March 9th, 2009 (unedited, draft entry)
Prosecution Rebuttal Witnesses: (out of order to accommodate the witness's schedule)
#34 Lisa Bloom (licensed attorney, TruTV's In Sessions anchor and analyst for CBS Morning News; testimony complete)
# 16 Dr. Richard Seiden, Ph. D. (psychologist and suicidologist; testimony complete)
#17 Dr. Mary Goldenson (psychologist Lana Clarkson called; testimony complete)
Accredited Press inside the courtroom: One possible individual, unidentified
Sometimes the things that go on out in the hallway or gallery or argued inside the well without the jury present are more interesting than testimony. There were moments today where that was certainly the case.
When I arrived on the ninth floor, I see Lisa Bloom in the hallway chatting with Tom Messerau. She's wearing an all red, short sleeve dress that's cinched at the waist. It has ruffles around the v-neck collar in front. I was surprised to see her in the hallway sitting on a bench by herself. I thought she would be upstairs with the prosecution team. (TMZ has a short clip where they interviewed her outside the rear entrance of the Criminal Court building.)
I introduce myself to her, tell her I know Beth Karas and am covering the case for my blog. I told her that there was a lot of speculation on whether or not she would testify. I ask her if she can talk about her leaving In Sessions. She replies "Sure." She tells me that they wanted to renew her contract for a 9th year but she decided not to. She's leaving in June of this year to move back to Southern California. She's currently in a long distance relationship for the last year and a half. I acknowledge that can be hard. Lisa also mentioned that her daughter is going off to college soon so she will be "free." She will still have her role as an analyst for CBS news that will be expanding and she has "other projects in the fire." Lisa asked me how many days is it into the trial. I was at a momentary loss as to what day of trial it was and told her she needed to ask Jackson. (I was stumped because I completely forgot what day we were on and because I know that my day counting is not exactly right. I started from testimony and not from the first day of trial.)
Right after that Jackson and Truc Do approach with their rolling cart. I tell Alan that I didn't ask her any questions about the case and they head into the courtroom. I stay outside in the hallway to call donchais and give her and update.
9:28 am: As soon as I got inside the courtroom I was informed that shortly before my arrival, the court clerk, Wendy, informed counsel that Harvey with the white hair called the court this morning wanting to know the status of the case. Mr. Weinberg asked her, "Why was he calling?" Weindy replied, "Because his photo was up on the screen." I was told that afterwards, Mr. Weinberg smiled, put his hand to his forehead and shook his head.
You have to wonder why Harvey was inquiring about the status of the case? Why didn't he come on down to the court the last few days to sit and ask Spector himself? Could Harvey be worried about something?
There's a bit of a bustle in the well. The defense team seem to be real taken with Lisa Bloom being here and they are all getting introduced to her. Rachelle, Mommy and Tawni Tyndall are in the first row. No other supporters have shown up for the morning session. Josh and Lisa chat about the dismal job situation for attorneys. I overhear Lisa tell Josh that an attorney she knows posted a job that pays nothing! Nothing! He got 25 applications. People would rather be working so they can gain the experience. Cindy puts what looks like another day's transcript on Judge Fidler's desk. As I'm looking as the desk, there appear to be three tall piles of each days transcript. Diane gives Truc and Weinberg a copy of yesterday's transcript also.
It's 9:44 am, and people in the gallery are chatting. There is a new person in the gallery carrying a book that waves to Susan, Weinberg's paralegal. Interesting. He doesn't sit on the defense side of the room. 9:47 am Wendy calls the jury. Spector standing, stares at Lisa Bloom in the front row. At 9:50 am we hear Fidler's footsteps on the terrazzo floor. Juror #1 waves to the bailiff Kyles, who asks if anyone needs notebooks.
Jackson asks the court to take a witness out of order to accommodate the witness's schedule. Jackson calls Lisa Bloom to the stand.
Lisa Bloom states she is currently an anchor woman for TruTV, formerly known as Court TV (she often still calls it Court TV) In Sessions. She has her own show, Lisa Bloom: Open Court. She is also a legal analyst for CBS Morning News. Before that, she was a practicing attorney at her mother's law firm of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg. Before that she was an attorney for the law firm of Robinson & Silverman.
Bloom started at Court TV in June of 2001. It's now TruTV. It's the same network, same channel just a different name. Her show was originally with Vinnie Politan but now it's just her. Her show is called Lisa Bloom, Open Court.
AJ: In 2007, did CourtTV run coverage of the first trial.
LB: Yes they did. Gavel to gavel coverage. [...] In 2007 CourtTV was covering it extensively.
Juror #9 from the first trial comes in and sits behind me in the third row.
Bloom testifies that she often has guests on her show that are related in some way to the cases her station covers.
AJ: Do you know Greg Sims?
LB: Yes. We've been friends since the early 90's. We were neighbors when I lived in an apartment building in Pacific Palisades. We were friends before I moved to New York.
AJ: When did you become aware of Lana Clarkson's death?
AJ: Back in 2003, were you covering this story? (Did you learn of it from being in the news industry?)
LB: (I would say I'm more (aware of) crime sews than regular citizens.
AJ: When did you first talk to Greg Sims about Lana Clarkson's death?
LB: Shortly after the shooting.
AJ: Were you speaking to him as a newswoman or more as a friend?
LB: As a friend. [...] He said, "Oh my God! I knew Lana Clarkson and I soke to her in the week before she died. " He said he had a party at his suite at the St. Regis. He said she was weepy and said. That she talked for a long time and after they talked she felt better. [...] He said that she was like about 90% of actresses in Hollywood that got drunk. She was down and upset but by the end of the night she was feeling better. [...] I asked him at the time, "Was she suicidal?" And he said, "Absolutely not."
AJ: Did (he say) she ever say anything to him to (suggest she was going to kill herself)?
LB: I asked him that and he said, "Absolutely not."
AJ: Did you say anything at that time, "Oh you have to do an interview?"
LB: We were mostly just talking about it. [...] He was upset that anyone would make any suggestion that she would kill herself.
AJ: At what point did you ask him to be on your show.
LB: I contacted him and wanted him to come on my show and he agreed.
AJ: It was during that trial (the first trial) that you had him on as witness?
LB: Well, we call them guests.
Laughter in the jury box and a bit in the courtroom.
AJ: When you have a guest on, do you do any pre interviews or do you just have them come on?
LB: Yes we do pre interviews of our guests.
Bloom did a pre-interview with him right before the show. The taping of his appearance happened in her studio in New York. She's certain it was during a time that he was in New York because she knows her network would not have paid to fly him out to New York.
LB: I went over the story with him. I wanted to be accurate. He told me the same story. [...] He stated that at the end of the conversation she felt better, as friends do...
AJ: What else did he say?
LB: At the time the trial was under way, and one of the defense theories was suicide. He said, "Absolutely not. She would never kill herself."
The segment of the CourtTV show that Greg Sims was on is played for the court again.
AJ: Is that a portion of your interview with Mr. Sims?
Is that consistent with what he had previously told you in the pre-interview?
Is that consistent with the conversation you had in 2003?
AJ: Is your show a tabloid show?
LB: Absolutely not. [...] We don't do three or five minute sound bites covering a trial. It's a gavel to gavel show on trial coverage. [...] I take my job and my credibility very seriously. I would never have anyone on that would say something untrue and when I've found someone lying on my show, I cal them on it.
AJ: Was Greg Sims compensated for his appearance on your show?
LB: No one is.
AJ: Is there anything inconsistent with what you've seen on this video?
LB: Nothing inconsistent.
That's pretty much it for direct examination and Weinberg gets up to cross Lisa Bloom.
DW: I take it you came here from New York?
DW: Did you come her voluntarily?
LB: I was subpoenaed.
DW: You're not being ordered by another court? [...] You simply received a subpoena and agreed to come?
LB: No. It wasn't that simple.
Lisa Bloom explains that there were discussions back and forth between the attorneys representing her network. Weinberg also makes a point that Bloom does not remember the specific dates that she was first contacted by Mr. Jackson. She knows it was recent, the prior week. She can't remember the specific date that Sims was on her show or when he testified in the first trial or when the first trial started.
DW: Who did you talk to?
LB: Mr. Jackson. Then I had to talk to the attorneys at the station.
DW: What did he (Jackson) tell you?
Bloom doesn't remember exactly but basically that Greg Sims changed his testimony.
DW: So you don't know what Mr. Jackson said?
LB: I can tell you the essence but I can't tell you the exact words. He was telling me....
DW: You had a conversation with your friend. (Do you remember when that was?)
LB: Yes. I dcan't give you the exact date.
DW: In 2007 when you were covering Spector trial number 1, were you thinking about this? [...] Did you express negative opinions about Mr. Spector? [...] Did you call him a "nebbish little Jewish guy?"
LB: (Lisa laughs.) I may have. Do you know I'm Jewish?
DW: Yes, I know.
LB: That's not necessarily a negative statement. I call my boyfriend a nebbish little Jewish guy.
The courtroom laughs at her comment.
Weinberg accused her of being biased and forming an opinion about Spector's guilt. Lisa Bloom states that she watched all the testimony from the first trial and after seeing all the evidence, she felt the prosecution proved it's case. At one point, he confronts her that her co-host at that time, Vinnie Politan took the opposite viewpoint as her. Lisa Bloom points out that her former co-host used to be a prosecutor. He often would take the opposite side to make the show more interesting. I believe it's at this point that Lisa Bloom admits that yes, there is an "entertainment" aspect to her show.
Weinberg reads Sim's testimony from this trial for her to consider. He reads where Sims hems and haws and says he believes that there could have been an accident.
DW: Would you say that sounds like he said she was suicidal?
DW: You went to his wedding?
LB: Yes. [...] I was one of his bridesmaids got sick so I was asked to fill in. And I put on a ridiculous dress and I did it.
Weinberg now plays an audio clip where she talked about Greg Sims on her show. She talks about how he's an honest guy and that he has parties at his St. Regis suite as part of his networking for business. She describes the suite and that she had been there on an occasion (or two?). (I think on the clip of her show she mentioned that he was a father and had two kids. That comes to my mind as I write this.)
LB: I agree with everything she said.
DW: What you said was "What you see is what you get?" (About Mr. Sims.)
Weinberg plays another video excerpt from her show and confronts her that what he said on the show was "very depressed" and not "weepy and sad" as she described.
DW: You said what he said (in his testimony at trial #1) was consistent (with what he had told you)?
Weinberg is now trying to make her out to be a tabloid journalist. She insists that the "tenor" of the conversation was consistent. Weinberg now reads other sections of Sim's testimony to her from the first trial.
LB: I don't remember any of the specific testimony from the first trial.
Weinberg goes over statement after statement of Sim's testimony and each time Bloom responds that she doesn't remember any of the specific testimony from the first trial.
That's about it for cross and Jackson steps back up to redirect.
Jackson gets it clarified that his office served a subpoena in Atlanta at her network's headquarters. Bloom agrees that there were several discussions back and forth between the prosecution and her networks attorneys before they accepted the subpoena. It was either in direct, or in redirect here, where Jackson asks her how many cases she's covered on her network as well as gets it stipulated to the date that Sims appeared on her show.
AJ: If someone in a murder case, not this case, any case, say a rapist or murder made a confession, is that something that sticks out in your mind?
AJ: A confession would be very important, correct? [...] And conversely, if someone had made a confession that she said she was going to kill herself?
LB: Yes. That would be something that would stick out in my mind. [...] I would have had him on my show sooner.
Jackson then presents Bloom with other testimony by Sims in the second trial.
LB: If he had ever told me that Lana said she never had a reason to live, that would have stuck out in my mind, and he never said that to me.
Jackson presents to Bloom another statement from this trial by Sims, where he said, "She didn't have a reason to live."
LB: That's inconsistent with what he told me.
That's the end of redirect and Weinberg on recross, tries to get Bloom to comment on Lana Clarkson's letters (emails?). The prosecution objects and the objection is sustained. Weinberg asks her about her first conversation with Mr. Jackson. Bloom states that it was the week prior. She states that the conversation was only a two to three minute conversation.
There is a last redirect of this witness. Jackson asks her, "Last Friday was the first time we fleshed out your testimony?" Bloom agrees that's correct. And that's it for this witness. I have to say that Lisa Bloom smiled a lot on the stand and appeared very relaxed and personable, even under cross. She was very careful about what she said and at one point, was careful not to "put words" into Mr. Sim's mouth. She stated that as a journalist, she's careful about when she puts "quotes" around statements. She would only state that the "tenor" of the conversation was the same. I think she did well on direct and cross.
It's 10:42 am, and a break is called. Allan Parachini is in the back of the courtroom. The jury has gone back into the jury room and counsel are going over some issues with the court.
Fidler: (Addressing Jackson and Truc) You were going to prepare a transcript and what questions Ms. Do can ask?
Truc Do informs the court she may be rethinking her questions of Dr. Seiden. "We sent the tape to the transcription unit and even with a rush, the tape would take a week. [...] I've reviewed the tape. I'm not going to go into the area that (we previously discussed).
Weinberg now addresses the court. He feels there is a discovery violation via Lisa Bloom's testimony. "No one's talked to her? How did you (Jackson) ask such specific information (of Greg Sims)? [...] Her answers don't solve the mystery. [...] There was a conversation...."
AJ: When I had asked the questions of Mr. Sims, I had never spoken to Ms. Bloom before my conversation with Greg Sims.
Weinberg goes onto argue that there were specifically more questions to Greg Sims. One of the questions he brings us is a statement Jackson made as part of a question. I remember Jackson saying this. 'When Lisa walked you down to the street...' [...] That's not a question you ask. [...] That's something you just asked (without a prior conversation)? (If I'm remembering correctly, I believe Weinberg accuses the prosecution of lying, but I'm not positive.)
Jackson insists he had never spoken to Ms. Bloom before. He denies lying to the court. He states he based his questions to Mr. Sims on "what he knows" about how those shows are conducted and from information he's received from other sources.
Fidler mentions again the breakdown in communication between the two counsels. "It's clear that you can't stand each other. [...] I don't see any discovery violation. [...] Irregardless Mr. Weinberg, I saw your cross. You were not prejudiced in any way."
At this point the rest of the court room gets to take a break and the court reporters change. I see Spector get up from the defense table and go over to Rachelle and Mommy to speak to them in the first row. Spector says something to Mommy and Rachelle that several other people in the courtroom overhear. Three other trial watchers told me what they heard Spector say to Mommy and Rachelle after Lisa Bloom left the stand. It was a similar statement to what we've heard Spector say about women before. I will say that the word "bitch" was used.
After they overheard what Spector said, they discussed what they overheard amongst themselves. After that, they also observed Mommy staring at them and discretely pointing at them while she's talking to Spector. I observed her pointing at me and talking to Tawni Tyndall. Afterwards, (I'm assuming Mommy was probably trying to get Spector to be quiet) he was observed going over to Weinberg's paralegal, Susan and animatedly pointing at the gallery. If you're going to make demeaning statements about women Phil, it's probably not a good idea to do it where other people can hear you.
11:09 am, Fidler takes the bench. Weinberg tells the court they have another brief witness out of order. Dr. Mary Goldenson. Dr. Goldenson is a clinical psychologist with a doctorate in psychology. She testifies she, "Works with individuals and families going through crisis. [...] I do full spectrum counseling from the light to serious." She states she has been practicing 37 years.
Weinberg presents an email that Lana wrote to her.
DW: Do you know Lana Clarkson?
Dr. G: Yes. I recrived a call. She was recommended from one of her friends. [...] She called and said she really wanted to see me, but it was mostly about her insurance. She was working with SAG to work it out so she could see me."
DW: Did she ever come in?
Dr. G: No, she never did.
There is a quick side bar and then it's to cross examination.
Jackson brings up the original email that Lana wrote her. The date is corrupted. It's 1904 which is obviously incorrect. Then Jackson presents another email, a response Lana got back from Jennifer Sykes about calling Dr. Goldenson. That email is dated in March, 2002. Dr. Goldenson could not remember if that refreshed her memory as to when the phone call was received from Lana Clarkson.
Jackson asks her about the other things she does besides individual and family counseling. Dr. Goldenson states that she also does something she calls "Self Introspection" work, "Interpersonal Therapy" work and "Psycho-dynamic Therapy." In general, career and personal development work and helping people improve their personal dialog or speaking skills.
On redirect, Weinberg asks her if she knows Jennifer Sykes. If I'm recalling correctly, I don't believe she did. At the last trial, she was asked if she received the phone call in December oof 2oo2 or possibly early January of 2003. Dr. Goldenson thinks that she probably had a better memory back then, and that probably was correct.
In recross, Jackson presents her with the fact that Mr. Rosen supplied her with a date and she agreed, and that possibly that might not have been correct and the date of the email might be a more accurate time frame of when she received the call. She thinks that she was probably correct in her prior testimony (of the December date) but also adds, "It was vague then and it's vague now." The jury laughs at that. And that's it for Dr. Goldenson.
It's 11:30 am and Dr. Seiden is back on the stand under cross examination by Truc Do.
Truc Do starts off by touching briefly on the issue of the five boxes of emails, the 12,017 pages of emails. "Were you aware that those emails were from approximately the last two years of her life?
Dr. S: I know there was a CD.
TD: Were you aware that they represented the last two years of Lana Clarkson's life.
Dr. S: I wasn't aware of the time (frame).
TD: You stated you could not rule out suicide?
Dr. S: Right.
TD: You todl the jury based on the psychological review of the case?
Dr. S: Yes. It was bassed on the documents sent to me.
TD: Your opinion is based solely as to what you call psychological factors?
Dr. S: yes.
TD: Because you state that that (you're) not qualified (to evaluate the physical evidence), you wouldn't take into (consideration) other factors? [...] So your opinion does not take into count the physical evidence and witness statements at the scene?
Dr. S: that's correct. That's my training and expertise (the psychological aspects).
TD: Given the limits of your opinion, let's assume, what if I told you there was a video. So if I told you there was a video or the scene, you would still tell the jury...
Dr. Seiden interrupts Ms. Do.
Dr. S: What video tape? What are you trying to get me to say?
TD: I'm just trying to show you the limitations of your opinion.
Dr. S: Would i still say [...] (if ) I saw a video? [...] So if I saw a video that clearly showed she didn't commit sucicide, yes, I would change my opinion.
Weinberg makes an objection and counsel approach the bench.
TD: So then your opinion could be based on non-psychological factors? [...] Dr. Seiden, in my question in askiny you about a hypothetical, you would consider that, even thou it's not psychological factors? [...] So then you would (consider) ....
Dr. Seiden interrupts Truc Do.
Dr. S: That's not what I was, I was asked to do.
TD: Who told you that information was the only information that was done by our office? (The letter from Doug Sortino that had the 30 interviews and the 30 emails.)
Dr. S: Well, I relied on what the District Attorney sent Dr. Lakshmanan.
TD: did you get the entire medical records or just certain documents that Mr. Weinberg picke out.
Dr. S: I don't know.
TD: Is there any other basis to your opinion other than psychological factors?
Dr. S: What do you mean?
TD: Did you consider any other factors?
Dr. S: No.
TD: Are you certain about that? [...] Do you recall we asked you (in that meeting on February 6th).... [...] Do you recall that you told us on that date that it was an intra-oral gunshot wound. That in your experience, and you thought that was an anomaly? [...] In your experience, you did consider non-psychological facts.
Dr. S: But I didn't give it that much weight.
TD: So you did tell us about a non-psychological factor (that you considered)?
Dr. S: yes.
TD: Did you have any strategy meeting with Mr. Weinberg, since you certainly did consider other non-psychological factors?
Dr. S: I had never seen anything like this case before.
TD: In act, you told us about the article by Dr. Hawley, the article that references three intra-oral homicides, that you brought to Mr. Weinberg's attention?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: So it made no difference t you what the other non-psychological evidence was?
Dr. S: I wasn't asked to consider it. I have no background in criminialistics.
TD: so I asked you if you considered the fact that Lana Clarkson was killed with Mr. Spector's gun?
DW: Objection! Under 352, he said he didn't consider (it)!
It's 11:48 am and this is a long sidebar. Rachelle's eyes are closed. Jackson comes back to the podium and whispers in Truc's ear.
TD: You did not consider any physical evidence at the scene?
Dr. S: No.
TD: You didn't consider any manipulated evidence at the scene?
Dr. S: (No.)
TD: You didn't consider anything that a witness said at the scene?
Dr. S: No.
TD: So you are aware of a witness, Adriano De Souza said he saw blood, a gun in Mr. Spector's hand and (that Mr. Spector confessed)?
Dr. S: It didn't factor into what I was asked to do.
TD: You did say that you considered the factor of alcohol on Lana Clarkson?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: Specifically, alcohol will hisinhibit the cerebral cortex?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: And that includes impulsive rage?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: And that includes impulsive anger?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: And that includes impulsive violence?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: In fact, you have written articles on alcohol and impulsive violence?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: I've noticed that you've also written substantially on alcohol and violence.
Truc reads severa titles to articles he's written.
TD: So, not just limited to impulsive suicide, but also impulsive violence that (leads) to homicide?
Dr. S: (Yes.)
TD: (Have you not written that) suicide may be a different means of expressing aggression? [...] (That) homicides and are expressions of violence?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: And that suicide is violence turnd on ones' self?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: And homicide is violence turned on another person?
Dr. S: Correct.
TD: If there was a history of Lana Clarkson harming herself, a history of Lana Clarkson turning a gun on herself, it would certainly strengthen you opinion?
I don't have Dr. Seiden's answer in my notes but I believe he agrees with this.
TD: And you know there are not threats or physical harm against herself (in her writings)?
Dr. S: Well, there are some "coded" threats.
TD: You are aware of no evidence of Lana Clarkson harming herself or had harmed herself (in the past)?
Dr. S: Correct.
TD: But you would consider a history or behavior of ideation of harming others? [...] There is (such a thing as) impulsive homicide? [...] You've written about that, correct?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: You also....
Dr. Seiden interrupts Truc Do to say that he is willing to "recant about the DMV opinion, but there's so much other evidence."
TD: What other evidence of impulsive behavior?
Dr. S: I don't know... that other people brought up that she was demanding and impulsive. John Barrons....
TD: So you're saying that any kind of impulsive behavior indicates a risk of suicide? [...] Isn't it mostly impulsive agression and not any impulsive (behavior)?
Judge Fidler interrupts that we've reached the noon recess.
It's right after the lunch break is called that several people approached me to tell me about what they overheard Spector say at the morning break.
At 1:28 pm, Jackson and Truc Do arrive with their cart. I note that there are not any Spector supporters in court for the afternoon session yet. Spector leaves the defense table and goes to speak to his bodyguard standing in the ante chamber of the entrance to 106. Spector finds something funny because Spector is smiling as he walks away from the bodyguard.
Wendy, Fidler's clerk is asking Weinberg if we are doing Friday this week. Weinberg says that Mrs. Spector can't do Friday. I believe Wendy also states that a juror has appointment on Friday that "they didn't want to miss." So it looks like we will not be having testimony on this Friday, either.
1:38 pm, we're waiting to hear Fidler's footsteps and there they are, one minute later.
TD: We were last talking about impulsivity and your input on regards to suicide.
Dr. S: Correct.
TD: There is such a thing as impulsive homicide?
Dr. S: Correct.
TD: Are you aware that there is such a things as Impulsive Disorder? That there is such a term?
Dr. S: I'm not familiar with it.
Truc Do brings up the DSM on this disorder and what it has to say about impulsive control disorder. Truc brings up the fact that the essential feature of this disorder is the failure to control (impulses)... (I'm not positive, but I believe Dr. Seiden interrupts Ms. Do again when he answers.)
Dr. S: I don't get what you are saying. I never said she had....
TD: I'm not saying you did. Does the DSM say that?
Dr. S: Yes.
Truc goes over the different categories of Impulsive Control Disorder.
TD: Would you read this on the screen?
Dr. S: ICD is a failure to resist impulse, drive, or temptation, to perform a harmful act to self or others. (Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) Explosive; Kleptomania; Setting Fires; Gambling; Trichotillomania (pulling out hair). When the last term is explained Fidler smiles, and Truc Do says, "I wasn't going to go there." There's a bit of laughter in the courtroom.
Dr. S: I never said she had....
TD: Dr. Seiden, I never suggested you did.
Truc puts up another quote from the DSM regarding, I think, "Intermittent Explosive Disorder."
"...failure to resist aggressive impulses resulting in serious assaults..."
TD: This particular disorder is also defined as not being porportional to the (specific) stimuli?
Dr. S: Yes. As not as porportional.
TD: Would you also agree that Intermittent Explosive Disroder would be significant factor in impulsive homicides?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: In your opinion, that you cannot rule out (homicide), you would also consider the destructive behavior of someone, a subject to other human beings?
Dr. S: I wasn't asked. [...] But I've not said that. What is your question?
TD: My question is, you cannot rule out homicide. Would you also consider that subjects history in explosive behavior?
DW: Objection! Approach!
Dr. S: I've never said she had this! I wasn't asked.
TD: Dr. Seiden, we're not limited t owhat you've been asked to review. Please just focus on my question. [...] In your opinion, that you can not rule out [...] that subjects destructive behavior...
Dr. Seiden interrupts again.
Dr. S: To what end?
TD: Please just answer the question. If hypothetically, Lana Clarkson said on seven different occasions [...] that would certainly.... [...] Now this is the flip side. That suicide is simply agression turned on it's side (I think she means inward, but she said side.)?
Dr. S: Correct.
TD: It's your opinion that you can't rule out homicide?
Fidler: Overruled! It's an opinion. He can be crossed on it.
TD: That you cannot rule out homicide? [...] In that opinion, would you consider that suspects... [...] I'll be specific. There's only two people I'm talking about. The other half of the equasion.
Fidler: In any event, the bottom line is...
Weinberg tells Fidler he wants to make a longer argument. Fidler agrees and the jury is asked to step out. What then transpires is one of the longest sidebars in the case. And Weinberg, during the entire time, argued and argued and argued with Fidler.
DW: This is a complete peversion of cross examinaton and transparently so! This is character evidence issue! He was asked to look at records, to look at the psychological state of that person and reeach an opinion. All he said is he can't rull out homicide. He didn't rule it out because he hasn't studied anything! [...] To use that as an excuse to bring out (aspects) on Mr. Spector, (character evidence)... It's 352 and it's irrelevant! [...] The other thing is, it's pure character evidence! [...] The envelope gets pushed a little further. [...] You're now allowing the prosecution to present character evidence [...] and now, after having mis-characterized the evidence! It's just an artifical way to get around what you told them they couldn't say! [...] It's completely artificial mechanism to tell the jury he shot Ms. Clarkson! This is beyond silly! It's unfair, prejudicial and contrary to the rulings of what you determined as scope! It is a violation of California Evidence Code 1101 & 809!
TD: In the interview, (we conducted with him) he knew the facts. He knew the statement of the witness and he had an opinion. He told us he could not rule out homicide. [...] He testified that he is an expert on factors of impulsive suicide. [...] This is the same as Dr. Pena. It doesn't exclude us from crossing him on this issue.
DW: You can't just do it because you want to prove something! [...] He never rendered an opinion s to whether this is a homicide! contrary to Dr. Pena who wrote an opinion! [...] No one has suggested that the psychological profile proves homicide!
Weinberg continues to argue and and argue and I have to stop writing. I just can't write anymore of this.
Fidler: When you say that you can't rule that out, that's an opinion! He has an expertise and he's written on that. [...] But his opinion can be tested! [...] The bottom line is, when he said he can't rule it out... [...] Mr. Weinberg! You can look at me incredulously; I'm trying to give yo my ruling!
Weinberg says something that now really sets Fidler off, but I miss getting it written down. I think it's something, implying that the court has not done something. Fidler raises his voice at Weinberg.
Fidler: THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME (that you have insinuated).... [...] Mr. Jackson specifically uses the Kelly case that uses the term "Pattern."! It's one of the exceptions under 1101(b)!! [...] Souch as, not limited to... is "Pattern!" [...] So, I'm going to let the people... [...] Now they've gone into another place and have gone into his writings. [...] He's admitted that he did consider other things in this case. I'll listen to the tape right now.
Weinberg asks to talk to his witness.
Jackson asks the court, "Is this a case where we can all talk to the witness?" The court agrees and AJ leaves the courtroom after Weinberg. The gallery whispers. Susan leaves the gallery and goes out to Weinberg. When both counsel return we are back on the record.
DW: Before we get this highly prejudicial questions before the jury I'd like to have a 402 hearing to find the purpose of these questions. The prosecution can't ask if homicide can't be excluded because Mr. Spector committed an act of violence twenty-five years ago [...] or a confession! [...] They're trying to say, "Here's something else you may have committed!"
Fidler: If you think the people [...]If you're saying it's not an opinion, then what's his purpose for being here?
Weinberg continues to argue that the prosecution is trying to prevent his witness from rendering an opinion on the things he considered to not being able to exclude homicide.
Fidler: Those acts have already been put before the jury. They are legitimately offering to challenge the opinion.
TD: This entire line of questioning goes to the bias of the witness. If he's an unbiased witness then he can certainly render an opinion. He can testify that the destructive behavior of Lana Clarkson equals not ruling out suicide, because he is being paid to say this. Can we ask whether other evidence in this case would influence his opinion?
Fidler: I want you to expand on that bias.
Back and forth. Back and forth it goes. (I have a note here at this point in the proceedings. At one point jackson is speaking and Weinberg tried to interrupt Jackson. Jackson stopped, angered and said loudly, "Excuse me!!" Truc Do gently touched his arm to try to calm him down.)
Weinberg still argues that the prosecution is trying to get in character evidence of Mr. Spector.
Fidler: I'm sorry but Mr. Jackson said they can cross him to go to whether, if he knows this fact or that (fact). [...] He can be given the criteria that the jury has already heard.
DW: I think we should have a formal offer of proof. [...] Mr. Jackson keeps saying "all the facts of this case." It's absolutely unpresceidented and prejudicial!
Weinberg is still arguing and I just note the time, 2:33 pm because I can't write anymore. But then I pick up my pen again. Weinber keeps saying, "He only rendered an opinion aobut her mental state." He's like an energizer bunny. He keeps going and going and going.
Fidler looks quite tired with this back and forth. In all the trials I've watched on TV and live streaming, I've never seen anything like this.
DW: The prosecution is trying to get the witness to comment on other evidence! How can this be legitimate?
Do: I want to show the jury that the witness cannot answer my questions. He has been fighting and resisting the entire cross examination.
Judge Fidler: Prosecution may ask witness a hypothetical dealing with history of Mr. Spector has influenced his conclusions. This will help the jury determine the witnesses' competence, bias, or incompetence. I have ruled.
When Rachelle and Mommy come back into the courtroom, they have a large back of some type of snack food. They take several pieces out of the bag before Rachelle puts it under her seat near her bag.
Truc is back at the podium and Weinberg approaches the podium and places a bottle of water on the shelf inside. Truc asks, "Is that for me?" Weinberg doesn't answer her.
2:57 pm the jury is back in the courtroom and a minute later we hear Judge Fidler's footsteps.
TD: Dr. Seiden, let's take a step back. You know in this case ther were two people in the (house)?
Dr. S: Yes. Ms. Clarkson and Mr. Spector.
TD: The only thnkg you can rule is natural death?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: You told the jury you looked through (the packet that Mr. Weinberg sent to you)?
Dr. S: I looked through the same stuff the District Attorney....
TD: You also used the factor of impulsive....
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: You also used the factor of a readily available weapon?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: You've also written that in your professional opinion, suicide and homicide are just opposite sides of the coin?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: You said that if you knew of ( any self destructive behavior)... you said that you would (consider the) past if there was a history of violent impulses of Lana Clarkson?
Dr. S: I'm not familiar. I'm knowledgeable of the subject.
TD: Is there such a thing as impulsive homicide?
Dr. S: Yes, there is.
TD: All of those factors are evidenct in impulsive homicides?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: Now I'm ging back. I'll be specific. In your consultations with Mr. Weinberg, did he make you aware that Mr. Spector exhibited seven past violent incidents? That in 1977, Mr. Spector put a gun to the temple of Ms. Robatillie and told her that he would blow her fucking head off? [...] Did he tell you about a time in 1989 when Mr. Spector waived a gun all over someone's face and threatened to kill them?
Dr. S: He told me in general terms that there were incidents but not the specifics.
TD: If you want to rule out homicide, would you consider destructive behavior towards others?
Looking on over at the jury I see some roll their eyes.
Fidler rules that the last two questions and answers are to be stricken from the record.
TD: Would you consider prior incidents of Mr. Spector to exclude suicide? [...]
Dr. Seiden states he thinks he can't exclude it.
TD: Prior impulsive violence of Mr. Spector towards other human beings?
Dr. S: Yes
TD: In combination with a loaded gun?
Dr. S: Yes.
TD: Are you using the same factors to not rule out homicide? Such as, alcohol use of Mr. Spector?
Dr. S: Yes
TD: Does that strengthen your opinon that you can't rule out homicide?
Dr. S: You asked me this before. That and..
TD: So to be fair, and to be objective, (if) there was that evidence, wouldn't it....
Dr. S: I've never made an opinion on whether its homicide.
TD: Let's go back to the video tape. [...] You are aware that Mr. De Souza said...
Fidler orders counsel back to the bench.
TD: What we're hearing from you, is that Mr. Spector's history of violence would not make a difference one way or another.
Dr. S: I said I've never been asked to make that opinion.
TD: Have you ever expressed an opinion of all those factors....
Dr. S: I don't remember could you refresh my memory?
Truc Do now quotes from one of his articles titled, "Gun deaths, biting the Bullet on the (I miss getting the rest of the article's title.) "Homicide attempts most frequently result from temporary, accute, emotional outbursts that are usually catalyst by the effects of alcohol consumption. Having a loaded gun around the house during such a powder keg scenario increases the odds that simple assaults will go beyond black eyes and broken jaws and cause far more serious injuries and even death."
Dr. S: Not based on what I reviewed.
TD: So that nothing I've given you, even the facts of Mr. Spector's statement and confessing makes you change your opinion that it could rule out suicide.
Dr. S: No.
Weinberg gets up to redirect his witness. He has Dr. Seiden go back over what he has testified to before about Lana Clarkson and her state of mind.
DW: It suggests to you does it not an impulsive act?
Dr. S: Correct.
Weinberg reads the Schapiro email once again.
DW: Could it be conceived that she never considered suicide ideation?
Dr. S: No. (These remarks could be considered suicide ideation.)
3:26 pm: Spector's number one fan enters 106. A few minutes later, Sandi Gibbons enters the courtroom.
Now Weinberg goes over a letter Lana wrote to Hugo Quackenbush. I don't believe I've ever seen this letter before. He starts to read parts of it but Truc objects and asks that the entire letter be read. It refers to the holiday season and it mentions the Brentwood Blonds play.
DW: Is there anything here that goes along with what we've been talking about?
Dr. S: The "cry for help" and "without you I' would not still be here."
Juror #5 smiles. Juror #8 looks at her hair. Juror #9 doesn't take a single note. Juror's #3 and #4 don't take any notes, as well as #10, #11, and #12.
Weinberg finishes is redirect at 3:54 pm. The jurors are told there will not be any more testimony until Thursday at 9:30 am when they are ordered back and Fidler leaves the bench.
I want to give a special acknowledgment to Sedonia Sunset, who has been editing my entries for me. I'm about two weeks behind now. I just have not had the time to go back and insert all her corrections. Thank you so much for your all your time and energy you put into editing my drafts.