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Spector’s lawyer: Prosecution presented only speculation

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By Linda Deutsch

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors in the murder trial against Phil Spector presented only "speculation instead of certainty" as to who pulled the trigger when actress Lana Clarkson died, the music producer’s attorney told jurors Thursday in closing arguments.

Spector’s attorney, Linda Kenney-Baden, counterattacked the prosecutor’s hours-long closing argument the previous day, contending that Spector was too far away to have fired the gun in Clarkson’s mouth and that Clarkson killed herself.

"Finally after four years of investigation, five months of trial and approximately 70 witnesses, we now have a variety of the government’s speculations as to how this could have happened," Kenney-Baden said.

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"Some of them, you heard yesterday, include: The gun fell into her mouth. She was talking and he put the gun in her mouth. She screamed and he put the gun in her mouth. It even got to the point (where) a big gust of wind or an earthquake could have made the gun go off. It must have been San Andreas’ fault," she said sarcastically.

Prosecutor Alan Jackson’s closing argument Wednesday had repeatedly attacked the high-profile forensic experts hired by Spector, calling it a "checkbook defense."

Kenney-Baden said it was the government that had boundless financial resources to investigate. "They had every forensic tool available to them as to who fired the gun that night," she said.

Earlier in the morning, Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler denied a defense motion for a mistrial, based on Jackson’s closing argument, but he told the jury that Jackson had made some mistakes in his closing argument.

Fidler told jurors Jackson crossed the line by characterizing the defense case as having murdered or assassinated Clarkson’s character. Fidler said he had determined certain evidence about Clarkson’s background was relevant and it was therefore fair for the defense to present it.

Fidler also said the jury could not consider a suggestion that the defense and a trial witness "got together" concerning the person’s testimony. "There’s no showing whatsoever that defense counsel asked a witness to testify untruthfully in any way," the judge said.

Spector, 67, is accused of second-degree murder in the death of Clarkson, 40, who died of a gunshot in the foyer of his home at about 5 a.m. Feb. 3, 2003.

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