Phil Spector’s lawyer addressed his client’s arrest in the February shooting death of Lana Clarkson for the first time on Tuesday, contesting an investigator’s comments ruling out the possibility of a suicide.
“I am convinced that the thorough and accurate investigation of the evidence by the Los Angeles sheriff’s department, its criminalists and the county coroner will prove that Phil Spector is innocent of any crime,” attorney Robert Shapiro told the Associated Press.
Shapiro, who did not return calls from MTV News, commented after Captain Frank Merriman told the AP that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department believes a crime occurred.
Merriman was responding to reports that Spector sent an e-mail to friends saying he would be cleared and Clarkson’s death would be ruled “an accidental suicide.” Spector, who was arrested on February 3 after actress Clarkson was found dead at the producer’s Los Angeles area home, is free on $1 million bail.
The captain said on Wednesday (March 12) only the coroner could confirm for sure, but that no one in his department said it was a suicide and it was his opinion the e-mail was meant to plant seeds of doubt in potential jurors.
Roderick J. Lindblom, Clarkson’s longtime attorney, had no comment on the e-mail and said, “I am confident the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Division is conducting a thorough investigation.”
Shapiro, one of O.J. Simpson’s defense lawyers, refused to comment on Spector’s relationship with Clarkson, but discounted reports that four or five shots were fired and said he had a pathologist at the actress’ autopsy and it was determined she died of a single gunshot wound.
Spector, who has not been charged, was to be arraigned on March 3, but investigators postponed the date to allow for further investigating.
The evidence is complex and forensic tests involved take months to complete, Captain Merriman said, so it will likely be summer before investigators present their case to the district attorney’s office.
Spector, who told a journalist he was “relatively insane” weeks before his arrest and certainly had that reputation, applied his influential Wall of Sound production technique to artists ranging from the Beatles to the Ramones.
Clarkson was best known as the star of B-movie classics like “Amazon Women on the Moon,” although she was working as a hostess at the House of Blues in Hollywood when she met Spector.