LOS ANGELES – Rock music producer Phil Spector was convicted Monday of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a film actress at his mansion six years ago, a verdict that will send him to prison for at least 18 years barring a successful appeal.
A Superior Court jury returned the verdict after about 30 hours of deliberations. The jury had the option of choosing the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, but did not do so.
The panel also found Spector guilty of using a firearm in committing a crime.
Spector exhibited no reaction to the verdict. His attorney argued that he should remain free on bail pending the May 29 sentencing, but Judge Larry Paul Fidler remanded him to jail immediately.
Defense attorney Doron Weinberg said he believed the case was swayed by the judge’s erroneous rulings, particularly one that allowed five women from Spector’s past to testify. He said it would be the basis for appeal and a request for a new trial.
It was Spector’s second trial. The first jury deadlocked 10-2 favoring conviction in 2007.
The 40-year-old Lana Clarkson, star of the 1985 cult film “Barbarian Queen,” died of a gunshot fired in her mouth as she sat in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in 2003. She met Spector only hours earlier at her job as a nightclub hostess.