September 19, 2007 in Nation/World

In brief: Spector jury leader declares impasse

The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Phil Spector arrives at court in Los Angeles with his wife, Rachelle, on Tuesday, the seventh day of deliberations. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

The foreman of the jury in Phil Spector’s murder trial said Tuesday that the panel is at an impasse, and the judge told lawyers he was considering allowing the panel to consider a lesser charge.

The juror told Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler the panel was split 7 to 5, but he did not indicate which way it was leaning.

The record producer is charged with second-degree murder, and the judge previously ruled that the panel would decide only that charge and not consider lesser charges. The judge, however, told the attorneys that he was reconsidering and believed he might have cause to instruct the jury to consider involuntary manslaughter.

The judge, amid discussions with lawyers, told jurors he wanted them to take a break and sent them home with instructions to return today.

Washington

Veterans memorial was vandalized

An oily substance found splashed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this month was the result of vandalism, U.S. Park Police determined.

Sgt. Robert Lachance, a Park Police spokesman, said a detective made the conclusion, but he declined to provide further details because of the investigation is ongoing.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the structure, has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

The oily substance on the black granite wall – which bears the names of more than 58,000 men and women killed or missing in the Vietnam War – was first reported Sept. 7.

On Monday, dark blotches remained along a stone curb at the base of the wall for much of its length. At least 14 of its 140 inscribed panels appeared to be stained.

Park Service spokesman Bill Line said maintenance and preservation crews were working to remove the stains and marks but were proceeding cautiously to avoid further damage. He said officials are confident they can remove all the stains, but it could take a week or more.


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