Producer Spector charged with murder

Friday, November 21, 2003

— Record producer Phil Spector, the 1960s recording-studio wizard who created pop music's Wall of Sound, was charged Thursday with murder in the February shooting death of a woman at his home.

Spector, 63, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Thursday afternoon in the slaying of 40-year-old Lana Clarkson, a B-movie actress and model found dead in the foyer of his Alhambra mansion.

Spector waived his right to a speedy trial. The judge set a Jan. 23 hearing to choose a date for a preliminary hearing to determine whether the case should go to trial.

Spector, his hair falling to his shoulders in curls, wore a long black coat and platform shoes with 3-inch heels. He refused comment outside court.

He has been free on $1 million bail since his arrest for investigation of murder shortly after the Feb. 3 shooting. Authorities have not given a motive or commented on other details of the investigation.

The felony complaint did not specify whether prosecutors will seek a first-degree or second-degree murder conviction. District attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said the charge carried a maximum penalty of life in prison with a possibility of parole.