November 19th, 2008
Adriano De Souza testifies!
#13: Gamaliel Catalan* (Communications Supervisor of Alhambra Police Dept.; testimony completed) *Possible misspelling of first name.
#14: Sandra Hill (Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor for the California Highway Patrol; testimony completed)
#15: Adriano De Souza (substitute personal driver for Spector the night of February 2, 2003; currently under first cross by Weinberg)
Accredited Press in the courtroom:
Harriet Ryan of the Los Angeles Times
Beth Karas of TruTv's In Sessions, morning session (unofficial capacity)
It was a very exciting day today. After two quick witnesses to present De Souza's 911 call, Adriano De Souza took the witness stand today and told the jury the words he heard Spector say just outside the rear entrance of his Alhambra home and holding a gun in his right hand, "I think I killed somebody."
The jurors appeared transfixed every since the playing of the 911 call. Court started a bit late this morning, a little after 10 am. De Souza's direct testimony was finished around 2:18 pm. After a very short break, Weinberg started cross examination. Weinberg methodically began to chip away at De Souza's memory. He also confronted De Souza on the different versions he gave to investigators of the statement he claims Spector said. Weinberg did something that I don't believe the defense did in the first trial. Wearing a latex glove, Weinberg had De Souza pick up the gun that killed Lana Clarkson and demonstrate to the jury how he saw Spector holding the weapon when he stood at the back door. De Souza testifies that he could see the color of the gun handle.
AJ: Let the record reflect that I'm approximately twelve to fifteen feet away and I can clearly see the [medallion? on the gun during the] demonstration."
While he is demonstrating for the jury, Weinberg asks De Souza, "Is it your testimony that at five o'clock in the morning you could see the handle?" "Sure," De Souza replies. "My hand is bigger than Mr. Spector's."
I'm very tired today and I will write up detailed notes over the holiday break. However, I wanted to mention some people who were in the courtroom today. Two middle age gentlemen came in and sat behind Rachelle. At the lunch break, Spector greeted them and they left the courtroom together. Beth Karas of In Sessions was in court during the morning session and we both commented that we did not recognize the men having attended the first trial. Louis Spector and his companion, Frieda were in court today. Remember Ricardo Ocampo, the former Deputy District Attorney who was appointed to the L.A. County Superior Court last Friday? His mother was in the gallery today. She was warmly greeted by AJ before court began. At the afternoon break, she was introduced to Mrs. Clarkson, who congratulated her on her son's recent appointment. Also in the courtroom was Onalee Hunter from NBC. In the afternoon, DA spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons introduced her to Harriet Ryan and myself. She is working on a fictional pilot/series for a show about L.A. prosecutors. AJ and Truc are both very attractive and with AJ's charisma, they could easily play themselves!
I almost forgot! Juror #5 is wearing the black, Sun Records t-shirt again. I believe this is the fourth time Juror #5 has worn a music related t-shirt in 9 days of testimony. When the jurors exited the courtroom passing the defendant, Spector smiled as he noticed the shirt. He then spoke to Weinberg's paralegal, Susan. I'm not positive on what Spector said. It could have been, "Did you see that?"
Update! Detailed Trial Notes for Wednesday, November 19th, 2008.
I’m a bit late. I make the 8:39 am train. As the train takes off from North Hollywood, I watch the walls of the tunnel speed by. My mind drifts off to a familiar topic and that’s an earthquake while I’m in the tunnel. The train is making an unusual stop in the middle of the tunnel. Over the speaker we’re told it’s to “drop off personnel." This is at a spot somewhere between the Universal City Station and the Hollywood and Highland Station. I try to peer out the window but I’m on the wrong side of the train to see anything. Yesterday, Mr. Sprocket and I had a “disagreement” about what an earthquake will and will not do. I want him to strap down all the electronic equipment ~ DVDR’s, receivers, the TV ~ in the living room armoire. Mr. Sprocket (who has never been through anything more than a 4.5) keeps telling me that the “cable” attached to the TV and other stuff will keep it in the armoire during an earthquake. I have to remind him that the last earthquake flattened an apartment building in Northridge and destroyed freeways.
9:29 am: I’m inside the courtroom. San Diego Linda and her friend Paula have taken the Metrolink to be here today. There is a possibility that De Souza will take the stand and Linda said she didn’t want to miss it. This is true dedication to watch this trial. The Metrolink ride is two hours one way.
9:45 am: Court still hasn’t started yet so something must be up. 9:53 am, Louis Spector and Frieda arrive. It isn’t until 10 am that Truc enters the courtroom. I’ve never seen anyone unpack a laptop and get it set up faster than Truc. There are a few public people in the courtroom today.
10:02 am: AJ strolls in with the cart carrying the prosecution's case binders that they need for today. A friend of AJ’s is in court and he greets her with a hug and a kiss. Later, I find out that this is the mother of Ricardo Ocampo, who was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court on November 14th. A gentleman enters the courtroom and asks AJ if he can sit in the first row on the end. I suspect this is the prosecution’s next witness. 10:05 am: One of the prosecution’s clerks arrives with AJ’s laptop. I note that Mrs. Ocampo is very nicely dressed in a dark skirt and white jacket with a thick black belt.
Spector is wearing his usual Edwardian type suit jacket. From where I’m sitting it has a bit of a satiny sheen to it. Rachelle is wearing a black pinstripe jacket.
10:07 am: Harriet Ryan and the Clarkson’s enter. Beth Karas arrives and greets Louis and Frieda. Both counsel approach the bench for a conference before testimony starts.
The next witness is called, #13 Gamaliel Catalan, a communications supervisor for the Alhambra Police Department. I remember when he testified at the first trial. He supervises the 911 system for the City of Alhambra. At the time of the shooting, land line 911 calls would go directly to the 911 emergency system. However, calls from cell phones went directly to the California Highway Patrol, (CHP) who would take the information and direct the call to the appropriate municipality.
The 911 system is audio voice recorded and a paper trail is generated and that’s called a “dispatch incident.” Under subpoena, he did a search of record systems and found a single 911 call from 1700 Grand View and provided the information to the DA’s office.
Truc plays for the jury De Souza’s 911 call. What’s interesting is, this is the “second” half of the 911 call. The text of the call is put up on the screen as the audio is played. The document shows the call came in at 5:02:20 am. When the paper document, the “dispatch incident” is introduced, Weinberg objects to the record as hearsay. His argument is that it’s not verified as to who said what words, that are on the document.
Judge Fidler questions the witness about the record and how it’s generated. Afterwards, he overrules the objection. I have here in my notes “the audio of the 911” but I’m not sure if it’s played again, (I think so) or if they are going over the dispatch incident.
The 911 call clearly states that De Souza saw Spector with the gun. This is moments after the shooting. The jurors have a transcript of the call and the text is also up on the ELMO as the audio plays.
TD: Other than this one call, were there others?
Direct is finished and cross begins.
Weinberg crosses the witness on the dispatch incident report. “Can you tell who created or spoke what [from this report]? Weinberg asks. “It’s the dispatcher’s abbreviation,” Catalan responds. Weinberg then brings up the fact that we have not heard the portion related to the CHP, who first took the call. That’s it. Cross is finished and the next witness is called.
#14 Sandra Hill, Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor for the California Highway Patrol. She has been in this position for 12 years. She is a custodian of records for the CHP. Their records are stored on audio tape for 180 days and a paper trail is also generated. Their incident report is up on the screen. What’s interesting is, the record shows the time as 5:04:52 am. The clocks must have been off somewhere, because this call actually happened before the call that was just introduced into evidence with an earlier time stamp on it’s paper document.
The audio tape is played for the jury and the text of the call scrolls down the screen. I copy what I can.
I think, my boss killed somebody.
He has a lady on the floor and a gun in, in his hand.
I think he, he killed her.
Direct is finished and cross begins.
Weinberg establishes that she had nothing to do with the call. Dispatcher Rick Vollmer handled the call. “Did CHP make that transcript? (exhibit 143)” Weinberg asks. Hill replies, “We did not prepare the transcript. We only prepare logs. [...] The CHP did not prepare it.”
Weinberg crosses her on line 19 of the transcript which has quotation marks around one of the statements. (I am trying to get a copy of the transcript so I can clarify this for everyone.) “There was nothing on the tape about quoting someone was there?” Weinberg asks her.
DW: Has the CHP tried to enhance the quality of the tape?
OBJECTION! (I believe it’s AJ who makes the objection.) Your honor, there is some confusion because we had to take witnesses out of order.
There’s a bench conference.
DW: These 911 calls come in extemporaneously, correct?
Weinberg is challenging the interpretation of the call.
DW: Do you know if Mr. Vollmer had any other information on how he determined that his [De Souza's] boss killed someone?
Fidler asks the witness, “If you know?”
SH: No, I do not.
Fidler then addresses the court. “Because of the confusion of witnesses out of order, we will play the complete 911 call from start to finish.”
The jurors watch the screen, as the audio is played but the text on the screen stops. Fidler points it out to Truc and she responds that the jurors have a transcript of the calls.
We are finally finished and the next witness is called. #15 is Adriano De Souza!
De Souza is wearing a white shirt and a green tie. AJ stands up to present De Souza’s testimony.
In 2003, De Souza was a limo driver. He worked as a private driver and also worked part time at the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills. He did not own his own limousine but drove the car of whomever hired him. He knew Kathy Sullivan who worked at the restaurant. Dillon Keane was Spector’s “official” driver. He met Keane at the restaurant and he was the one who recommended him to Spector to fill in when Keane was unavailable. De Souza testifies that he drove Mr. Spector in Spector’s own car. Michelle Blaine would call and set up the appointments. He states that he thinks he drove for Spector about 15 times.
When I take a look over at Rachelle, she has a pair of glasses on. It’s 11:03 am and one of the juror’s raises their hand and asks for a restroom break. I had forgotten how tiny Beth Karas is in person. She is wearing a beautiful deep blue skirt with a matching short, form fitting jacket top. Underneath the jacket she has on a stretchy long sleeve black top. She’s also wearing a striking necklace. It appears to be made of solid silver. It’s a large, open pedal rose on a black cord. I have never seen Beth look unprofessional when she's at court. Another woman who might be press is in the back row directly behind me. Spector is wearing black and brown two-toned shoes.
Before the break, AJ asked De Souza what branch of the military he served in. “Army,” he replies. “So a grunt?” AJ asked. De Souza didn’t get the reference and AJ replied, “Bad joke.”
De Souza’s education was reviewed in detail. He’s no slouch. He studied English from a very young age, his early teens. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in computer science. He wrote programming languages in English.
Two elderly looking gentlemen came in during the break or earlier and sit behind Rachelle. At the end of the break, they chat with Rachelle.
11:20 am: Break is over. In the Brazilian Army, De Souza reached the rank of First Lieutenant, which is an officer rank. I think De Souza’s English is a tiny better than the first trial. De Souza states that when he was in Brazil, he had private instruction to learn English.
Up on the ELMO now is an arial view of the front of Spector’s home, the “Castle.” Then two more photos are added that are outside, back of the house views. Next up is a city map of the area and De Souza identifies all the locations relevant to the night of the shooting. De Souza then is asked to identify Spector’s first “date” of the evening and describe her. He describes Rommie Davis.
I take a glance at Rachelle and her eyes are closed.
De Souza testifies about taking Rommie Davis home and going back to pick up Kathy Sullivan at The Grill on the Alley. He details the places that he drove Spector and testifies that he did not enter any establishment. He stayed in the car. When Spector wanted Kathy Sullivan to go with him to Dan Tanas from Trader Vic's, De Souza testifies that Kathy Sullivan told Spector that she was tired.
Spector then decides to go to the House of Blues. De Souza describes how he drove into the wrong entrance area at the House of Blues. He dropped them off, they got out of the car, discovered their mistake and they got back into the car and he drove them down around to the lower, Olive Street entrance.
De Souza then describes when Sullivan came back to the car. She was with someone else and he didn’t know who the other person was. The individual introduced herself to him as Lana. The video surveillance video of Lana coming out is played for De Souza. (Three other videos are also played.)
In each video, AJ asks De Souza to identify the “shorter person” he points to with the laser pointer. Each time, De Souza states that the person is Phil Spector.
It’s now that I get a clear view of Juror #5’s clothing. He’s wearing the SUN STUDIO t-shirt again. Alan Parachini from the PIO and one of his staff members have been in the courtroom most of the morning.
De Souza tells the jury what type of car Lana drove: a black Mercury Cougar.
I look on over at the two gentlemen behind Rachelle. One of them is dressed as if he “might” be in the music or entertainment industry. I think I might have seen that one at the first trial, but I’m not sure. He has slightly curly, almost frizzy salt and pepper hair.
It’s 12 noon and the lunch recess is called. Since I brought my lunch today, Linda, Paula, Sherri and I all have lunch in the courthouse cafeteria.
1:29 pm: We’re back inside the courtroom. The prosecution isn’t here yet. The defense is here with Spector and Rachelle. The friends from the morning session are not here, which leads me to believe they might not have eaten lunch with Spector. There are three students from Pepperdine University who are in a journalism law class, taking notes on the trial. They are sitting in the third row off to my left. A minute later AJ, Truc and one of their clerks arrive.
One of the trial watchers commented to me that Truc has a great wardrobe and I agree. I have been impressed with every suit I have seen her wear. You would think that with all my attention to fashion I would know something about clothes and high couture. I don’t. I couldn’t tell you anything about who the latest designers are. I’ve been a tomboy since my early teen years and my clothing of choice is a pair of comfy jeans with a white t-shirt. I do find it fascinating though, how several of the players are presented and what message that sends to the press as well as the jury. Before I forget, Truc is wearing a chocolate brown skirt and jacket suit. It’s perfectly tailored and the skirt has a nice design of five 10” pleats in the back.
One of Spector’s friends from the morning session returns. It’s the man with the salt and pepper hair. Beth Karas does not return to court for the afternoon session, but Harriet Ryan from the Los Angeles Times is here.
1:34 pm: Court is about to start. The jury files in. The second DA clerk is here and Mrs. Ocampo sits with him. 1:36 pm, Judge Fidler takes the bench. De Souza is back on the witness stand.
De Souza is now going over the testimony where Lana is already in the limo. She speaks to De Souza and De Souza tells the jury that Spector yelled at her not to talk to the driver. After they were driving for a while, De Souza testifies that he started to smell alcohol coming from the back seat of the Mercedes.
PIO staff enter the courtroom and sit in the plastic seats against the wall by the door.
De Souza testifies that for the first time ever, Spector instructed him to stop at the front entrance to the house where there is a huge staircase. If I’m remembering correctly from the first trial, there are over 80 steps to reach the front entrance. De Souza then drove around to the back gate and parked directly beside the rear entrance to the house. This was the first time that De Souza drove Spector and a woman to the Castle.
AJ pantomimes the handling of the briefcase and how far De Souza went into the house to drop it off. I then see AJ lean over the railing to Mrs. Clarkson to prepare her for gruesome photographs of her daughter. De Souza states that at around 5 am he heard a noise. He goes onto describe how he got out of the car and walked around the fountain looking for the source of the noise. He then got back into the car.
Right after he got back into the car, Spector emerged from the rear entrance of the house. AJ goes over to the bailiff and retrieves an evidence bag. A mug shot of Spector is put up on the ELMO, and De Souza identifies that this is how Spector looked, on the night of the shooting. De Souza stands and using his hand as a substitute for the gun, demonstrates how he saw Spector was holding the weapon. With his knowledge of guns from 9 years in the Brazilian Army, De Souza testifies that Spector was holding a revolver. He identifies the gun from the evidence bag as the one Spector was holding.
De Souza testifies what he heard Spector say after he emerged from the house. “I think I killed someone.” AJ goes over this several times with De Souza, making sure the jury hears that there is “no question in his mind” as to what he heard Spector say.
De Souza testifies that he saw blood on Spector’s right forefinger. “He had a stupid look on his face.” De Souza says. De Souza testifies that he leaned to the right to look around Spector who is standing in the rear entrance doorway and sees Lana. “What happened, sir?” De Souza says to Spector. Spector’s response to that question is to shrug his shoulders. The shrugging movement is demonstrated to the jury. Spector had no expression on his face. “Like a blank stare?” AJ asks. “Yes,” De Souza answers.
De Souza then tells the jury how frightened he was. He started to run down the driveway away from the house and then remembered the car. He ran back, got into the Mercedes and drove to the front gate where he knew there was a sign with the address on it. He had testified earlier that he knew how to get to the Castle but he didn’t know the exact address to tell the 911 operator.
De Souza states he first called Michelle Blaine. He didn’t reach her; he left a message on her answering machine. That tape is played for the jury and the text is put up on the ELMO.
2:16 pm: The white haired man from the first trial enters the courtroom and sits down beside Rachelle in the first row.
(I don’t have it i my notes but if I’m remembering correctly, I think the 911 call De Souza made is also played. I may be wrong, and it could have been played as part of the redirect.)
Direct is finished and cross begins.
Weinberg verifies that De Souza was interviewed by Alhambra Police Officer’s Kennedy and Pineda, as well as two from the Sheriff’s Department, Tomlin and Fortier. De Souza will continually state that he is not sure about all the officer’s names. He testifies that he was interviewed by many officers. He does remember being interviewed by Officer Pineda. Weinberg asks him if he was interviewed by the prosecutor’s since the last trial and De Souza says no. Weinberg then asks the question again, almost with a disbelief tone in his voice. De Souza states that he hasn’t talked to anyone since the last trial about the facts of the case except his wife and that was only to detail the times he would have to go to court.
Weinberg asks De Souza if he speaks Portuguese at home with his wife and De Souza says, “That’s right.” Weinberg acknowledges his education and English and that’s it. There are not hundreds of questions about his English like Bradley Brunon did at the first trial. But what Weinberg does for the rest of his cross examination for the day, is cross him on his testimony at the grand jury, his interviews with police and his testimony at the first trial and point out where there are inconsistencies.
DW: When you testified at the first trial, you said that you did have trouble understanding Mr. Spector when he was drunk. Why did you leave that out now? [...] [You said], you didn’t understand him when he was drunk; you didn’t understand him when he was mumbling; you didn’t understand him when he didn’t finish his sentences.
AJ: Objection! [Read back of prior testimony is incorrect.]
Judge Fidler asks De Souza a question. De Souza responds that when he testified on direct, he had no trouble understanding Mr. Spector that day.
Weinberg gets De Souza to admit that by the time that he was done with Mr. Spector, he had been up for about 23 hours.
In the interview with Detective’s Tomlin and Fortier, Weinberg questions De Souza on the fact that he told them that Spector was slurring his words outside of Trader Vic’s.
I believe there is an objection here by the people, and Fidler directs Weinberg in the first of many similar directions for the rest of the afternoon, to finish quoting from the interview so that the question he is asking is presented “in context.” It’s something that Weinberg tries to do again and again throughout De Souza’s cross.
Weinberg is now crossing on something De Souza testified to at the first trial. He has his clerk put the text of the testimony up on the ELMO and the people object. The objection is sustained. This is not proper protocol for introducing cross exam, and Weinberg has already been told by the Judge on prior occasions that he’s not to do that.
DW: Isn’t it true sir that the last time you testified under oath, you were the one who invited Lana into the Mercedes?
It happens again. Weinberg reads part of a prior testimony at either the trial or the grand jury and AJ quickly objects. Fidler then instructs Weinberg to include the next few lines or more lines to put the question into context.
I believe we are now on the afternoon break, because I have in my notes that I overhear Sandi Gibbons introduce the woman in the back row to Harriet Ryan. She’s a producer for NBC working on developing a pilot about Los Angeles prosecutors and she’s studying AJ. Harriet asks her if it’s a documentary and she replies that its a fiction series. Sandi Gibbons then says to me, “I saw your ears perk up Sprocket.” Sandi Gibbons then introduces me by my real name to Onalee Hunter and that I write I blog. I tell Ms. Hunter that I write from the perspective as if my readers were in the courtroom with me, as if they would see what I see. I have a lot of mundane commentary about people coming in and out of the courtroom and where they sit.
3:11 pm: Weinberg asks Fidler if he can play about 45 seconds of the prosecution’s tape of detectives talking outside near the fountain. He wants to play it not for the dialog, but for the sound level of the fountain. Weinberg also wants to have De Souza demonstrate with the weapon in his hand, how he saw Spector holding the gun. Fidler instructs Weinberg that he wants to make sure that De Souza does not hold the gun in the direction of the jurors and that a latex glove will be needed to handle the weapon. The bailiff produces a glove.
3:15 pm: Break is over and we are back on the record.
Weinberg asks De Souza about how much does Lana Clarkson weigh and how tall she is. The state objects and Fidler overrules them, saying he can guess. He estimates Lana Clarkson’s weight as 170 to 160 pounds. He is then asked to estimate the same for Spector. He states Spector is about 5’2” to 5’3” and weighs approximately 125 pounds. De Souza states that Lana Clarkson was helping Spector to walk up the stairs to the front entrance. Weinberg continues to cross him on the reenactment and plays the audio of the fountain. It’s quite noisy. De Souza states that he did not hear any arguing or other voices before the “POW” noise that startled him.
Again, via another question, De Souza still states that he didn’t have any problem understanding Spector that night.
3:29 pm: Spector’s fan arrives and sits in the third bench row.
Weinberg is asking several questions about how he saw Spector holding the gun. De Souza says, “I can show you.” Weinberg then wants De Souza to not just show the jury with his right arm and finger pointing, he wants him to demonstrate with the weapon in his hand.
Once De Souza takes the weapon and tries to show the jury without pointing the gun in their direction, AJ, who is seated at the prosecution table says, “Let the record reflect I’m 12 to 15 feet away and I can clearly see the demonstration [and medallion] on the weapon.”
Weinberg is crossing De Souza now about the color of the handle of the weapon. “Is it your testimony that at 5 o’clock in the morning you could see the handle?” De Souza answers, “Sure. My hand is bigger than Mr. Spector’s.”
3:36 pm: Now Weinberg brings up the fact that in the first trial he identified the handle of the gun as black verses brown, today.
DW: Do you remember talking to Tomlin and Fortier, that you “thought you saw some blood but not sure,” but now you’re testifying now you’re certain you saw blood. Why is that?
Now Weinberg is asking De Souza about Spector’s reaction after he asked him, “What happened, sir?” and the small discrepancies in his testimony.
I could swear that I just heard De Souza say in response to one of Weinberg’s questions, ‘It’s not like ordering a pizza sir, when you see a body.’
Now Weinberg is back to questioning him about the 911 call.
DW: If that’s what you were trying to convey, why didn’t you say that? Why didn’t you say, [clarifying] “He said?”
This is the part of the 911 tape where Weinberg asked the 911 system operator about the “quote marks” around a part of the text in the people’s transcript of the call.
DW: At no time in your conversation to 911 to CHP did you say, “Mr. Spector said this,” or, “Mr. Spector said that.”
DW: You’ve had the experience of misunderstanding someone and they’re not drunk.
ADS: Yes sir.
DW: No fountain, you’re not drunk. You just simply misunderstand.
Weinberg gives an example of one of the transcripts.
DW: You heard him mumble before?
DW: You heard him clearly at that moment?
DW: The first person you spoke to, Officer Cardella, his report, page 16 has you say that “he” [you; De Souza] opened the door, stepped inside and saw Phil Spector.
De Souza reads a paragraph from that report. The words that he says he heard spoken in that report are, “I think I just killed her.”
ADS: No, I don’t remember.
It’s 4:00 pm and court has ended for the day.
When the jurors exited the courtroom passing the defendant, Spector smiled as he notices the Sun Records t-shirt on Juror #5. Spector then spoke to Weinberg's paralegal, Susan. I'm not positive on what Spector said. It could have been, "Did you see that?"
Court resumes at 9:30 am, tomorrow morning.