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CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / LOS ANGELES

Spector photos violate rules

December 18, 2008|Harriet Ryan

The judge presiding over Phil Spector's murder trial said Wednesday that photos on a website linked to the music producer's wife are in violation of court rules.

Pictures posted on a site bearing the name of Spector's wife, Rachelle, show a blogger critical of Spector's defense attending the trial. Two of the pictures on www.rachellespector.com appear to have been taken from inside the courtroom where Spector's trial is taking place. A third appears to have been shot in the courthouse hallway.

Court rules prohibit photography in the courthouse except with permission from a judge or in designated areas for the media.

"Our rules are very, very specific on that issue," Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler told lawyers. "It's just violating the rules."

The photos, which appeared to be taken with a cellphone camera, were accompanied by comments on the coverage and appearance of blogger Betsy Ross.

"Boy, the audacity she has to comment on what my husband and I look like and what we wear! Too Funny!" one comment read.

Ross said she learned of the photos from a message someone attempted to post on her blog.

She said her accounts of Spector's retrial have a pro-prosecution slant and "I've made no bones about that."

Testimony in the trial was canceled because of a juror illness, and Spector and his wife did not attend. His attorney declined to comment.

-- Harriet Ryan

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