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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Spector judge to allow officer's testimony

October 21, 2008|Harriet Ryan

The judge in Phil Spector's murder retrial ruled Monday that jurors can hear testimony about misogynistic comments the legendary music producer is said to have made at a Christmas party a decade before he allegedly shot an actress.

Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler said retired New York City police officer Vincent Tannazzo can testify that during a confrontation at comedian Joan Rivers' home in the early 1990s, Spector used an obscene word to refer to women and said, "They all deserve a bullet in their . . . heads."

Spector is accused of shooting Lana Clarkson, 40, in the mouth in 2003. A jury last year deadlocked 10-to-2 in favor of conviction.

Spector's defense had argued that the statements were prejudicial and should be barred as evidence.

The ruling came as the judge and attorneys questioned the first of 150 prospective jurors. The panelists completed a 32-page questionnaire earlier this month.

Spector, 67, faces a minimum of 18 years in prison if found guilty of second-degree murder.

-- Harriet Ryan

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