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Grand Jury Transcripts for Spector Case Sealed

October 13, 2004|Anna Gorman | Times Staff Writer

Over the objections of prosecutors, a judge Tuesday sealed transcripts of grand jury proceedings that led to the indictment of rock music producer Phil Spector on a murder charge.

But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley then transferred the case to the trial judge, Larry Paul Fidler, and said he wanted to give his fellow jurist a chance to review the transcripts before deciding whether to release them to the public.

Spector was indicted last month in the slaying of actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion in February 2003.

The motion to seal the transcripts was filed by Spector's defense attorneys.

"It's a lose-lose situation" to release them, Roger J. Rosen said during a brief hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Rosen argued that publicity could affect potential jurors in the case.

His co-counsel, Bruce Cutler, released a statement saying that making the transcripts public would "exacerbate the damage already caused by the prosecution and cause irreparable harm to Phillip's constitutional right to a fair trial."

The district attorney's office favored release, saying the documents are public record and should not be kept secret. Allowing the public to see them would not affect potential jurors because of the size of the jury pool in Los Angeles County, Deputy Dist. Atty. Doug Sortino said.

"The facts in this case are going to come out," he said.

The attorneys are scheduled to present their arguments before Fidler on Nov. 10.

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