BREAKING NEWS: Phil Spector Sentenced to 19 Years To Life For Murder

May 29 2009, Published 4:58 a.m. ET

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A judge in Los Angeles Friday sentenced legendary record producer Phil Spector to 19-years to life in prison for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson at his 30-bedroom mansion in Alhambra, California , and was in the courtroom when justice was delivered.

Spector  -known for his collection of bizarre wigs --  was convicted of second-degree murder last April for the 2003 killing of Clarkson, who was shot in the mouth after a party at Spector's home. 

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PHOTO GALLERY: Phil Spector's wacky wig collection.

In court Friday, he wore a  dark pin-stripped suit and appeared subdued.  His wife sat in the courtroom, crying.  

Prior to the judge handing down the sentence,  Lana Clarkson's mother Donna told the court: "There is a hole in our hearts, and we miss you. We still miss looking into your vibrant eyes, and we hope that the court will be fair today."

Donna Clarkson also said her daughter was a dedicated actress who always made people feel important and who viewed life as a glass half full.

Clarkson, 40, had been working as a hostess at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, and went home with Spector on the night of her death.

Clarkson has appeared in a couple of  1980s cult films such as Barbarian Queen and Fast Times at Ridgemont High; then, her acting career had hit the rocks.

Spector had arrived at the club with waitress Kathy Sullivan, before setting his sights on Clarkson.

Spector's Brazilian chauffeur, Adriano De Souza, said his boss appeared to be drunk and that Clarkson was initially reluctant to go home with him.

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She was found dead in the foyer of his house in the early hours of the morning.

A holster that matched the snub-nosed Colt Cobra revolver that Spector used to kill her was found in a drawer in the foyer.

Spector's chauffeur called authorities , saying: "I think my boss killed somebody", after Spector emerged from his home with a gun.

He told jurors Spector had said: "I think I killed somebody." The defense  argued he had misheard his employer.


The producer was taken into custody about 40 minutes after the shooting and had to be subdued by officers using a stun gun. 

It took two trials to convict Spector.  His first trial was abandoned in 2007 after a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision.

The "Wall Of Sound" producer had been linked with several gun incidents with various women, trial witnesses claimed, over the years before the Clarkson shooting.

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Spector's attorney Doron Weinberg says that the 69-year old producer , who worked with icons such as John Lennon, Tina Turner and Leonard Cohen, has kept his spirits high during the trial and sentencing process by focusing on an appeal.

"He's adjusting to the circumstances and settling down to wait out an appeal with high hopes," Weinberg said. "He feels he will win the appeal."

Weinberg also claimed that Spector has “steadfastly maintained since the February 3, 2003… that he did not kill Lana Clarkson, and he is not responsible for her death.”

(Photo: Wenn)



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