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Six years after actress Lana Clarkson died of a gunshot wound at Phil Spector's hilltop mansion, lawyers will once again deliver final arguments to a jury in the legendary music producer's murder trial.


The question hanging over these proceedings is whether this jury, unlike the one at Spector's first trial 18 months ago, will be able to reach a unanimous verdict. The first panel deadlocked 10-2 in favor of conviction.

When closing arguments in Spector's retrial begin Monday, prosecutors will attempt to convince jurors that the 69-year-old music producer fired the fatal shot as Clarkson tried to leave his home. The defense will argue that Clarkson, a down-on-her-luck actress approaching middle age, put the gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger.

A change from circumstances presented to the first jury is a ruling Friday by Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler that provides an option to convict Spector of a lesser charge. Fidler instructed jurors that involuntary manslaughter charges could be considered.

If Spector, who became famous for creating rock music's "wall of sound," is convicted of that charge, he could be sentenced to as little as two to four years in prison.

Prosecutors did not charge Spector with involuntary manslaughter, and district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said they would still argue that he is guilty of second-degree murder, a conviction with a prison sentence of 15 years to life.


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