Exhibit M: money, money, money
If I’m ever tempted to kill someone, please remind me to raise a few million dollars first.
It can’t hurt.
Celebrity music producer Phil Spector had the .38-caliber Cobra in his hand, he had blood on his jacket, the driver heard him say he thought he just killed someone, five women testified that he had brandished guns in their presence, and Spector brushed off his murder rap like a bad wig.
Had two jurors fallen asleep at some point in the five-month trial before telling Judge Larry Paul Fidler on Wednesday that they were hopelessly hung, 10 to 2?
It’s a little more complicated than that, but not much.
Believing that someone is guilty, and seeing convincing proof, are two different things. One juror said there were some doubts about the forensics in a case in which the defense team argued that Clarkson killed herself, either in a suicide or by accident, in Spector’s Alhambra mansion.
Still, 10 of the 12 jurors believed Spector was guilty, according to a court spokesman.
“I was insulted by the defense and what they threw out,” said one clear-headed juror.
So we’re left to ask, again, whether celebrity or money had something to do with the verdict, and my bet is definitely on the latter.
Does anyone out there believe some penniless schmo with a dead woman in his house and a gun in his hand would beat the rap if his lawyer was a no-name and he couldn’t afford a parade of favorable witnesses?
“He got to buy some experts,” said one juror, who voted guilty.
As O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake and Michael Jackson have proved before Spector, it doesn’t hurt your cause if you can spend millions chipping away at the prosecution.
“We will try Phil Spector again,” said Sandi Gibbons, speaking for Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley.
I half want to shout, “Please, spare us.” I don’t know if I can stand to look at Spector’s fright wigs and ‘70s Halloween get-ups for five more months.
But on the other hand, I have more than a little trouble believing actress Lana Clarkson was the killer in the house that night in Alhambra, so let’s give Cooley’s team another crack at putting Spector away. Maybe now’s the time for Cooley to get out of the easy chair and handle this thing himself.
Who knows, maybe Spector blew his entire nest egg on this defense team and won’t be able to afford another army of high-priced defenders. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pitch a book to Judith Regan and try to finance another ace squad of hired guns.
We know the title “If I Did It” has been used, so how about “I Think I Killed Somebody, Maybe,” or, “I Think I Killed Somebody, Da Doo Ron Ron.”
Maybe the Ronettes would let him use “Walking in the Rain,” except that with another trial coming up, he might not want to talk about “walking” just yet.
Spector could go with, “I Think O.J. Killed Somebody” and try to pin the whole thing on Simpson. Has anybody asked O.J. where he was that night?
Now that O.J.'s got new legal problems, namely a Las Vegas robbery charge, maybe the two heroes can team up on a Beat the Rap memorabilia tour.
A Heisman, a few Grammys, some old jerseys and autographed album covers. There’s got to be a few bucks in all of that, don’t you think?
And no shortage of highfalutin attorneys and experts eager to line up for another big payday.
Reach the columnist at steve.lopez@latimes and read previous columns at www .latimes.com/lopez.