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Detective describes guns found in Spector’s home

Times Staff Writer

Prosecutors laid out their version of the crime scene in the Phil Spector murder trial Tuesday, calling a homicide detective to detail the inventory of guns found in the producer’s home and other potentially incriminating evidence.

Spector is on trial on charges that he murdered 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson, who was found shot to death in his home Feb. 3, 2003. The snub-nosed .38 Special that Clarkson was shot with had not been registered.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Det. Mark Lillienfeld, who supervised the investigation of Spector’s Alhambra home for 30 hours after the shooting, said the gun matched a holster in a drawer that was about five feet from Clarkson’s body, and its ammunition was the same as those that were found in two other revolvers in the house.

Prosecutors allege that Spector, 67, shot Clarkson, then wiped blood off the gun in an attempt to clean up the murder scene.

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Lillienfeld testified that the gun was wiped of blood and that a bloody cloth diaper was found in an upstairs bathroom.

The detective brought the alleged murder weapon to court along with two other revolvers found in an upstairs room and a 12-gauge pump shotgun. Wearing latex gloves, Lillienfeld held each weapon for the jury to see.

Investigators had found 12 guns in Spector’s house, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler allowed only three of them and the alleged murder weapon to be presented before the jury. The two revolvers used the same ammunition as the gun that had been fired into Clarkson’s mouth; the shotgun matched the description of a weapon that ex-girlfriend Dorothy Melvin said Spector used to threaten her in 1993.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Patrick Dixon also asked Lillienfeld to point out numerous telephones in pictures of Spector’s house, and to confirm that they were working. Prosecutors said there were 14 phones that Spector could have used to call for help, but did not. Lillienfeld said two working cellular phones also were found in Spector’s briefcase, which was on a chair on the ground floor where Clarkson’s body was found.

While Lillienfeld described the contents of Spector’s house, he also said that the white jacket Spector had worn that evening actually was a women’s garment -- distinguished by buttons on the left side. Spector had been mistaken for a woman by Clarkson when they met the night of her death at the House of Blues, where she was a hostess.

Apart from evidentiary value, the crime scene pictures gave a glimpse of the castle-like home of the influential producer of pop music, whose work for the Beatles, the Righteous Brothers and others included the hit songs “Let It Be” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”

However feminine Spector’s clothing was that night, the photographs of his home showed a bachelor’s approach to decorating, which was at odds with the exterior opulence of the residence.

His furnishings appeared to be a mix of Rococo and Roebuck -- about as old as his last hit records.

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There were flimsy carpets and gaudy patterned bedspreads in guest rooms, a dated four-burner gas stove in a kitchen and a hefty steel 1970s IBM electric typewriter in an office.

Jurors are expected to hear today from witnesses who said they saw famous forensic scientist Henry C. Lee -- the defense’s star witness -- handling a fingernail-sized object at the house the day after Clarkson’s death. Fidler ruled last month that Lee had kept the object from prosecutors for examination, which violated evidence rules.

peter.hong@latimes.com


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