Phil Spector's murder trial has been given an official start date of 16 September (05).

Yesterday (17FEB05), 64-year-old Spector, who is free on $1 million (GBP526,500) bail, waived his right to a speedy trial, accepting the date handed to him by Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler.

Producer Spector is accused of shooting B-movie actress Lana Clarkson to death in February 2003 as she tried to leave his home in suburban Alhambra, California, say prosecutors.

In grand jury transcripts released last month (JAN05), police officer BEATRICE RODRIGUEZ testified that right after Spector was handcuffed he said, "What's wrong with you guys? What are you doing? I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident."

Spector's chauffeur, ADRIANO DE SOUZA, testified that he brought the couple to the producer's mansion and waited outside in the car. At 5am, he heard a sound like a pop, he said, and Spector came outside minutes later holding a gun.

He quoted Spector as saying, "I think I killed somebody."

Spector later told police that Clarkson had committed suicide, according to transcripts.

18/02/2005 03:12