Spector is accused of the fatal shooting of actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra, California home in February 2003. He has pleaded not guilty and claims Clarkson committed suicide.
The trial resumes tomorrow.