LATEST: A forensic scientist at the Phil Spector murder trial has denied compromising evidence when collecting fibres, hairs and debris from the body of shooting victim Lana Clarkson.
Criminalist Jaime Lintemoot dismissed defence attorney Linda Kenney-Baden's suggestion her use of 'tape lifts' had destroyed vital blood splatter evidence.
Lintemoot, who works for the coroner's office, told the Los Angeles hearing yesterday (13Jun07), "I do not believe that I compromised evidence."
She later added, "Throughout the night I was constantly changing gloves to prevent contamination and also for safety. You don't want to be handling bloody items."
Evidence gained from the pattern of blood splatter is crucial to the trial as it could determined how far Spector was standing from Clarkson when the fatal shot was fired.
Lintemoot also confirmed she was called to a meeting at her workplace a year after Clarkson's death in February 2003 to explain what procedures she had used when collecting evidence.
She said, "I told people I used the tape lift to collect some fibres from the abdomen of the dress."
Lintemoot testified that her decision to take off Clarkson's clothing at the coroner's office instead of at the scene led to blood flowing from the victim's nose onto her jacket, explaining why photos of the body at the scene showed a clean jacket.
She also found a lipstick under Clarkson's left breast inside her bra.
Spector has pleaded not guilty to the fatal shooting of Clarkson at his Alhambra, California home. He claims Clarkson committed suicide.
The trial continues.