I get to court a little after 8:00 am. The regular morning group is there. Linda from San Diego, the young man studying for the bar, Sherri, Joe and Ron from Phoenix. Slowly some of Lana's friends show up. At 8:34 am the both Diane and Cindy the court reports arrive with their equipment. Miriam Hernandez from local ABC Ch 7 arrives a few minutes later. She's always dressed to the nines but that's also because she does report on air. More familiar faces start showing up; Donte, Harvey with the white hair, My2Cents, as well as quite a few I've never seen before. Some of the new faces indicate that they are "family." Overnight, Spector's family tree grew exponentially. I didn't understand where all these family members came from. Where were they all throughout the trial? It wasn't until I read Michelle Blaine's blog this evening that I got my own "AHa" moment. Michelle confirmed that Rachelle Short sent out another plea to have all of Spector's extended "family" show up at court to support him. (I mean, how else would his extended family "know" that he needs their support at his murder trial?)
At least twelve to fifteen people from the accredited press showed up today. This left the PIO office with the task of holding a lottery for the few remaining seats. Many people who have attended the trial on a more regular basis did not get in. Ron, who drove from Phoenix didn't make it as well as My2Cents (although they did get a seat in the afternoon session) and the guy studying for the bar. (So long Ron! It was great meeting you and I'm sorry that you didn't get to hang with us trial ladies more!) I would say that the inside of the courtroom was mostly packed with Spector's "family." If Linda from San Diego hadn't arranged for us to be admitted after the press, it's doubtful that I would have had a seat. Richard Gabriel is back as well as the Joyce Danelen look alike. Louis Spector and Frieda also arrive and are given seats.
The last people to enter the courtroom are Spector and Rachelle, who's wearing the palest coral pantsuit with a dark, black looking top underneath. The over-belt appeared to be almost four inches thick and cinched tight around her waist.
Before Weinberg begins his closing arguments he has a complaint about the Jamie Lintemoot video that was shown in the prosecution's closing arguments. I miss most of the first statement where Weinberg says something to the effect that the prosecution turned a court (judge?) into a witness (without being?) cross examined. "Not only was the tape shown, but at the end of the tape [...] it came at a hearing regarding evidence... (it wasn't testimony in front of the jury)." Weinberg's main concern is there were still photos from it. Three photos of Jamie Lintemoot (the tape did show the images in slow motion), "...and three pictures of you in it in support of the prosecution. [...] That's totally inappropriate."
Judge Fidler asks the people to respond. I think Jacksons first words are "Completely unnecessary. [...] The previous six times Mr. Weinberg complained about this, it was for the (recording complying?) within the preview of the court. [...] Because it was a hand gesture and the witness was clearing it up."
Fidler asks, "Do you plan on using it in your closing?" Jackson replies, "Yes, your honor."
Weinberg adds, "What I was complaining about was your image (Fidler, at the end of the tape)."
Jackson speaks again and then Fidler addresses Weinberg and says, "I'll give it some thought and let you know later."
Weinberg now has the podium facing the jury. He has a binder with a stack of notes inside. The page I see on top, and many of the pages I see throughout the day are all hand written. Since I'm sitting in the second bench row directly in front of the jurors beside Terri Keith from City News, I can only see some of the faces of the jury. Those that I can see, it's just a profile view.
Weinberg starts out addressing the jury that we've been together for a long time now, over several holidays, and complimenting them. "We've had an inordinate amount of legal and forensic facts to get through together." He tells them something like he's never seen "a group more thoughtful; bonded. [...] But now I want to be straight foreword. [...] If you knew only the case from the outside it looks like a lot of evidence. [...] And if you believe Adriano De Souza, it looks like he did it; (and you may be thinking) he probably did it. [...] But you look like the kind of people who are objective and fair.'
Weinberg takes the time to talk a bit more about the type of jury that they seem to be. "Some of you hate guns and have really strong opinions about guns. some of you came here and think that (paid experts) they can manipulate and fool the jury. And some of you said it was better to convict a guilty person than let them go free." (Weinberg is referring to their jury questionnaires they filled out.)
"The reason you are on the jury with attitudes that most people have (is because) that you are fundamentally fair and are going to judge the case on the evidence you heard. Some of you in the jury room are going to find you have different ideas bout trials. What I'd like to do, would be able to sit down with each one of you and answer your individual concerns. (But since I can't do that, what I have to do is think what the common denominators are (and try to address all of those). So what I'm telling you is I'm going to be there for a while. [...] Phil Spector did not kill Lana Clarkson. that's what the evidence shows. [...] Despite the presentation that Ms. Do had, it is not the case here. [...] The problem with their case is that it relies on the starting proposition he is a bad person and so he must have done it."
Weinberg states that the investigation and prosecution was "not to independently investigate what happened here, but to prove that he did it. [...] There's one question and one question only: has the prosecution proven beyond a reasonable doubt? Not with speculation, not with theory but with facts. [...] Is the evidence clear beyond a reasonable doubt. [...] I believe that the evidence shows that he didn't (kill Lana Clarkson). [...] It probably would be easier if we worked under Scottish law. They have three options: guilty, not guilty and not proven."
Juror's $ 6 and 7 have their pens ready to take notes but I don't see any writing going on. Weinberg continues about the structure of the US Justice system and that we don't have the option of the Scottish system. I note here that Weinberg is speaking in a low soft voice for the beginning of his summation. It's a tone that is totally different than how he has addressed witnesses throughout the trial.
"The bedrock of our system is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. [...] This is a circumstantial evidence case, because one one has told you it wasn't video taped and it wasn't recorded. [...] The prosecution has a theory that they want you to believe. [...] Although yesterday, Ms. Do went over some of the law instructions..." Weinberg now educates the jury on "CALCRIM" and other jury instructions that the judge will give them. He brings up an instruction that states, "You must be convinced the people have proven each fact essential to that conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt..." Weinberg stresses the point that if one conclusion points towards innocence, you must accept the one that points to innocence.
From where I'm sitting, I can see a perfect profile of Mrs. Clarkson in the front row. To me, the expression on her face is a combination of sadness and stoicism.
"The burden is on the prosecution. It's a heavy burden and it should be. [...] I'm not saying Phil Spector is guilty but don't convict him because they didn't prove their case. I'm saying because he's innocent. [...] I think we should address it, why Phil Spector didn't testify. [...] It is the burden of the prosecution to exclude all reasonable possibilities. [...] So if/when the defendant testifies, it reduces the prosecution's burden. [...] So when a defendant says, 'Here's what happened.' what he really says, is, to tell the jury to choose between tow versions. So the defendant give us his most absolute right. [...] So why should he do that? [...] By giving an explanation in a circumstantial case, the defense fundamentally makes the prosecutions case less harder. [...] If a defendant testifies, you may not believe him because sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction." Weinberg goes onto say something to the effect that "this is his job" to make the prosecution's case harder to prove.
(I will interject only this one comment on Weinberg's entire summation, specifically addressing this point where if a defendant testifies, he makes the prosecution's case against him much easier to prove. My question back would be, what about the truth Mr. Weinberg? I would think that the ultimate goal of a five month murder trial is a search for the truth, and not a means to obfuscate the quest for the truth.)
"Let me talk about the attitude that people are expected to believe about (wealthy defendants). [...] That high paid experts are hired guns to say what they want to say. [...] The truth is the opposite in this case."
"Since they (LE) heard Mr. De Souza's version in that supposed confession, everyone involved in this case is making that expectation of homicide come true. [...] They spent 40 hours at the scene. The examined and micro scoped and collected and they left with all the evidence. [...] The prosecution took possession of all the evidence then some defense (staff?) experts were allowed on the scene. [..] Then for the next year and a half, the crime lab did whatever they wanted to do."
"Dr. Herold testified they could do any test they wanted to do. [...] But each expert had no idea how many hours they worked on this case. No idea. [...] But Dr. Herold spent months looking at Mr. Spector's clothing. [...] The coroner's office had many staff meetings with the DA's staff, with their own staff; the meetings were on, 'Can we make this a homicide?' [...] They needed outside evidence."
"So even though the evidence was not there, Mr. Spector was indicted. They (criminalists) had no idea how may man hours and time and money spent on that case. YOUR money. [...] They can look at all the evidence and spend all this time and money without reporting it to anyone."
AJ: Objection! That's completely improper!
"Ms. Do said that Dr. Seiden just cashed a check. Dr. Seiden, who sits on boards of suicide prevention... do you think he really would do that? But how else are we going to get the evidence to you?" Weinberg goes on about how Spector had "no choice" to defend himself. "There are not charities out there who are paying for investigations for affluent people. [...] You judge these people on what they say and the merits of their life's work."
Weinberg then questions the honesty and prejudice of people working for government agencies verses people who are hired as an expert witness to (supposedly say whatever the defense wants them to say). "If that's all they did, they wouldn't last in the field. [...] They told you they often turn down work. [...] In law enforcement context, you have a built in pressure and built in bias because they have the same employer."
Weinberg reminds the jury of Dr. Herold's statement that she "practiced with Mr. Jackson" the hand and body placement positions of Lana Clarkson and Phil Spector, and that Mr. Weinberg tired to get her to demonstrate on him, she wouldn't, she testified, "You're different." Weinberg states that the defense experts agreed with the prosecution at times on some points but "tell me of one (prosecution) witness" that (did the same when he cross examined them).
At this time one of the jurors (I can't see which one) has a coughing fit and the Judge asks them if they need to take a break. So we take an early break. Linda Kenny Baden who is in the courtroom again today give an affectionate pat on Weinberg's arm when he comes over to where she's sitting in the gallery. Mrs. Weinberg comes over to speak to some Spector supporters (or maybe these are personal friends of the Weinberg family) in the third row near me, Sherri and Linda. I also note that Weinberg's daughter is here. The defense got a lot of people to show up. There's lots of socializing and chatting in the aisle by the defense supporters and I see Rachelle hug quite a few people. I note that there are quite a few faces I've never seen before.
1o:34 am: We're back on the record and Weinberg is talking about the close working relationship the LA County Sheriff's lab has with law enforcement. "(There is a strong) relationship of entities to each other and they work routinely with each other and that working influences (their work) and it is a bias. [...] They support each other and they come with a bias."
Weinberg puts up on the screen an image of a NPR flier or announcement of a study that was released last year. Jackson objects. "That's not evidence in this case." Fidler requests a side bar.
While they are at the sidebar, I read what's up on the screen and start writing as fast as I can. 'The study states separating crime scene analyst from the investigation of cases.'
The sidebar is over and Weinberg addresses the jury. "We don't need acknowledgment of the (separation of) science (from LE). We know it. [...] But you have to understand that they are not true independent scientists in the truest sense."
Weinberg touches on the issue of Lana Clarkson and her state of mind. "I take no pride in talking about the sadness and despair of Lana Clarkson [...] it has to be explained now. [...] But that doesn't mean I can stop to point out the point she had reached in her life... [...] It's to talk about what really happened here. [...] The prosecution asked you to go with your gut, your emotion. [...] But I'm going to talk about facts. [...] The prosecution was trying to get you to see me as untrustworthy but I'm hoping you don't see me that way."
Weinberg says something about "...the first part of (the prosecution's case was) Mr. Spectors history [...] and Mr. De Souza was in-between [...] and so therefore he must have done it with drama and accusation! [...] The third part, what really happened? [...] Who was Lana Clarkson and where was she in her life? [...] What the prosecution thinks. [...] What science shows. [...] What Lana Clarkson was, where she was in her life. [...] How accurate was Adriano De Souza in what he thinks he heard. [...] The five women, who all had an agenda, what effect (did) time have on their memory? [...] Dr. Herold: an expert on everything except pathology. [...] (I asked her), Can you say that Mr. Spector fired that shot? Her answer: 'No.'
"On February 16th, 2008, we met with Dr. Herold. And we asked her, 'Is there any physical evidence or forensic fact that proves Lana Clarkson didn't shoot herself?' Dr. Herold replied, 'No." I asked her, 'Is there an inconsistent fact?' Dr. Herold replied, 'No.' Dr. Herold acknowledged that."
Weinberg continues to point to the science with testimony up on the screen. He states again that there isn't a single piece of (physical?) evidence that (proves) Lana Clarkson didn't shoot herself. "Since then, the prosecution has tried to find some evidence that was inconsistent and based on that you should tend to find Mr. Spector innocent." Weinberg then lists fourteen separate items that support the theory of Spector's innocence.
1.) Intra oral gunshot wound: 99% of intra oral gunshot wounds are suicides. Weinberg mentions the history of all the medical examiner's who testified and that in their entire careers, they had not seen any that were homicides. The only exception to this is Dr. Di Maio who testifies that he saw three, and that there was a clear explanation for each one. He mentions that Dr. Pena thinks that he saw one, years ago, but there was also a second defendant involved at the scene. Weinberg gives the jurors an analogy of an investment, where 99% of those who invest will lose money. Is that an investment you would use? He also gives an example of a doctor who tells you that you need surgery but 99% of the people who had the surgery died. "Do you really think that people who report what they think they heard or think they saw are 99% correct? It's more like 50 or 60%."
"How do you get the gun in the mouth, particularly one with such a short barrel? How do you keep it in? [...] There's no evidence the gun was forced or shoved into the mouth. [...] You saw that hard metal crane. It would have left a bruise."
"I don't want to spend any time on this involuntary manslaughter charge. (Weinberg makes a few more statements but I miss getting them about this issue.)
Weinberg talks about how the prosecution made a big deal about intra-oral suicides were through the soft palate and points out that the autopsy report says the bullet went through the hard and soft palate. "That's exactly what this bullet did. It went through the hard and soft palate. [...] So how do you take a scientific fact and ignore it? [...] They combed all the literature and they found three cases of homicide. [...] The prosecution's case is a story; in-between is science (and facts). [...] That's what the prosecution's case is. It's a story. But this case is about facts."
2.) Blood on forward portions of the gun grip: A photo of the blood on the front strap of the gun and the grip is up on the screen. Weinberg holds the gun with no gloves on. To me, he's handling it very carelessly. Weinberg goes over the blood on this area of the gun and that the "prosecution didn't explain it. If Spector was holding the gun, how (did) the blood get on the front strap and the grip? How does blood get on there?" Weinberg kept his hand on the gun and putting it in various positions the entire time he is talking about it.
3.) Spatter on the gun grip: Now Weinberg explains satellite spatter and impact forward and back spatter to the jury. The photo up on the screen is a very enlarged photo of the "checker" pattern on the grip of the gun. He focuses on a specific area where his experts testified there was spatter (and not a transfer) pattern. Weinberg then explains how the blood that is supposedly on the dorsal side of Lana's wrists could have gotten there, if Lana was holding the gun on herself. "Dr. Di Maio talked about how spatter is a mist. There is a parabolic arc and they drop down. [...] The mist could easily have landed on the wrist in a parabolic arc. [...] It was Mr. Jackson who asked, but Ms. Do made you believe it was a question I asked. [...] The prosecution presents that there was blood on there and then wiped off. [...] Did they put any witnesses on to prove that? [...] You would think that with the way the prosecution presented it's case that 'we' would have to prove that's spatter on the grip of the gun."
"I asked Dr. Heorld about the blood on the gun grip and whether or not it could be spatter and she said she would have to go back and look at original photographs. [...] And now compare that to Jamie Lintemoot and what Dr. Herold did when presented with Jamie Lintemoot's testimony. [...] And when presented with that Dr. Herold said, 'Oops. Change that.' [...] There's no way to explain that spatter on the grip of the gun (if Spector's hand is completely covering the grip)."
Weinberg then explains James Pex and the prosecution's accusation that he lied to the jury. "He said it was a Colt Cobra. He was mistaken. It was a Smith & Wesson. That's all it was and it was virtually inconsequential." Weinberg goes over the questions by Jackson about the differences in the two weapons which Weinberg state are minor differences since they were both snub nosed barrel weapons. "They think that by finding one mistake they can discredit their entire testimony. [...] But how many mistakes did Jamie Lintemoot and Adriano De Souza make? [...] The prosecution didn't put on a rebuttal case to refute that was spatter. They didn't call Dr. Herold back to state it.
4.) Phil Spector's DNA was not on the gun: "They didn't do 'handler' DNA. Their experts testified they didn't swab parts of the gun that didn't have blood on them. [...] You've seen the blood on the gun. [...] With the exception of one area, the gun was very lightly smeared. [...] Yet Steve Renteria swabbed only seven areas; only bloody areas and in not one of those areas did they find Mr. Spector's DNA. [...] They did find foreign DNA mixed in with Lana Clarkson's blood on the cartridges. A single DNA markers that was not from Lana Clarkson or Mr. Spector. [...] Either one of the police officer's touched it or a long time ago someone touched the cartridge. [...] Think about what that means."
"Phil Spector's DNA was found in the blood in the pocket (of this pants). Spector's DNA was found on the doorknow and door latch. But five spots on the gun and Spector's DNA is not in any of them. (Yes, there is a discrepancy that earlier Weinberg said seven areas were tested and here he said five. I believe he misspoke. I'm just writing what I heard.) [...] Steve Renterial said there was so much blood on the gun it must have overwhelmed (Spector's DNA). But no. Spector's DNA was no where on the gun."
5.) No spatter on Phil Spector's right sleeve: "Now onto the jacket. [...] It's a very light beige jacket, practically white. [...] There's no spatter on the right sleeve; only on the seam (on the backside) only. [...] James Pex did tests and studies on firing a weapon and what spatter you would expect to see on a person's sleeve who is holding the weapon." Weinberg puts up the photo of spots on a sleeve cuff from one of Pex's experiments. "There's 10-12 spots on the sleeve. [...] That's what you expect to find when you fire a weapon close range." A photo of the wool jacket is put up on the screen. "This is not the jacket of a person who fired a weapon."
6.) There is no GSR on Phil Spector's clothing: "There's no GSR on Spector's jacket. [...] If Phil Spector shot Lana Clarkson you would expect ot see some GSR on Spector's clothing. [...] From Dr. Herold's notes, 'there's no smokeless powder of obvious morphology.' But then she comes into court and she's got a photograph. [...] Even if she was right about that, with the person who owns guns, and put his jacket on the floor where there are guns (in the room), it means nothing.
7.) There is no foreign biological material on Phil Spector: " There was no foreign material found on Phil spector in his hair, or on his face. [...] There was no GSR. [...] The only foreign biological material on Phil spector was in fact Lana clarkson's DNA on his scrotum. [...] Steve Renteria told you that there was (percentages?) one in 96 thousand chance that it was someone other than Lana Clarkson. That was the only foreign DNA on Phil Spector.
8.) There is no evidence of a struggle: There was no disturbance of furniture. They looked at the carpet and there were deep indentations in the carpet showing the furniture had not been moved. The photos on the bureau was undisturbed. There was nothing knocked over except a statue and the police did that."
9.) Phil Spector's DNA is not under Lana Clarkson's fingernails: "There was no evidence of a struggle."
10.) Spatter on Lana Clarkson's hands: "There was spatter on her hands. It was seen at seen at the scene. [...] These are the only four photos of Lana Clarkson's hands. No others were directed to be taken." The photos up on the screen have circles around several areas of the hands. Weinber states those noted areas "appear to be spatter."
AJ: Objection! There are circles on these exhibits. There is no testimony that said this is spatter.
Fidler: The problem is, this is argument.
AJ: As long as the jury is aware that there is no testimony (that states that).
Fidler: If they wern't aware of it, they are now.
Weinberg continues. "Each of our defense experts had a different way to hold the gun in their analysis. That tells you that they didn't rehearse."
11.) Directional spatter on Lana Clarkson's left hand.
12.) Presence of GSR on both of Lana Clarkson's hands: "There's copious amounts. The people who did the tests did not document where it came from (specifically) on her hands. But we know that both hands were close to her mouth. [...] Phil Spector had essentially no GSR on his clothing. [...] But yet, by the prosecution's (demonstration), both people had to have GSR on them (since) their hands were in the same vicinity. [...] The prosecution suggested that maybe he washed his hands but ther'es no way to wash GSR out of fabric. [...] He as handcuffed, taken to the police stations and no one noticed that the sleeve was wet (if it was)?"
13.) Trajectory placed the tooth fragments: "Those fragments flew ten to fifteen feet. They were projected out (wards) a great deal. [...] One fell on her lap. The prosecution contends it hit Phil Spector. [...] It could have hit her lip and just fallen down."
14.) The broken acrylic thumbnail: "There's no evidence that there was a struggle. [...] Detective Lillienfeld agrees that if could have broken off in pulling the trigger. 'I think so,' he replied to my question about that."
Weinberg then reviews in general the 14 points. "Fourteen pieces of forensic evidence all point in the same direction. Weinberg then moves onto other physical evidence that was collected at the house. He states it was all left out, for LE to find and collect. It wasn't hidden or destroyed. "Phil Spector's DNA shows up on the brandy sniffers, the eyelashes and on her hands. Not on the bruises, like Ms. Do suggested, but on her hands. [...] Phil Spector's DNA is found on everything except the gun and the bullets."
The afternoon recess is called. Before everyone leaves, Fidler tells the counsel that he would like to see them briefly at the bench.
Back on the 9th floor, waiting for the afternoon session to begin the regular group sees that even more people have shown up to support Spector. More people who claim they are "family." Dan Kessell is here. While I was waiting by the door, Spector was standing not more than two feet from me and I saw him hug several new people that arrived to show their support. I heard Spector say to an older looking man, red-faced man with thinning hair, "That was a great opening!"
When I get inside the courtroom for the afternoon session, I'm in the second row and sitting to my left is a black man in a Laker's jersey that Allan Parachini is addressing as "Judge." I ask him his name and he tells me he is Judge Kelvin Filer, who is a judge serving in Compton. He came to the closings in the hopes of seeing Jackson give his closing argument. When Jackson sees him he comes over and gives him a big hug. Judge Filer, who at one time was a defense attorney says that he remembers when Jackson was first trying cases. This was either when he was opposite Jackson in the courtroom, or when Jackson was first starting out and presenting cases in his courtroom. It's taking some time to get the afternoon session started. The PIO is still trying to seat more of the people who are Spector's long lost relatives. As I look around the room I see that Aphrodite Jones is putting on makeup again. Court finally gets started around 1:41 pm.
Weinberg now goes into a presentation of all the prosecution's misrepresentations (of the facts of the case) and there are quite a few that he reviews with the jury.
More to come..
I've still got about 34 more pages of notes to transcribe for this day, but it's midnight and I have to make a decision. As much as I'd like to get the rest of these notes up, I've only had less than six hours of sleep for the last two days. I have to get some rest. This summation I will have to try to update, when I'm on jury watch.
Everyone should also know that Mr. Weinberg is far from finished with his closing argument. In his binder, it appears he has a stack of at least 40 or maybe 50 pages of hand written notes. I tried to count today the number of pages he has turned in his stack to see how far along he was and I only counted something like fifteen or sixteen pages. So be prepared. If I am right and Weinberg has that many pages of hand written notes still to go through, we may not get to Jackson's rebuttal closing tomorrow. Understand that Weinberg mostly spent the rest of the day going over the physical evidence. He had not addressed the 1101(b) witnesses in full and only touched a tiny bit on De Souza's testimony as the last few statements of the day. It's my opinion that he has much more to still present to the jury.