January 8th, 2009
#29 Dr. Louis Pena (LA Co. Deputy Coroner; performed the autopsy on Ms. Clarkson; testimony completed)
#30 Dr. John Andrews (LA Co. Deputy Coroner and Forensic Neuropathologist; assisted autopsy on Ms. Clarkson's brain and spinal cord; direct testimony complete)
Accredited press inside the courtroom:
Harriet Ryan from the Los Angeles Times in the morning session as well as John Spano, also from The LA Times; a possible unidentified man in the afternoon session.
(Correction: John Spano has not worked for the LA Times for some time, and is now a practicing attorney.)
The "Team Spector" MySpace plea ad, requesting people come down to the courthouse in support of Spector to let the jury know Spector is innocent pulled in a few new faces today. In the morning session, there were three gentlemen that appeared to be in Spector's age range that showed up for the first time. Two were formerly from England (now living in Pasadena). I overheard one of the men indicate he was Ian Whitcomb, and had recorded with Spector in the 60's. (Maybe this song?) In the afternoon, the two Englishmen left and were replaced by two more new faces from Spector's era. Rachelle introduced herself to the men who arrived for the afternoon and I have to say that to me, it did not appear that Spector knew any of these people at all.
The defense went over in selected detail today with Dr. Pena, a medical history form Ms. Clarkson filled out as a new patient where she detailed her prior marijuana and cocaine use. Weinberg insinuated today that because all four grandparents of Ms. Clarkson were alcoholics, a father that was a drug addict and that since alcoholism can be inherited, Ms. Clarkson was also an alcoholic. The only other support the defense offered for this was her femoral blood alcohol level at the time or her death and a few emails, one where she states she "injured herself with tequila" and another email where Ms. Clarkson wrote she was "16 days sober."
Weinberg also tried to imply that the form Ms. Clarkson filled out stated "she" took psychedelic drugs since the age of 7. Under redirect, Truc Do had Dr. Pena read the entire statement on the intake form, which made it clear (to me) she stated her parents were hippies that took psychedelic drugs since she was 7. At one point, Weinberg insinuated that since Ms. Clarkson had some very high highs and very low lows, she was possibly manic depressive. (I promise to have more on Dr. Pena's recross over the weekend.) When Dr. Pena finally got off the stand in the late afternoon, he probably rushed out of courtroom as fast as he could. He had been on the stand five consecutive days straight.
Over the lunch break I learn that because the suicidologist will be testifying for the defense, Judge Fidler, first in an in camera hearing and later in open court, will allow in even more medical history of Ms. Clarkson that was ruled inadmissible in the first trial.
A little after 3:00 pm, AJ presents the next witness, Dr. John Andrews who has an impressive and extensive CV. Dr. John Andrews testified that once Ms. Clarkson's spine was severed she would have been unable to move, take a breath, or voluntarily blink. Dr. Andrews stated that because of the location of the severing of the spine (just above the 1st cervical vertebrae and below the pons), it would have been impossible for Ms. Clarkson's body to exhibit decerebrate posturing.
As Spector was leaving the courtroom, he turned to one of his new fans and said, "Did you hear that guy up there? He's wrong."
Court resumes Monday, January 12th at 9:30 am. The following week, court will be dark for the Federal holiday on January 19th. The jurors had asked for the morning of the 20th off to watch the inauguration. Today, it appears a juror needs that afternoon for a doctor's appointment also. I've also heard that court will only be half day on the 21st, but I'm not positive about that.
During the afternoon session, Sandi Gibbons from the DA's office was kind enough to give me a copy of the prosecution's opposition motion to dismiss Polanski's motion to dismiss. At 178 pages, it's almost an inch thick. If the Spector courtroom is dark the afternoon of January 21st, I hope to get into this hearing.
More to come...