Updated 6-2-07I arrive on the ninth floor of the courthouse around five minutes after 9 am. Dominick Dunne, Michelle, and another reporter that is often with them are all sitting together on a bench. (Days later I find out this is Ciaran McEvoy who writes for City News.) These three are usually sitting together waiting to get into court, and they always sit together inside the courtroom, too. Linda Deutsch usually sits at the end of the bench on the far right in this same row or a row back. I see Mr. Dunne and smile and wave and he smiles and says hello back.
Linda Kenney Baden, Chris Plourd, and their clerk who operates the Elmo for their exhibits arrive. LKB talks to the reporter Michelle about her flat sandals type shoes LKB is wearing. Apparently, LKB broke a bone in her foot (that went undiagnosed for over a year), and this is all she can wear for her feet not to hurt. LKB is wearing a purple jacket with black pants, and I really wonder about her fashion sense for the courtroom. (A week later, when my husband was watching LKB cross a witness on TV, he commented about her dress and hair being, “out of place” for an attorney.)
A woman with a juror badge comes over to me and asks, “Are you 105?” Meaning, am I assigned to courtroom 105. I say, “No. I’m watching the Spector trial.” “Lucky you,” she replies. I notice that young, cute blonde DEA agent going into Fidler’s courtroom again. Harriet Ryan arrives and sits with David K. Li, who has taken advantage of a hallway outlet to recharge his cellphone. The prosecution’s clerk, Ed, arrives with a male assistant. The jury files past into the courtroom. Dominick Dunne has his cell phone on speaker as he takes a call. Everyone in the hallway can hear both sides of the conversation. I smile, but I really do understand. Mr. Dunne is 80, and if he needs to put his phone on speaker to hear somebody, who am I to judge that.
A man comes up to Mr. Dunne to chat about a case. He’s another public trial watcher like me, that I’ve seen in the courtroom a few times. He hands Dominick some papers to read and they talk about whats on the pages. Steven Mikulan of the LA Weekly arrives and I ask him about his deadlines, and how long before the paper goes to print does he have to have a story in. “Ten days to print, “ he says, “But they keep extending that deadline.” He says he can get a story online immediately. Here is his latest story on the trial as of this writing. We chat about yesterday’s testimony (which I missed) and how boring it was. I overhear Mr. Dunne say to someone else in the hall, ”And you had murder on your mind.” I wonder if this phrase will become infamous, or just fade away.
Steven tells me that the judge snapped at the reporter’s yesterday. Someone was answering another reporter’s question, and some of the reporters thought the judge was snapping at him, but Steven very casually points to the reporter who was being a bit loud. The individual is a regular at trial, who sits in the back row, and works on a laptop. Lana’s family arrives and are led into the courtroom. Someone named “Steve” shakes hands with Roger Rosen. Rosen introduces Dominick Dunne to his cousin and a friend. They came to watch the trial.
There’s a new media liaison person from the court I’ve never seen before. I’ve got to make sure I catch her eye and let her know I’m one of the public, and need to be included in the public group that want seats for the trial. I see the manager from the House of Blues is talking to the prosecution’s clerk, Ed. All the public and the reporters are still waiting to be let into the courtroom. I see two elderly ladies, all dressed up in suits, their hair expertly coifed and full make-up, say hello to Dominick and start to chat. They are waiting to get in and observe the trial. Finally, I get into the courtroom and take a seat by Steven in the second row on the far left. It’s 9:35 am. It’s another late start today.
I look around the courtroom and I don’t see Eric Leonard. I was able to hear his trial reporting yesterday, and it was great. I later learn that he’s reporting on the trial from the 12th floor media room. There are video feeds to the CTV cameras up there, and some of the reporters, their employers set them up with little TV screens where they can watch the trial from this room. For radio reporters like Eric, this is perfect because he’s no longer restricted as to when he can enter and leave the courtroom, and he can give his on air coverage of the trial, when it works for the station.
There’s a new cameraman in the back left corner. Harriet Ryan and David K. Li tease this new guy because he looks quite a bit like Patrick Swayze. One of the reporters says, “Where is Jennifer Grey when you need her? Show us some of that dirty dancing!” I notice there are more individuals sitting in the front row with Lana’s family. I ask Michelle if she knows who the new people in the front row are. Michelle thinks both the men are attorneys. There are five reporters in the back row, all on their laptops: Joe Spano, the tall, lanky looking guy, Harriet, Michael, and Peter Y. Hong from the LA Times.
The attorneys are in chambers with the judge and I believe the court reporter. LKB sits beside Spector. Trials take so long because of these endless delays, haggling over bits and pieces of evidence. A reporter makes a teasing comment about Dominick to another reporter. “Dom will get his OWN blog if you do that!” he says. Dominick turns around to look at them, smiling. I see one of the bottle blondes I saw on the second day of trial come into the courtroom and sit down on the defense site. Steven comments that they all look like Lonnie Anderson to him. The bottle blonde chats with Rosen’s cousin and another person on the defense side by the door. I overhear Joe Spano, (in reading Peter Y. Hong’s article) “Peter, this is wonderful!” Everyone is restless. Alan Parachini from the court’s public relations office arrives.
I make a note that I have rarely seen Lana’s mother smile. Her daughter occasionally does, as well as the gentlemen who are usually with them, but I’ve never seen Lana’s mom smile. There is a weight of sadness on her face, and I can’t help but connect with that, and what she’s had to live through. Then, finally, the trial of her daughter’s murder.
Alan Parachini comes in and sits in the row right behind me. He turns and jokingly asks Mr. Spano to behave well today. I’m betting this has to do with the public admonishment by the judge yesterday. For most in the gallery, this is exciting, myself included, watching a trial. But for the family, there is no excitement and it shows on Lana’s mother’s face.
Court gets underway. The jury is called in and a witness takes the stand. It’s the manager of the House of Blues. I totally miss getting his name. The witness testifies that they take a “softer hand with the music industry celebrities.” He says, “They have to be handled a bit more delicately.” Spector was an A-list member. The server is not allowed to cut off an A-list member, even if they appear to be drunk. The management team weighs in the factor of the transportation of the entourage of the member. (So, this is no surprise that celebrities are treated differently than the general public.)
Rosen steps up to cross the witness.
The witness testifies that, if the individual is not a member of the band or on a guest list of a member, they can not get into The Foundation Room. The policy of The Foundation Room is now discussed, and it’s testified to again, that celebrities are handled more gingerly.
Q: If a situation was not handled properly, it could result in the loss of revenue?
A: Could be. The situation would be kicked up to a senior vice-president.
Rosen now goes over the laws regarding maintaining a liquor license, and the “massive revenue” that a liquor license brings. And Rosen elicits that an inspector would not be allowed into The Foundation Room unless they identified themselves.
Q: (The liquor license is a) significant revenue getter. You’re very protective of that?
Rosen is now calling the manager on the carpet regarding the liquor license code, and serving individuals who may be drunk. Rosen is reading the code to the witness, about serving an “obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Q: The policy of the House of Blues (would be) not to violate the liquor code?
A: That would be correct.
Rosen now takes a moment to confer with Bruce Cutler. Cutler smiles at the witness.
Q: On February 3rd, 2003, you were not familiar with Spector’s presence (at the House of Blues) on that date?
Redirect of the witness. I believe Alan Jackson does the redirect.
Q: Would you describe it (the House of Blues) as a Rock and Roll venue?
Q: Would your servers instructed to maintain a high profile, rock and roll “vibe?”
Q: If servers are constantly cutting of patrons who were critical to the Rock and Roll “vibe,” that would severely impact the “vibe,” correct?
Recross by Rosen
Q: You are not here saying the House of Blues breaks the law are you?
A: Not suggesting that. Just the way we handle celebrity patrons is different. It would be kicked up to a higher level, and that person would make the decision. ... I would kick it up to a higher level.
Q: You are not suggesting that the Vice President, whom you report to, would tell you to turn another cheek and break the law?
A: I don’t know that. All I can tell you is that we treated celebrities differently.
And that’s the end of the testimony of the manager of the House of Blues. A new witness takes the stand.
Direct of Sophia Holguin.
This is a really attractive, dark-skinned woman with great cheekbones and a nice figure. She worked as a waitress/server at the House of Blues in The Foundation Room. As of February 3rd, 2003, she had worked there for two months.
Q: You worked for a few weeks, late (into the evening)?
A: It was for the elite, so it was different.
Q: Did you know Lana Clarkson?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Was she working there on February 3, 2003?
A: She was a hostess/security. She guarded the door. ... Security had to make sure they were allowed in.
Q: Did you see Phil Spector?
A: (Yes.) He was with a young woman, with blonde hair.
Q: Had you seen Phil Spector before?
A: Once. ... I asked Lana to put him in my section because I knew he was a big tipper. ... That’s what I’m there for. To make money.
Lana called Spector “Mrs. Spector." He corrected her. The witness went up to Lana and told her Phil Spector was a multimillionaire.
Q: Do you know a man name Euphrates?
A: Yes. He was bar tending and working security.
Q: Did security wear radios?
Phil Spector and his guest were seated in her section. He ordered a Cardi (sp?) straight up. Just straight; no mixer. It’s a premium rum. It has a high level of alcohol. The woman with him ordered a bottle of water. The witness testified that Spector said, “Just order a f***in’ drink!”
A: It was odd. I could clearly see that she didn’t want a drink. ... I could see it in her eyes she didn’t want a drink and appeared uncomfortable.
The witness goes on to explain that within The Foundation Room, there are “separate rooms” within the room. The room Spector and his guest were in was called “The Buddha Room.” When she returned with their drinks, the woman was gone. He apparently had sent her home.
Right after that, Spector asked her if she wanted a drink. She refused. She was working. He then asked her if she wanted to go home with him.
Q: What did you say?
A: Thank you, I can’t go. I had to work and I had a meeting (in the morning). ... He appeared a little agitated.
The attorneys call for a sidebar with the judge. The jury fidgets. The witness smiles while she’s on the stand. It’s probably a nervous smile. The jury is all turned to watch what is going on at the side bar at the bench. Juror #9 fiddles with an altoids tin that makes a noticable noise in the quiet courtroom. I look over and see Dominick staring intently at the jury.
We’re back on direct.
Q: Based on your job and what you do, did you think Phil Spector was under the influence?
A: Yes. Just his demeanor. Slurring his words. He appeared agitated.
Q: Did he ask for another drink?
A: Yes. After 2 am. So, I had to ask a manger.
Q: That was Kim?
A: Yes. She said no.
The witness testifies that Lana was moving around the room fluffing up pillows, and Spector commented on that.
Q: Did he comment on Lana?
A: He said, “She won’t stay still. She’s like some f****in’ Charlie Chaplin.”
A copy of the bar bill is put up on the Elmo. It shows that Spector tipped $450.00 on a $13.50 bar bill. Spector instructed her to divide the tip up among herself, security and the hostess.
After the House of Blues was starting to close, the witness overheard (on the security radios) Phil asking for Lana to sit down with him and to have a drink with him.
End of Direct. Rosen steps up to the podium to being the cross.
Rosen begins by getting the witness to go over virtually everything she already testified to. It’s slow, it’s monotonous, but when I look over at the jurors, they appear attentive.
Rosen elicits from the witness that Lana was a “big boned, statuesque woman.” That Phil Spector is a small man, and that Lana outweighed him.
Q: Do you recall being interviewed by detective .......(I miss getting the name of the detective). ... Do you remember saying, “Who does she think she is... get out of here.” ... “She doesn’t need to get that comfortable.”
From what I’m remembering as I type up these notes, apparently, the witness felt that Lana was sort of “hovering” over her table, and was in the room too much, moving about the room, fluffing up pillows. The waitress felt in some way that Lana was trying to “hone in” on her customer and possibly tips.
Rosen is trying to impeach the witness with her prior testimony to detectives. In a question about Spector’s demeanor, the witness says, “He wasn’t angry with me. He just seemed angry in general.”
Q: You never said that to the investigator back in February.
A: I wasn’t asked that.
Much has been made about his big tipping. The witness says that, “He asked me to write down, how to break up the tip.” And Rosen is really grilling the witness as to who got how much, and she’s not really remembering exactly, and he apparently is really going after her for that. Rosen appears to be getting testy with the witness, and the witness is getting testy back. Right now, juror #9 is swiveling his chair around a lot. Lana’s mother is very stoic. She has a bland, sad expression on her face.
The witness testifies that Lana came over to their table/area, and sat down on the arm of a chair. (I wonder if this was beside Phil, or just near the area.) Rosen elicits from the witness that the prosecution said to her that she didn’t have to talk to the defense if she didn’t want to. Rosen steps over to the defense table, and whispers to LKB and Spector.) The witness then says that when Spector left, he was the last one to leave The Foundation Room.
There’s no redirect and the witness is excused. Since court started way late, they are not going to take a morning break.
The next prosecution witness is Euphrathes Lalondriz.
The clerk stumbles on saying the oath for this witness.
Patrick Dixon does the direct examination. The witness says that as of February 3rd, 2003 he had worked at the Sunset Blvd., House of Blues for about a year and a half, almost 2 years. Before that, he worked at the New Orleans location, somewhere between 4-5 years. He then transferred to the Sunset location. On the night in question, he was a security officer and a trainer at that point in time. He also worked as a bartender from time to time. He started working at 7 pm until closing that day. He got off work at about 2:30 am.
Q: What exactly was your job as a security officer? Were you assigned to a particular part of the House of Blues?
A: Yes. I was a trainer. I was assigned to certain spots, and to check up on certain people.
Q: Were you working near The Foundation Room?
A: Yes. I’m a security officer for The Foundation Room.
Q: You mentioned that you were a training officer. Can you explain that for us?
A: A trainer is, a person that trains another fellow employee. And at that time, I was training Lana Clarkson.
The witness identifies a photo of Lana Clarkson that is put up on the Elmo, and he explains more of his training duties with Lana. And, he goes onto explain that security officers in The Foundation Room are more VIP than others in the House of Blues. They have to dress in blazers, jackets. Downstairs, they can wear T-shirts. The witness says, “It’s different; they work in different crowds, celebrities, VIP upstairs. They have to be more ‘professional,’ not, excuse the word, ghetto...”
Q: Radios. Tell us about that.
A: All the security officers in The Foundation Room have radios. And the other persons that has a radio is the bar; and besides the manager.
The radio’s include a headphone; an earpiece.
Q: In the Foundation Room, did you treat people really nice?
A: Yes. There are certain people that we have to treat “golden.”
Q: Okay. On that day that you were trying to help Lana Clarkson, is it fair to say that you were keeping an eye on her, because you were training her?
A: Yes. Definitely.
Q: And where exactly was she working? What exactly was her job that day, at 1:30 in the morning, 2’ o'clock.
A: That whole day, she started with me downstairs, so she could know about the wrist bands.
Q: Tell us about the wrist bands.
A: The club has different wrist bands than us. The club is paper. We have plastic. The members get a different color, and their guests get a different color. They are to distinguish who gets into the Foundation Room, and who also gets into the club. Not necessary that you be a member. You get a wrist band, and you can go down to the concert. Even if you are a Foundation Room member, if you didn’t buy tickets to the concert, that mean’s you can’t go to the club. So, sometimes, you’d have to carry your member’s wristband, and also your club wristband, to go into both floors.
Q: So, at some point you had to explain to Lana Clarkson all that?
A: Yes. I have to explain all that.
One of her jobs at 1:30 in the morning at the Foundation Room, was to decide who gets into The Foundation Room and who doesn’t. At around 12 midnight, Lana was stationed at the door of The Foundation Room. If guests didn’t have the proper wrist band, then they were not allowed in.
Q: No matter who you are?
A: No matter who you are. If they don’t know you. I’m sorry. Let’s say if I never met you, and you walk in and you don’t have a wrist band, I’m not gonna let you in.
Q: You’re probably not going to let me in anyway?
A bit of laughter erupts in the courtroom.
A: No, (with a bit of laughter in his voice.)
Q: If I don’t have a wrist band, no chance, right?
A: No chance.
Q: So, from midnight on, until closing, based on your last answer as I understand it, Lana Clarkson’s job was to be at the door of The Foundation Room, to make sure only the right people, with the right wrist bands got in. Is that correct?
Q: Prior to that date, did you know who Phil Spector was?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: You’d seen him before?
A: Uh, yes.
Q: At some point that evening, about 1:30 -1:45 in the morning, did you see Phil Spector near Lana Clarkson?
A: I’d seen him, after I was told.
Q: Somebody mentioned his name to you?
Q: Over the radio, or otherwise?
Q: Who talked to you?
Q: Just our last witness?
Q: In fact, she was a waitress, in The Foundation Room, that evening?
Q: What did she say to you about Phil Spector?
A: That, he’s in the hallway, and, he is getting loud. So, something is going on, and to go check up on Lana, because Lana doesn’t recognize Phil, and she’s stopped him. So he’s not to happy. So, I told Sophia, that I’d go take care of it right now.
Q: And, did you go take care of it?
A: Yes. While I was walking towards her, because I was at Sunset, and she’s at the beginning of the door, while I was walking towards her, I’m trying to explain to her over the radio, and I told her that I would be right there. So I got there.
Q: So, you talked to her over your little ear radio.
Q: And you told her, I’ll be right there, I need to help you on this.
Q: And when you arrived at where Lana Clarkson was stationed at The Foundation Room, what did you say or do next?
A: Lana Clarkson was at the door still. Um, Mr. Phil Spector was in the bathroom, was in the restroom. When I arrived towards Lana, that’s when he was walking out of the bathroom. And then he recognized me. He was like, “Hey, Euphrathes.”
There’s an objection, and the Judge over rules it.
Dixon: You can answer that.
A: So, when he seen me, he was like, “Hey, Euphrathes.” I said; I approached, “Hey Mr. Phil Spector, how ya’ doin’?” So that’s when I was like, let me just introduce, “I’m sorry. Lana Clarkson, this is Phil Spector. Phil Spector, this is Lana Clarkson. She’s one of our new ladies. I’m sorry that this happened.” And you know, I explained to Lana, “Hey. This is Phil Spector. I don’t know if you know who he is. And she shook her head, saying, “No.” I was like, “Well, okay. He is treated golden. He’s treated like Dan Akroyd. So.”
His supervisor, Kim Gregory was the one who initially told him who Phil Spector was. I see Phil twist a ring on his left hand, then go back to clasping his hands together.
Q: Also, in an earlier answer you told us that you told Lana Clarkson that Phil Spector should be treated like gold, like Dan Akroyd. What did that mean? Is that some kind of House of Blues code, for how you should treat people?
A: Well, yes. It’s a code basically saying, um, you have your members. And you have golden members. There’s different types of members, in the membership. Um, because of the status, sometimes, like, Mr. Dan Akroyd. We have certain tables reserved for him. We don’t bother him. We just give them their privacy. We’re not allowed to, um, talk to them. If they talk to us, we talk to them. If they need something from us there, that’s fine. But then, outside of that, it’s different. So, when Dan Akroyd comes in, he is treated golden. That when he comes in, he has his table. If someone is there, he’ll wait. Or, if we have to, either, compliment the guests that we have there, to take them somewhere else, to accommodate Dan Akroyd to his table. Those are the types of things I’m talking about.
Q: And, by saying these words to Lana Clarkson, treat him like gold, treat him like, treat Phil Spector like Dan Akroyd, you were telling her, exactly how to treat, Phil Spector that evening.
A: To treat or respect because he didn’t have a wrist band. Dan Akroyd, doesn’t wear a wrist band. Dan Akroyd, doesn’t like to wear a wrist band, because sometimes it bothers him. Sometimes he doesn’t know how to yank it out. So, there’s certain guests, Golden guests, or Platinum Guests, or memberships, that we don’t, if, we know them, everyone should know them. We as employees, are given lists, of like guests who are coming in, preshift, so that, if they walk in, even if they don’t have a wrist band, we should know. As security officers, waiters, bartenders, managers. When they walk in, we don’t bother them. But, if there are guests, we do have to ask for a wrist band.
Judge: Why is Dan Akroyd is so important to the House of Blues?
A: Dan Akroyd is so important because he’s one of our sponsors. He’s part of the House of Blues.
Judge: Thank you.
The witness confirms that Kathy Sullivan didn’t want a drink. To the witness, Kathy Sullivan appeared to be uncomfortable. He determined that from the way she was acting. She seemed to be edgy. Juror #10 takes lots of notes here. Jurors 5, 6,7,8,9, are all attentively watching the witness. The witness talks about how Lana was given permission to go sit with Phil Spector, but she wasn’t allowed to have a drink with him. The witness then goes into the close down procedures, and Lana was instructed that night to do some of these things herself, instead of being done together.
Dixon asks for a moment to confer with Jackson.
The last time the witness saw Lana, was when she was walking out to leave. He was asking Lana if she was okay, if she was getting the van (employee van to where employees parked their car), and she was like, “Okay. There’s other people downstairs.” So, Lana communicated that she was fine. At that moment, the witness didn’t know if she was actually with Spector or not, but he observed her walking away from The Foundation Room.
Direct ends, and Rosen begins his cross.
Q: Lana Clakson was a tall woman, she had a physicality about her? Is that a fair statement?
A: I don’t understand physicality.
Q: Well, she’s a tall woman, wasn’t she?
Q: Over six feet, right?
Q: And when I she she has a physicality, she wasn’t frail. She wasn’t skinny. Ah, I don’t like to use the word substantial, because it connotes something else. I’ll leave that to Mr. Cutler.
Laughter in the courtroom for the joke about Cutler’s size. Rosen says, “He’ll get even with me for that later your honor.”
I see that Lana’s mother’s jaw appears to be shut tight, with a taught expression on her face. Rosen goes over the prosecutions questions, and virtually asks the same things again. The training of Lana, the time Spector arrived. Trying to get the witness to say how long Spector was at the House of Blues, that there were other patrons at House of Blues, how may other people were there. He’s trying to get the witness to contradict the waitresses testimony. He’s going over all of Lana’s procedures in detail. It’s excruciatingly painful. Rosen asks something about patrons being escorted out in a nice way, and then something is said, and Rosen replies, “I didn’t go to law school for nothing.” It’s like he is making some sort of funny joke, but it doesn’t come over that way.
I miss the name, but it appears the witness verified that “Shane said she could sit with the guest.” Shane was serving as the Director of Operations. Lana finished her close down procedures, first. She did not immediately go sit with Spector.
Judge calls for the noon recess, and I head downstairs to eat my lunch and read a book I’d brought to pass the time.
Back on the 9th floor from lunch, I see Mr. Dunne and I sit on the same bench he’s on. Mr. Dunne and I exchange smiles as I open my book to read. Dominick asks me what I’m reading. I show him the front of the book, Deep Survival; Who lives, Who Dies, and Why, by Laurence Gonzales. I tell him, ‘It’s fascinating.”
At 1:15 pm, I see the jury is brought back to the courtroom. There’s one bailiff in front of the group, and another at the very rear. They are smiling and talking among each other. They appear to be friendly with each other. The gentleman who approached Dominick (I later find out his name is Richard) comes up to Mr. Dunne and hand some papers to him. It’s a copy of the police report, and has the statements that Spector made to police. I see on the report, “It was an accident.” Richard gives Dominick another paper. Mr. Dunne, in showing me these papers asks if I’d seen this. I told him that I had read about what he said, but I had not actually seen a copy of the police report. An elderly, sort of flashy dressed man comes up to Mr. Dunne and they start chatting it up. (I later learn this is the infamous reporter who had a run`in with Spector, Steve Dunleavy.) They finally let us into the courtroom and I’m in.
We all take our favorite spots in the courtroom. From right to left in the row I’m in, the young male reporter, then Mr. Dunne, then Michelle, then Steven, then me. The female black bailiff calls out in a loud voice, “All cell phones off! No gum chewing!” Steven leans into me and teasingly whispers, “No tongue or lip chewing!” There are two new people in the front row, a man and a woman, very nicely dressed in suits. The woman speaks to Lana’s mom. (It’s not until the next day, that I find out these two people are the prosecutions jury consultants.)
I look down our row to see what Dominick is writing in today. It’s a black and white school composition notebook. More room is needed in the front row for Lana’s family, and the female jury consultant moves to sit in the next row with us, right beside Dominick.
The jurors are brought in, but the judge is still not on the bench. The witness is on the stand. We all wait and the courtroom starts to get a little restless. The judge finally takes the bench.
Rosen finally takes the podium to continue cross.
He goes over with the witness the different “designations” of employees. Server, security, waitress. Now, they are going over a document on the Elmo called a “Punch Detail Report.” This report details who worked how long and how much they were paid.
OBJECTION! Relevance! Approach, your honor?
Most jurors avoid eye contact with the gallery, but, as I watch during the side bar, a few look out into the gallery. Juror #5 looks right at me. When the juror looks at me, I wonder if smiling back would be considered “communicating” with a juror, and I make sure to keep my expression on my face bland, and don’t crack even the tiniest hint of a smile. The jurors watch the judge and attorneys. There’s more argument it appears over asking about employee wages.
Back to questioning the witness. Laughter erupts over a question Rosen asks, but Lana’s mother’s expression does not change. She sits there, very stoic. There are more objections, citing relevancy about how the witness knows how they calculate how much liquor is sold every week, and there’s another conference at the bench. The witness looks over at the jury. I see Beth Karas come in. She sits in the row behind me, right beside the camera monitor operators. I’ve seen the two control operators eat lunch together in the downstairs cafeteria every day. We’re back on cross.
Rosen takes a moment to confer, and I see the judge whisper to his black female bailiff. Rosen continues to confer with the other defense attorneys.
I have written in my notes here, “Detective Rich Tomlin to join us,” but I can’t for the life of me remember what this is about. Did he ask the witness something about an interview with Detective Tomlin? There is another side bar. Cutler joins Rosen and Brunon at the judge’s bench, but then quickly leaves. The judge had ruled very early in the trial, in the preliminary stages that only two attorneys from each side are allowed at side bars.
Back to questioning the witness, Rosen asks him about a missing tequila bottle. The witness said he didn’t know anything about that. Just that they do inventory on Monday. I write this note on my pad and show it to Steven: Maybe Phil hid the bottle under his coat? I see Cutler lean in and confers with Spector. The attorneys have another side bar at the bench, and the defense is finally done with this witness.
Detective Richard Tomlin takes the stand. Detective Tomlin is a Deputy Sheriff of Los Angeles County. He interviewed a Mr. Quadro, at the police station. He went voluntarily. (I’m guessing that Mr. Quantro must not be available to testify. I wonder if it’s because Mr. Quantro is out of the country.) This testimony is all about Spector, when he was at Dan Tana’s, asking about getting a Navy Grog, a drink that is specific to Trader Vic’s. Since that drink wasn’t served at Dan Tana’s, there was an obvious problem filling Spector’s request. The officer is testifying, to bring in the corroborating evidence that this witness would be bringing in, as to Spector’s evening at Dan Tana’s. The defense makes one last attempt to object to what this witness is testifying to, and the judge over rules them.
Direct is finished, and cross of this witness begins.
The interview with Mr. Quadro happened at the Compton Police station, in the captain's office. The detective and his partner interviewed him. Mr. Quadro was given several options (of where to be interviewed) and this location was closest to his home. The witness is asked if Mr. Quantro came voluntarily, and I believe the answer is yes. The witness testifies that he doesn’t believe the interview was recorded. “To the best of my recollection, it was unrecorded.” I believe the cross ends, and the witness leaves the stand.
Juror #9 fidgets. An alternate looks asleep to me. Nope. He just looked up when the judge spoke. The judge asks juror #6 if he’s getting those e-mails together.
The next witness is the chauffeur! Adriano DeSouza! Finally! Some testimony that gets to the meat of the evening. Alan Jackson will conduct the direct questioning.
The witness says he arrived at Mr. Spector’s house around 6:45 pm. He was his private driver. He drove Mr. Spector’s car. He was not Spector’s full time driver, but an alternate. DeSouza says he thinks Spector’s full time driver is Dillon. At the time, he had been working about 2 years at The Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills as a valet. He was also working at two limousine companies. The regular driver, Dillon, needed someone to cover for him when he wasn’t available to drive for Mr. Spector. When DeSouza started driving for Mr. Spector, initially, just Dillon called him. After that, Michelle Blane, Spector’s personal assistant called him directly.
I see Spector’s hands are really shaking hard now.
DeSousa says that he drove for Spector about 13-14 times, from about November 2002 until that night.
Q: About three-and-a-half, to four months?
DeSouza had to ask his boss at The Grill for the day off so that he could have the opportunity to drive for Spector. He used Spector’s car and credit cards to pay for gas. He charged $30.00 an hour. Photos of 1700 Grand View, Spector’s house, a view from the air, are put up on the Elmo, and DeSouza identifies that as Spector’s house. The witness says that he knew Spector called his home, “The Castle.”
The procedure for getting into the property is discussed, and DeSouza says that there are cameras at the front gate, but that no one asked him (who he was) on the intercom. It was no surprise that he was there, and he was let in. DeSouza was told that he would be driving Spector in a new vehicle. Normally, he drove Spector in a classic, 1964 Rolls Royce. He looked for a black Mercedes S430, because that was the new car. That was the first time that DeSouza had driven this car. The keys were inside the car, and DeSouza verifies that is was a brand new car. He describes his procedure for preparing the car, checking that everything was okay. Adriano took the car up to the rear entrance by the fountain, and Spector came out right afterwards. “Mr. Spector sat in the back on the passenger side. He had a leather bag with him.”
DeSouza had brought his laptop with him, some snacks, water, and a DVD to watch (on his laptop). The witness describes what Spector was wearing. Black pants, black shirt, and a white/beige suit jacket. I notice jurors #10 and #7 take notes.
In 2003, Adriano had been in the US about four years. He was in school in the US on a student visa. He was here in the United States with his girlfriend. (He is now married to her.)
The afternoon break is called.
As Lana’s mom leaves the courtroom on break, she has a few words with Sandi Gibbons. And it’s now, for the first time ever, I see a small smile on her face as she speaks to Sandi. The black, female bailiff sits inside a Plexiglas cubicle booth, near the entrance to the courtroom, right beside judge Fidler’s clerk. As I watch Spector at the defense table, he’s standing, going over some papers, and his hands are not shaking. It’s now that I see for the first time that underneath those long suit jackets, Spector is wearing suspenders. Phil confers with his attorneys. They are both looking over some information on a computer screen. Rochelle is in the gallery on the defense side, intently checking her blackberry. I notice that Dominick has left his little attaché case on the bench while he went out for break to stretch his legs. It almost looks like it’s plastic. I notice several large pink stickers on it. The stickers have the letter “V” in gray, along with the word “guest.” I imagine those are some Vanity Fair party stickers from past events. As Spector stands conferring with his attorneys, he keeps his hands in his pockets. His hands come out of his pockets, and he starts waving his arms and hands about a bit, expressing himself with his hands. His hands are still for a bit, and then I see his left hand begin to shake. Rochelle leads Spector out of the courtroom, his bodyguards forming a big wedge around them.
During the break, Michelle goes on about the types of pens she uses because they cause her the least amount of problems. They make it easier for her to write with her carpal tunnel symptoms. The two jury consultants turn and talk to Michelle about carpal tunnel syndrome. Michelle is afraid to get the surgery. I mention that it is an over diagnosed injury.
Being a shy person, I try to explain that as a 20 year bodyworker, I’ve worked with that type of injury many, many times. I tell Michelle, that with specific bodywork techniques, and taking natural anti-inflammatories, she could greatly improve her symptoms. I talk about bromelain, quecertin and glucosamine sulfate. She asks if these supplements would make her sleepy. I reply, No, not at all. Bromelian, when taken with food acts as a digestive aid. On an empty stomach, it acts like an anti-inflammatory.
Michelle mentions how the pharmaceutical ones work great, but, you can’t stay on them long. She mentions that she’s had massage. I ask her if she’s had Rolfing®, and she makes a face. I tell her that Rolfing® techniques can be used on her arm to get quick results. Then the male jury consultant turns around and says he had the carpal tunnel surgery and it was so easy and the post-op recovery was a breeze. And Michelle turns away from me and wants to hear more from the consultant.
Steven leans into me and says, “You almost had her.” I chuckle to myself. Most people are like this. They take the easy route when it comes to their health. They are usually not that interested in the hard work that dietary changes and painful bodywork entail. It’s too hard. Besides, I’m sure she thinks I’m just some nut she’s met at court. She doesn’t have a clue about my extensive knowledge and study of alternative therapies. During the break, several reporters talk about how all the testimony the day before about the alcoholic drinks and what went into them made them thirsty for a good stiff drink.
The reporters now talk about getting David K. Li some martini glasses and a mixer set for his upcoming wedding. The woman jury consultant over heard me talk about bodywork, and asked if I had ever worked with animals, horses specifically. I told her no, but I did know that there was a big movement of bodyworkers and chiropractors who specialized in that type of work. The consultant went onto talk about her horse that she owns, and how this work has helped her horse tremendously. That she can immediately tell the difference in the behavior and temperament of her horse, once he’s had bodywork and a chiropractic adjustment.
3:10 pm court is back in session.
DeSouza testifies that while in Brazil, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. The witness said he has studied english since he was about 13 years old. He had to study english because all computer programming is in english. He spent nine years in the Brazil military. He reached the rank of First Lieutenant when he left.
Q: That’s an officer?
At one point, in Brazil, he had a private tutor in english for about one and a half years, from 1997 to 1998. In 1999 he arrived in the US. He started studying english in the US also.
Q: Did you have any problems understanding Mr. Spector?
Q: Describe that.
A: When he was drunk. ... Sometimes, I couldn’t understand what place was, or what he was saying.
DeSouza goes over the details of the first “stop” of Spector’s dinner date with Ronnie. He waited two hours for Spector and his guest to exit the restaurant. He takes Ronnie back to Studio City, and then drove back to the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills. The witness states he didn’t notice Spector drunk whe he was leaving Trader Vics, but he first noticed a difference in his walk. He didn’t notice the odor of alcohol on Spector. After Trader Vic’s, DeSouza follows Ms. Sullivan to her house for her to drop off her car.
A map of the general area is put up on the Elmo, and you can see the jurors squint to try to see all the places highlighted on the map and identified with text. Even though this is the most important witness so far, I’m feeling sleepy and having a hard time keeping awake.
Outside of Dan Tana’s, DeSouza testifies, “I noticed he was a bit different.” There were two guys outside, and they said something Phil didn’t like.
Q: What was the look on Spector’s face?
A: He was mad. completely mad. ... Noticed once back inside the car, I noticed his speech. It was slow and (he had) difficulty speaking.
Q: Could you understand him?
A: Yes. ... Mr. Spector said to drive to the House of Blues.
A video clip is up on the screen. It’s of Phil Spector and Kathy Sullivan arriving at the House of Blues. They get out of the car, there appears to be some discussion and then they all get back into the car. Then the prosecution puts up on the Elmo a booking photograph of Spector. OMG! What an image! He just looks wasted, and his pants pockets are turned right side out of his pants.
Q: Take a look if you will, at what’s been marked as people’s 23. ... Take a look at this photo, and tell me if you recognize the person depicted in that photo.
Q: Is that approximately how Mr. Spector’s hair looked that night, when you took him out?
Q: Is that approximately how his hair looked, on the video, even though it’s kind of a poor quality?
DeSouza goes through identifying everyone in the video because the film clip from the House of Blues appears to have been from an infrared black and white camera, and all the clothes don’t appear to be the right color. DeSouza then drives them to a different entrance, down a steep driveway that’s more private, by the valet parking. He tries to park as close to the door as possible. He finally is able to find a spot about 30 feet from the door. The prosecution hammers home again and again, each time someone spoke to DeSouza, he is asked if he understood them. Did he understand Kathy Sullivan. Did he understand Mr. Spector.
Q: How long did you wait, out in the car, before you saw someone else come out and approach you?
A: Probably, forty minutes, thirty minutes.
Q: Twenty to thirty minutes?
Q: And what happened after that twenty to thirty minutes?
A: Uh, Miss Sullivan, and uh, Miss Clarkson, they came out.
Q: You said Miss Clarkson. Let me ask you a couple of questions. (A photograph of Lana Clarkson is put up on the overhead Elmo.) ... Do you recognize the person in that photo?
Q: Who is that?
A: Miss Clarkson.
Q: All right. That’s the person you are referring to as Miss Clarkson. Let me ask you a couple of questions about that Mr. DeSouza. At that point in your life in 2003, had you ever met Lana Clarkson before?
Q: Was this the first time you ever saw her?
Q: What happened when Miss Clarkson came out of the House of Blues with Miss Sullivan?
A: She introduced herself.
Q: How did... tell me about that. How did she introduce herself? What did she say?
A: We shook hands, and, uh, she said like uh, I’m Lana Clarkson, I work in the House of Blues. Mr. Spector told me to tell you to give a ride to Miss Sullivan, and return.
Q: Did you have any problems understanding her instructions?
A: Ah, no.
Q: Did she seem, nice?
A: Oh yes.
Q: Did you follow her instructions?
DeSouza took Kathy Sullivan home. On the way back to Kathy’s house, they had a conversation, and Alan Jackson gets DeSouza to say that he didn’t have any problem understanding Kathy, and that she didn’t appear drunk or intoxicated. She didn’t smell of alcohol. When he got back to the House of Blues, DeSouza was able to park in the valet zone at the lower entrance, which he describes and points out in images on the Elmo. It was about five or ten minutes later, that Spector emerged from the House of Blues. Another video clip is shown.
Q: Did he come out alone, or was he with somebody?
A: Miss Lana.
Q: Were you waiting outside the car, when Mr. Spector came out of the House of Blues?
Another video clip is shown of Lana and Spector exiting the House of Blues, and getting into the Mercedes. This is the fifth and last video clip.
Q: Did you recognize the people in that video clip?
Q: Was that Mr. Spector and Miss Clarkson, coming out of the House of Blues?
Q: Did you hear Mr. Spector have a conversation with Miss Clarkson?
Q: What did he say?
A: He invited her to go to the castle.
Q: And what was his response?
A: At first, it was no.
Q: What was his response, when she said no?
A: She said, “No, I’m too tired, I have to work in the morning.”
Q: What happened after that?
A: He insisted. He asked like, three times more, or two times more. “Let’s go to the Castle. Let’s go to the Castle.”
Q: So, he was insisting?
Q: And what was her response?
A: Uh, I think, I think she was afraid to go.
OBJECTION! SUSTAINED! The objection is sustained. The answer is stricken. The jury is admonished.
Q: Without telling me what you think, tell me what you saw, or heard. What did she say?
A: Ah, she said that she could like lose the job if she got like a, ride; some customers.
Q: Did Mr. Spector continue to insist?
OBJECTION your honor! Characterization! Overruled!
Jackson: Thank you, your honor.
Q: Did Mr. Spector continue to insist, that um, Miss Clarkson join him?
Q: Did he in fact, Mr. Spector, convince Miss Clarkson to get a ride from him?
Q: What was her response, with regard to her car?
A: Her car was parked, like uh, close to the House of Blues. She needs to go there to pick her car up.
Q: Did she insist, that she needed to pick her car up?
Judge: At this point, I’m going to sustain the objection, you may rephrase it.
Q: What did Miss Clarkson say, in regards to picking her car up? What did she say?
A: Just that, the, the right to go to pick her car up.
Q: And, where was her car?
A: Her car was in a parking structure, close to the House of Blues.
They drove to where her car was. Adriano opened the door for her, and he opened the door for Mr. Spector. Spector, got out of the car and went behind a wall to go to the bathroom to relieve himself; take a pee. Miss Clarkson went to her car, and they followed her to a street close to the parking structure where she parked her car. Her car was a small car, a Mercury Cougar. Then Clarkson got into the Mercedes.
Q: Did she say anything to you?
Q: What did she say?
A: She said that she was, uh, going just for a drink.
Q: Did you say anything to her?
A: Uh, just like, ah, like ah, say, yeah, okay.
Q: Did Mr. Spector say anything, when she said “I’m going for just one drink.” Or just ‘a’ drink. Is that what she said?
Q: All right. What did Mr. Spector say?
A: Don’t talk to the driver.
Q: How did he say that?
A: He scream it.
Q: Screamed it?
Q: Was he screaming at you?
A: To her.
Q: Did you notice anything about Mr. Spector at that time, concerning, whether or not he was drunk or sober?
Q: What did you notice?
A: He was smelling alcohol.
Q: I’m sorry?
A: He, he was smelling alcohol.
Q: He smelled of alcohol?
Q: Did he appear to be drunk?
A: Uh, yes.
Q: Was he walking any differently?
Q: Was he walking any differently?
Judge: Overruled. The question was, “Was he walking any differently?” can be answered yes or no. It is not overly leading in my mind, the objection is overruled. You may answer.
Jackson: Go ahead and answer.
Q: You said that you had seen Mr. Spector drunk in the past, correct?
Q: In the past, when you had seen him, was he as bad, was he as drunk this time, as you had seen him in the past?
It’s 3:50 pm. I wonder if we will get to the “spontaneous utterance” today.
Q: Did Miss Clarkson appear to be drunk?
DeSouza drives both of them back to the Castle. That took about 30 minutes. Once back at the Castle, Spector told DeSouza to go to the front gate. More exhibits are put up on the Elmo for DeSouza to identify. DeSouza says, that this was the first time that Spector had him drop him off at the front steps of the house. Normally, he would always drop Spector off at the back door. We see the images of the front of the house. There are a ton of steps up to the front door. I read somewhere, I think there are something like 80 steps up. It’s very impressive. Spector and Clarkson walk up these steps to the house. DeSouza then points out in the motor court where he went to park the car. He parks the car right beside the back door and he points out the area on the Elmo.
Q: After you dropped off Mr. Spector and Miss Clarkson off, what happened? When was the next time you saw Mr. Spector?
A: Uh, around like, ten minutes later?
Q: What did he do?
A: He opened the back door of the house. I got out of the car, and, he didn’t say anything.
Q: So what happened?
A: Then I tried to, to give to him, everything that he left inside the car.
Q: Which was what?
A: It was a briefcase.
Q: The same briefcase that he came out with?
A: Yes, the same briefcase, and a DVD.
Q: All right. Were there also some cell phones?
Q: What did you do with those cell phones?
A: Um the cell phones, I just dropped inside the bag.
Q: All right. So, did you basically clean up the back seat area?
Q: Is that normal for you?
Q: After Mr. Spector stepped outside, did you hand him that valise, or that briefcase?
A: Yes. First time, I tried to give to him, he said, “I don’t want that.” And, when I was return to the car, he asked me for the briefcase.
Q: How far away were you standing from Mr. Spector during this conversation?
A: I wa pretty close. From about here to the ?????
Judge: Indicating about three to four feet.
Q: Thank you your honor. Ultimately, did you give Mr. Spector that valise?
A: Uh, yes.
Q: How did you give it to him? Did you place it inside the house?
A: Ah, yes. I gave to him the DVD and I placed the, the wallet in the chair.
Q: Assuming that I’m about the distance between yourself and Mr. Spector, how far did you have to go, to get to that back door? Closer than I am? Or the same distance?
A: Closer. I stopped at; I think I, I went inside the house like two steps, and, drop ah, drop, give, I give to him the DVD, and then I drop, the inside, inside the house.
Q: So, you had the bag in your hand?
Q: And you stepped two or three steps inside the back door and dropped the bag?
Q: Did you put it in a chair? Did you put it on a chair?
A: On the chair.
Q: And, attached to that, bag, were. cell phones, that had been left in the back of the au...
Q: How long did you wait outside the car? I’m sorry. Let me ask it this way. What was the next thing that you heard, or saw, as you waited outside?
A: I wait in the car until, ‘till like about five o’clock in the morning.
Q: So this is about two hours?
A: Yes. Around two hours.
Q: And what happened?
A: Uh, I heard a ‘poe.’ A noise.
Q: What kind of noise? What did it sound like?
A: It sound like a ‘poe.’
Q: Like a, you’re saying ‘poe,’ like, we might saw ‘pow?’
Q: Okay. Did that startle you?
A: Uh, yes. I opened the door.
Q: Opened the door of the Mercedes?
Q: Were you inside the Mercedes?
Q: Was the radio on?
Q: Was the pow sound that you heard, loud enough to hear over the radio?
A: I could hear like, clear.
Q: What did you do when you heard this sound.
A: I opened the door, and I ah, tried to find the, where the noise came from.
Q: And what did you uh, ultimate, what was the first thing you thought?
A: There is like ah, air conditioner outside. There is like a fountain outside. Ah, it could be like the air conditioner. It could be anything. Like that, could be like a, tree. There’s a lot of trees outside.
Q: When you got out of the Mercedes, what did you do Mr. DeSouza?
A: I tried to find the, the, where the noise, the noise came from.
Q: Where did you go?
A: I went like, close to the fountain. Uh, just like check, a little bit fast, then returned inside the car.
Q: Did you see anything unusual when you stepped out of the car?
A: Um, no.
Q: Did you ultimately get back in the car?
A: Ah, yes.
Q: What happened after you stepped back into the Mercedes?
A: I wait like, for a minute probably, and, Mr. Spector opened the door.
Q: Opened the back door?
Q: I’m showing you what’s been previously marked as People’s 25. There’s five photographs. Do you see that back door in photographs B, C, D, and E?
Q: Is that the back door your talking about Mr. Spector stepping out of?
Q: What happened when you, saw Mr. Spector come out of that back door?
A: I got out of the car. And, uh, he was at the door. At that time he, he had the gun in his hand.
Q: What kind of gun?
A: It’s a revolver.
A photograph labeled “Murder Weapon” is put up on the Elmo, and Alan Jackson identifies it as a 38, snub nosed revolver. (People’s 26.)
Q: Take a look at what’s been marked as People’s 26. Do you recognize what’s depicted in that photograph?
Q: Does that look like the gun that was in Mr. Spector’s hand?
Q: Which hand was it in?
A: Uh, right hand.
Q: And, how was he holding it Mr. DeSouza?
A: Uh, close to his body.
Q: Could you stand and show the jurors exactly how Mr. Spector was holding that gun.
DeSouza stands up and shows the court. His right elbow is bent at the elbow, and placed close to his body. His index finger is out imitating the barrel of a gun, pointing to the left, in front of his belt buckle.
Q: Mr. DeSouza, when you saw Mr. Spector step outside with this gun in his hand, approximately how far were you from him? And if you could place me in the courtroom that same distance please. Just tell me where to stand.
A: That’s it.
Q: Right here?
Judge: Four to five feet.
Jackson: Thank you your honor.
Judge: Maybe six feet.
Jackson: Thank you.
Q: Did you get a clear look at the gun?
Q: Do you know the difference from a revolver, and a semiautomatic hand gun?
Q: How do you know that difference?
A: Uh, I was work with the guns in the army.
Q: You were in the army you said close to nine years, correct?
Q: Was the gun black?
Q: Did it have a different colored handle?
Q: What color was the handle?
Q: Did you see anything at that time, on Mr. Spector’s hand?
Q: Describe that for the jurors please.
A: I saw a little bit of blood.
Q: Where was that blood? And point to it on your hand, where you saw blood on his hand.
A: It was on this finger, on the top.
Jackson: May the record reflect the witness is indicating his extended right, index finger, right along the top side of it I guess.
Jackson: Thank you.
Q: When Mr. Spector stepped outside with the gun in his hand, were you already outside the Mercedes.
A: Uh, he opened the door, as soon as I saw him, open, opening the door, I got out of the car.
Q: Were you standing face to face with him?
Q: And you already indicated you were about, where I was from you, correct?
Q: Did you see him clearly?
Q: Did Mr. Spector say anything to you?
Q: What did he say?
A: He said, “I think I killed somebody.”
Q: Was he directing this comment to you?
Q: When he said, “I think I killed somebody,” what did you say then?
A: Eh, “What happened, sir?”
Q: And what, if anything, did Mr. Spector do, when you said, “What happened, sir?”
A: Eh, he moved, he moved his shoulders up.
Q: Show the jurors what you’re talking about, when you say, “He moved his shoulders up.”
DeSouza turns and shows the jurors.
Jackson: May the record reflect the witness has shrugged and his eyebrows went up.
Jackson: Thank you.
DeSouza looked past Spector into the house, and he could see the legs of Lana Clarkson. ... He stepped aside, (to look around Spector) and saw the blood on her face.
Q: Where was Mr. Spector?
A: He was inside his back door foyer.
Court stops for the day. Court will be dark on the 17th. The judge has a teaching commitment. The defense has a complaint about the word “murder weapon” on the prosecutions exhibit of the gun. The prosecution agrees to take that off their exhibit before it goes to the jury.
Outside, in the hallway, Mr. Dunne and I talk a bit about how the driver was such a surprise. I hear Dominick say to Sandi Gibbons. “I was expecting an older, gray haired man.” But he’s neither. He’s a young, middle aged, college-educated man. As Mr. Dunne and I pick up our pace to catch the elevators down, I notice Mr. Dunne, (who’s 80 years old) moved pretty fast into the elevator. And, as we squeeze into the elevator, I smile and say to him, “You can move pretty fast when you have to.”
I hope you have enjoyed my trial notes. Please understand that my notes should not be used in place of a more exact transcript of the trial. Although I tried to be as accurate as possible when I was quoting someone, I’m sure you will find some statements that do not exactly match Court TV’s Extra coverage.