Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Trial Notes, 5-23-07: Judge Fidler's Evidentiary Hearing: The missing evidence

A special thanks to Sherbie @ Court TV, for helping me with the actual transcription and edit of the Court TV Extra Coverage.

I have in my notes a partial quote by the Judge, (his role) "...safeguard the proceeding to ensure that nothing improper occurs." The judge cites several cases to support his ruling (for even holding the discovery hearing). At the point, Alan Jackson gets Sara Caplan kicked from the courtroom while he reads these rulings. This was all in relation to a last minute attempt by the defense, questioning the entire evidentiary proceeding to begin with. Judge Fidler, in response to that (reading the case law, where one prior ruling said, in conclusion for the court to "take action,") says, almost irritatedly to Mr. Plourd, "That's exactly what I'm doing (re, this proceeding). I'm taking action."

Sara Caplan took the stand again, and the defense asks her a few questions. Then Alan Jackson asks her I believe, one question.

The judge, not satisfied, asks Sara Caplan some questions.

J: Why are you changing your testimony?

J: Did you see Dr. Henry Lee pick something up and put it in a vial?

A: Yes.

The judge looks over her prior testimony and reads some of it back to her, and asks another question or two.

Then Alan Jackson gives his arguments to the court, going over the testimony that supports something was picked up, and never turned over to the prosecution. AJ, in questioning Dr. Lee's testimony says this great line, "Is Dr. Lee lying, or is he incompetent?"

Then Plourd gets up to argue the defense position.

"There were a number of criminalists at the crime scene. (snip) That piece definitely not there when those criminalists were there. (Referencing Sara Caplan: It was) Not her responsibility to observe or supervise Dr. Lee. There's no evidence she watched Dr. Lee's testimony on TV. (AJ said she probably did in his closing, which is why she was waffling on testimony today.) They've (prosecution) clearly lost something. There's no evidence that the defense lost anything. " Plourd keeps saying "Dr. Lee testified to..." Plourd's trying to say there's no clear evidence anything was lost by the defense. When Plourd sits down, Brunon stands up to speak. "From a legal point of view, the whole issue has been speculative. (snip) And, Mr. Jackson says, the case is damaged. We ask, In what way? Suppose Dr. Lee did pick something up and did lose it. Again, how does that specifically hurt their case?"

Dixon jumps up and says, "It goes right to the heart of this case!" (I don't have any notes as to what else he said after that.)

Nobody adds any more comments to the judge.

Then the judge says he's ready to rule.

Judge Fidler: "Lets review the facts, and let me tell you what I think the facts are. Famed situation from the movie Rashomon. Diamond said a tooth was found. (snip) Stan White said a fingernail. (snip) Sara Caplan saw an object. (snip) Dr. Lee testified he didn't find anything. He never had such an object."

This is now where, I believe the Court TV video coverage picks up.

Judge Fidler:
Dr. Lee testifies he never did that at all. Anything he gathered was placed in paper bindles. He didn't place any piece of evidence in a vial. The only thing he placed in a vial were the swabs that come in that vial that he used for presumptive testing, and he has testified very clearly he never had any such object. My duty, to the best that I can, is to resolve what the facts actually are because you have differing versions -- it's very clear. I wasn't there, you weren't there. What was done when people -- and they're not -- these versions, to me, are not reconcilable. It is not simply saying that everybody saw the same thing but they're describing it differently. That's very hard to do based on what's been presented to me.

So let me go through the witnesses and tell you what my conclusions are:

Mr. Diamond: In trying to judge his credibility, he's the person that interjected himself into this case to the degree that he was there at the scene. He was a research attorney or a law clerk -- he wasn't an attorney, because he's not an attorney -- he was serving as a law clerk. He comes forward some four years after the event and basically tries to tell the District Attorney, "There's something bothering me. I need to tell you things about the case you need to know."

The District Attorney does exactly the right thing because they realize what his position is, and he may be getting into privileged areas. They basically say, "Don't tell us, we don't want to be infected by this, if that's what you're doing. We'll set up an alternative procedure," which they do. They have the court appoint a Special Master which is the appropriate -- in my mind -- way to do it to protect privilege.

The Special Master makes an inquiry and quickly realizes that, despite his solemn obligation -- and those of us who all do criminal law and have for -- I couldn't add up the number of years between all of us sitting here in the courtroom because it would go into the hundreds -- realize that if you're going to practice criminal law, you may hear things or see things that you don't like; but when you represent a criminal defendant, there are privileges that attach to that, and you don't talk about it to anyone outside the immediate -- if you will -- "family," the defense team. And if Mr. Diamond is not happy with what is required of a criminal attorney or those working for a criminal attorney, then his choice is to not practice in that area of the law.

Privileges exist for a sound reason, because we want people -- whether it's the attorney/client privilege, to be able to talk to their attorney freely, without fear of being, having their words turned against them; or whether it's a priest/penitent privilege where someone wants to be able to talk to their spiritual advisor and not worry that it's going to be used against them; or whether it's a doctor/patient privilege, and somebody wants to be able to talk to their doctor without fear of that being used against them -- because those all have higher reasons why we do that. And if Mr. Diamond doesn't recognize that obligation -- and certainly in a report prepared by Professor Levenson, it appears to me that he was attempting to breach that privilege, and he wasn't allowed to.

Certainly, Professor Levenson informed me, and my words to her -- and she doesn't need to be told; she's a professor of ethical advocacy at Loyola, so certainly if anyone knows that field of law, it's her -- "We don't want to know; don't tell us. We don't even want to be -- we don't want to have to worry about evaluating it; you don't go into privilege." But in that, in doing so, Mr. Diamond indicated there might be something that was not privileged, which is the alteration of evidence, which is not covered by the privilege.

As the cases -- and I've cited the cases: Meredith and Fairbanks and other cases, and State Bar opinions and ABA opinions -- have all indicated that once (as the Fairbanks case citing Meredith said), once a defense attorney chooses to alter, manipulate, fabricate -- do anything with a piece of evidence -- that's a tactical decision and the privilege is waived. So Professor Levenson's inquiry went further. Mr. Diamond was called to the stand. Now, in judging his credibility, I've got to look at the overall picture, and I think I've stated, from what it appears, what he was trying to do, I have to weigh that in his credibility, in evaluating his credibility because -- and plus, I can evaluate and judge his credibility based on his appearance on the stand.

There are lots of things about Mr. Diamond -- whatever he saw, may have seen, thinks he saw -- that, certainly, his credibility does not go unquestioned. His testimony, the manner in which he testified -- the manner in which he attempted not to testify, as well -- certainly, I will judge his credibility. He is the only person that placed any object in Dr. Baden's hands, so I can't find that to be credible. No one else has stated that Dr. Baden had anything to do with this, and I'm not going to make any findings against Dr. Baden. And it has nothing to do -- we're in an awkward position; this is very rare, where the wife of the witness I'm talking about is sitting right in front of me. And I'll be real candid: If I thought Dr. Baden was being untruthful, I'd be the first to say it. So be it, that's the way it goes. But I can't find that, and I'm not finding that.

Then we have the testimony of Mr. White. Now, again, in judging credibility, let's say that Mr. White has a large personality. I don't think I know Mr. White from before. I just have to watch how he testifies and how he carries himself. I also look at the fact that, certainly, to a degree -- not in his testimony here -- but he certainly interjected himself into the case because he wasn't contacted by anyone to do with the case originally. He called, by his testimony, Mr. Shapiro and basically offered his services. That doesn't mean he's credible or not credible. Some of what he says is consistent with Ms. Caplan's testimony. Some is not. So he's just a piece of it. If all I had was Mr. White, I'm not sure where I'd go with this case.

Then we have Ms. Caplan. I don't think anybody was expecting the testimony she gave the first time she testified because it was sort of going by rote -- "Did you see anything, did you see anybody take anything," and it was sort of "No, no," and then all the sudden, just before lunch, Ms. Caplan, "Yes, I did." And you could get whiplash from watching necks spin around on that one, because, clearly, I don't think that was going to be what anyone expected the testimony to be.

And to some degree, Ms. Caplan -- and I am sure she has indicated that she understands her ethical obligations, and if you heard what I said citing from Meredith and Fairbanks -- she put herself at risk by testifying to what she did, because she became aware that an agent of the defense, based upon her testimony, had -- if not clearly or explicitly, had at least implicitly -- violated that responsibility. And she testified to that. She did so, and I find her to be very credible. She's the most credible witness of all.

What she has is this object, which she cannot identify, which she -- clearly, Mr. White makes it a fingernail. He says, "I recognize it. It's a fingernail. I'm experienced," and it has what he testifies is "bullet wipe". I believe Dr. Harold said that's a bad terminology, but we know what he's talking about talking about -- that, basically, a bullet passed over this object, which he calls a fingernail, and left evidentiary traces. He says he's experienced, he recognizes and sees it and told Dr. Lee that. By his own testimony, Dr. Lee says, "No, that's not what it is," and makes an instant determination.

Then you have Dr. Lee's testimony. The Court certainly recognizes that Dr. Lee has a very large reputation. He is a world renowned expert. He testifies that he never put anything in the vial, and that is inconsistent with Ms. Caplan's testimony. And if I have to choose between the two, I'm going to find that Ms. Caplan is more credible than Dr. Lee. Dr. Lee has a lot to lose if this turns out to be true. His explanation for Ms. Caplan's testimony is, "I believe she's mistaken; it's an honest mistake." Well, if you listen to her testimony -- originally and again today -- it's not just a mistake. An object was taken, put into a vial by Dr. Lee, and no one has that object at this point.

So, in making findings of fact, I find the following:

That Dr. Lee did recover an item. It is flat, it is white, it has irregular edges. I am unable to say that it is a fingernail. It is the size of a fingernail, and that's all I can say. That item has never been presented to the prosecution. And those are my factual findings.

Now, we'll talk about remedies. Normally, the remedy -- when I say "normally," there haven't been that many cases; there are certainly recorded cases and reported cases, and we talked about those -- is for the Court, when it finds that an object has been secreted or kept from the prosecution, is to order the party who has it to produce it. That's what you do. That's the first remedy -- you say, "Give it over to the prosecution." The prosecution, in essence, concedes that object is no longer with us; that if it ever -- and, clearly, the Court has found some object existed, but there is no object to order Dr. Lee to produce. It would be a hollow order. To the extent that I can make an order, if Dr. Lee has this object, he is to produce it forthwith.

Now, if I knew he had it, and he didn't produce it, the remedy is contempt of court. I don't see going there because I don't think he is now -- I mean, if he has it, if it suddenly appears, I order it be produced. I don't see going to the contempt sanction because I think it would be useless. You don't impose contempt when it is useless and does not have the coercive effect that it was meant to have. I am not going to hold Dr. Lee in contempt.

So now we come to the position of, "What do I do -- what is the remedy, if any?" The remedy is -- and I agree with something Mr. Plourd said -- the People have presented a prospective jury instruction which basically has me tell the jury that I have made findings that Dr. Lee is not credible -- I'll paraphrase -- and to use it as they have set forth. That interjects me into the case to a degree that is inappropriate. Judges should not be a part of the case, and it substitutes my findings of fact for theirs. The jury is the fact-finder in this case. I make preliminary findings of fact as to what evidence may be put before them, but I don't make ultimate conclusions of that nature. It's inappropriate. It carries way too much weight, and also, it can't be cross-examined, it can't be, really, argued -- and that's inappropriate.

So I'm not going to tell the jury that I find Dr. Lee has withheld a piece of evidence. But the People, when he testifies -- if he testifies -- may present all this evidence to question his credibility. He may be cross-examined on it, and you may present witnesses -- the witnesses that have testified in front of me and any other witnesses that you choose. And the defense may present any witnesses that they choose on this subject. And the jury will be told -- and it must be limited under California law, the existing law -- and it's very clear when you talk about either untimely disclosure of evidence or evidence tampering, if the jury cannot trace this to Mr. Spector (and there is no evidence to support that whatsoever), then you cannot allow them to speculate or use it against him on a consciousness of guilt. They have to be instructed and will be told that the sole purpose this can be used for is the impeachment of Dr. Lee.

To the extent it does or does not impeach him, if the People choose to go there, then the jury may consider that. They will be told -- and I have -- of course, I can't finalize any words at this time, or any appropriate instruction -- the sole purpose for considering that is in considering his credibility, and they find -- they'll find what they find. That's basically it. But it won't be used against Mr. Spector on the issue of guilt or innocence. It cannot be. The law is very proscribed on that, but clearly the People may go forward. We will worry about the language of any instruction to make appropriate -- to have the jury make appropriate credibility findings as to Dr. Lee.

Trial Notes, 5-23-07

It’s almost 9:15 am. There is not one recognizable soul in the hallway. So, I'm wondering if they started early. Inside the courtroom, I only see Court TV reporters Harriet Ryan and another whose name I don't know. The defense attorneys are here, but not the prosecution. Another case is having a hearing in Fidler’s court. Slowly, some reporters start to show up. Steve Dunleavy, Steven from LA Weekly, and David K. Li. Russ arrives with Alan P. from the court’s public relations office. It’s 9:20, and the courtroom is virtually empty. Lana’s mother, sister and attorney arrive. Plourd, Rosen and Linda Kenney Baden are here. Everyone is waiting to see if Robert Shapiro shows up today and will be put on the stand. David K. Li asks if Linda Kenney Baden’s name is written with a hyphen or without a hyphen. Alan says, “I’m the Public Information Officer. I can provide that.” It’s determined there is no hyphen in her last name.

Brunon arrives. I’m wondering if the prosecutors are still with Shapiro. Everyone is expecting him. Steve Dunleavy, the famous New York Post reporter is admiring the shine on David K. Li’s shoes. “That’s one hell-of-a shine,” he says. “I can see my face in it.” Patrick Dixon finally enters the courtroom. The LA Times reporter Peter Y. Hong arrives as well as the prosecutor’s clerk who controls all their photo and document exhibits on the Elmo.

9:30 am.
No Alan Jackson. No Judge. Sara Caplan arrives. The tall black haired attorney for Lana’s family arrives. Linda Deutch finally slips into the courtroom. Russ, Steve Dunleavy, Steve Mikulan and another reporter all kvetch a bit. Rosen and LKB are in deep conversation. A gentleman I’ve seen before chats with the attorneys on both sides and now is chatting with LKB.

The prosecutions case file (it’s transported into court each day on a rolling cart, usually by Ed) finally gets here, and Ed goes through a few items. Sara Caplan and Linda Deutch chat a bit now. Cutler arrives along with the young bald Asian prosecutor we saw a few days ago. Ah, the gray suited man with stark white hair is Sara Caplan’s attorney. The judge is finally on the bench.

The defense is trying to get some sort of discovery issues. They are stating that the prosecution has stuff they’ve not received. Now I have some notes that I am having a hard time deciphering.

After discussing how we should do this, asked his boss Doyle to speak with Captain Kyle Jackson; to the Robbery Homicide Division and what they needed and how to proceed. Maybe I can figure this out later.

The defense is now asking for anything the prosecution has from Bill Pavelic. Something about an e-mail from Pavelic to an “E. Wiley.” And that’s it.

The defense makes a motion to object to the entire proceedings. The Judge responds that his role is to safeguard the process, to ensure that nothing improper occurs. The judge cites a case to support his ruling. Jackson gets Caplan kicked from the courtroom for a moment. The judge reads the ruling. “That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m taking action.

Sara Caplan takes the stand again. Her attorney sits in the jury box, and Rosen is asking the questions. She states she had worked on cases with Dr. Lee before. From what she recalls, about three or four times. “It didn’t look like what was in those vials.” Now, with the way Rosen is asking the questions, he’s implying that the white particles on the floor... trying to imply that the white particles might be the falling down ceiling.

Now Alan Jackson asks her a question.

A: The object I saw on the ground was not cotton swabs.

Then the judge says he has some questions for Ms. Caplan. The judge is looking over a transcript of her prior testimony and reads it back to her.

Q: Why are you changing your testimony? Did you see Henry Lee pick something up and put it in a vial?

A: Yes.

I think there is one more question or two and then Alan Jackson gets up to present arguments to their position. One of his most memorable statements is, “Is Dr. Lee lying or is he incompetent? Which is it?”

When Alan Jackson finishes, Chris Plourd gets up to argue the defense position. Plourd argues about the number of criminalist at the crime scene. That “piece” definitely not there when those criminalists were there. It was not Sara Caplan’s responsibility to observe or supervise Dr. Lee. “There’s no evidence that Sara Caplan watched Dr. Lee’s testimony on TV. They (the prosecution) clearly lost something. There’s no evidence that the defense lost anything.” Plourd keeps using the phrase over and over again, “Dr. Lee testified to....” He tried to say there’s no clear evidence something was picked up. Then Brunon gets up to speak. “From a legal point of view, the whole issue has been speculative,” he says. “Mr. Jackson says his case is damaged. We ask, in what way?” Brunon says, “Suppose Dr. Lee did pick something up and do lose it. Again, how does that specifically hurt their case?

Patrick Dixon jumps up, and he appears really upset in his tone. “It goes right to the heart of this case your honor!”

The judge is ready to rule. The complete transcript of that ruling can be found here. And for those who missed it, Judge Fidler ruled that Dr. Henry Lee was not credible, and that Sara Caplan's testimony was the most credible. He also states that the people can call any witnesses who testified at this hearing to impeach the testimony of Dr. Lee.

It’s 1:05 pm. Lunch is almost over. Spector and his wife and bodyguards arrive and go into the courtroom. They immediately exit the courtroom, and head down towards the other end of the hallway. I’ve heard that the court has given them a room that they can gather in to conference. There is a group of six new trial watchers waiting together in the hall. At first, I thought they were here for another trial, but after seeing them speak to one of the court public liaison's staff, I’m pretty sure it’s a good bet these individuals are part of some sort of production company. I can just tell by the way they look and are interacting with each other. Besides, why would a group of people coming down to court, contact the court’s public liaison office? Cutler arrives and enters the courtroom.

There’s a mass of people waiting butt not so many that I won’t get in. My thought is more about getting my same bench seat. A deputy approaches who is packing double heat. Steven says, “Two guns! Boy! Is he ready for trial!”

1:28 pm. Everyone is almost here, waiting to get into court. A woman with a juror badge is looking for Eric Leonard, and was asking some of the other reporters if he’s around. She’s a fan, and wanted to try to see him. One of the Court TV cameramen explains gives the woman a description of what Eric looks like, and that Eric is probably in the media room on the 12th floor. Linda Deutch arrives, and Dominick Dunne is here.

1:35 pm. The Judge finally takes the bench. A new witness takes the stand, and I notice that Patrick Dixon is chewing gum. Steven whispers to me, “In his twenty five hundred dollar suit.”

The next witness is David Ridgs, and he’s a paramedic-firefighter for the Alhambra Fire Department. Alan Jackson conducts the direct examination. The witness talks about his training and explains that an EMT paramedic has more training than an EMT1, 2, or 3. When it comes to declaring death, the witness testifies that the pronouncement can only come from an MD. However, a paramedic can make a determination of death, and that happens through an assessment of the four basic life functions.

Ridgs testifies that they are on shift for 24 hours, and that he started at 8 am the prior day. Ridgs and his partner got the call out and stopped at the staging area. Staging areas are usually used in regards to crew safety. They staged at Grandview and Norwood, and that it wasn’t “out of the ordinary” to stage at a death scene.

1:45 pm Beth Karas comes into the courtroom. This is around the time she usually comes in for the afternoon session, after she’s finished giving on air commentaries. The jury is alert and watching the witness. The witness says they arrived at the staging scene around 6:05 to 6:10 am. The paramedics initially met with police officers at the gate and then at the north side of the address. The witnesses understanding of the initial call was that there were shots fired and there may be a shooting victim. In his career, the witness testified that he made maybe twenty or more death determinations.

I see Alan Jackson lean into Lana’s mother and whisper to her. This is something that I see a lot in the days ahead. Mr. Jackson will let Lana’s mother know when photo’s of her daughter’s body are up on the screen, so she can avert her eyes. There’s a close up of Lana’s face on the Elmo. Her head is slumped to her left. There are close up photos now of Lana’s right side, and the witness is asked about blood on Lana's left side.

A: No significant amount of blood on (Lana’s) left side.

Q: Did there appear to be any more on her right?

A: Yes. (snip) The majority of blood was on the patient’s right side even though she was leaning to the left.

Q: Did you notice the blood on her chest?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you check for vital signs?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you check the carotid?

A: Yes. (snip) If I recall, I checked the carotid pulse on the right; the exposed side.

The witness testifies that he manipulated the victims head to check her airway. Lana’s mother has a tissue to her face. She’s looking down. She doesn’t look up. She now hold the tissue in her hands, looking down. Something comes over me, watching Lana’s mother. It’s an overwhelming sense of sadness I feel for her.

The witness testifies that he looked for a gun shot wound, but the officer at the scene asked him to keep the (movement of her body) to a minimum. The coroner would determine cause of death, once he got there. Using a heart monitor, the witness attached patches to determine if he could see a heart rhythm. He couldn’t find one. Lana had been dead enough time for a determination at 6:25 am.

Direct testimony ends, and Linda Kenney Baden will conduct the cross.

The witness is asked who he saw in the foyer area. He saw six people.

Q: Were you ever asked to diagram the area?

A: No.

Q: Did yo know any of the six people? (I think there might have been a photo up on the Elmo that the witness was asked to look at; not sure.)

A: No.

Q: Did yo you see any of these (six people) wearing gloves?

A: I can’t remember.

Q: Even though you told the police off they could preserve the scene, they could do (that) without you?

A: That’s correct.

Q: There is going to be some disturbance of the scene? (Regarding his handling of the body to determine if the victim is dead.)

A: That’s correct. (snip) We were advised by our captain that shots were fired.

More detailed questions are asked.

Q: You could not find a gun shot wound?

A: That’s correct.

Q: Why did you make these notes?

A: My captain, Mark Lingle, said this might be a crime scene.

LKB is now crossing the witness with his interview with detectives. Images of the lower steps are put up on the Elmo. The step! I can see the wood of the first step! There isn’t any “gouge” in it like Dr. Lee claims. At least, from this angle of the photo, I’m not seeing a “gouge.” My back is killing me! These court benches with be what eventually wrecks my body. My low back is aching terribly, and I try to stretch it out while I am sitting.

More photos of Lana dead in the chair she was sitting in.

Q: Who asked you to leave those patches there?

A: A police officer who was photographing (the scene).

The witness now reviews a report. Now, with these next rapid fire questions, LKB is trying to say that in his exam, he moved her head to where it was in the photographs, and it was his manipulation that smeared the blood. In the images, I’m noticing, one of the patches to the the heard has a blood smear from where the patch was.

The witness says that he’s not experienced in microscopic blood flow.

Q: Did you ever see any of the foyer officers again?

A: I could have. I don’t remember.

LKB asks if he saw the tazer leads, and the witness replies that he only remembers seeing the leads themselves.

Q: Did anyone explain to you (what happened) before you arrived?

A: No.

Q: Did anyone explain to you that there had been an altercation?

A: No.

Q: Did you have any other interviews besides the one in March, 2007?

A: Not that I recall.

Redirect of the witness. The prosecutor gets the witness to say that the images of Lana up on the screen are exactly how he found her when she first arrived. Mr. Jackson gets the witness to make it clear, that at the time of his interview with detectives, he didn’t have access to those photographs to refresh his memory.

Recross of the witness. There are more questions regarding the prior statement that Lana’s chin was resting in the “center of the chest,” and if he had ever seen a tazer lead under a shoe at the crime scene before.

The judge finally calls the afternoon break. The famous law professor, Stan Goldman, is in the courtromm talking to Beth Karas, Harriet Ryan and other Court TV people in the room. I listen in as best I can and scribble some notes. They are discussing the legality of the Dr. Henry Lee debacle, entering into another trial in the future. The professor can’t conceive of a situation where that could come in. It’s now that Beth talks to me about what I had observed/overheard between Cutler & Rosen days ago. She tells me, that as long as I am not purposefully trying to invade a private room that the defense is meeting in, anything that I observed or overhear here in the courtroom I can write about. That’s what I had thought.

Spector sits at the defense table. The chair is turned around 180 degrees from the defense table, and he appears to be staring at the floor. His wife is on the first bench, attending to some items in her purse. Spector yawns. His hands are clasped, and they’re shaking slightly. It appears to be a blank stare on his face, and then he yawns again.

3:10 pm Break is over. I overheard Steve Dunleavy recounting the story where Spector attacked him. Dunleavy repeats Spector’s statement to him, “I’ll kill you!” with the ‘karate’ type movements directed towards him, and the threatening message Spector left on his answering machine days later. Spector had purposefully shoved into Dunleavy with his shoulder, and in response to that, Dunleavy punched him in the nose!

The next witness is called. Peneda Rodrigeuz? Do I have that right? Esther is her first name. Peneda is her married name, Rodriguez was her maiden name I think. I do not note who does the direct examination of this witness, but I think it's Patrick Dixon. She was a detective and assigned a regular type car, not a black and white. She heard the radio traffic and telephoned the watch commander that she was in route.

Q: This was a serious crime in your city and you needed to be involved.

A: That’s correct.

She identifies the residence via images up on the overhead screen. She notified her supervisor after arriving at the scene. Sergeant Santana (sp?) authorized that a GSR kit should be utilized at the scene. She performed the GSR test kit on Adriano DeSouza, and then drove DeSouza to the police station. The officer explains the training she received for performing the GSR test. (Now my notes are not clear as to whether or not she performed the GSR test on DeSouza at the scene, or at the police station.) She then describes her procedures for performing the test, then booked the test into evidence.

The direct examination is done, and Linda Kenney Baden will cross the witness. The witness testifies that yes, she filed a report regarding everything she did.

Q: In fact, you made an assumption it was a crime scene.

A: That’s correct.

Q: In the reports you drafted on February 3rd and February 7th, you called the address a crime scene?

A: Yes.

Linda Kenney Baden paces a bit. LKB asks if she did anything else at the scene. She spoke to DeSouza at the scene, and was making inquiries about the scene with the other officers present. There are a few more questions, asking the witness if she spoke with the EMT, etc.

Cross is finished, and redirect begins.

The witness is asked why she thought it was a crime scene, and she explains. Redirect is finished, and LKB recrosses the witness again.

Q: Was that the only reason? Because you had talked to DeSouza, is that correct?

A: That’s correct.

And this witness is excused for the time being.

I don’t have any more notes in my book, but I do specifically remember out on the street, as I was waiting for the light to cross, I turned to one of the group of six people who I thought were from a production crew, and asked why did they decide to come to court today. The man replied, “Just thought we’d come down and watch the trial.” Steven was walking with me, because I remember saying, “Well, there’s more to that story....” and we both had a chuckle.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Trial Notes, 5-22-07

I get to the Orange line a few seconds too late and miss the 8 am bus. I catch the next one about five minutes later. I finished y book over the weekend, and forgot to put another inside my purse this morning. On the transit news feed, there’s an ad for FOLICARE. It’s for male pattern baldness. There are a few beside me on the bus who could use this product, but they don’t seem to be interested.

Passengers perk up when news of the Spector trial comes on the screen. Other news reported was about the young actor who crashed his car and a passenger was killed. He took a guilty plea. I didn’t catch whether he’s been sentenced yet. I see a grown man totally engrossed in a Superman Comic Book, with his girlfriend asleep, leaning on his shoulder. Even though I was late, I still make the 8:30 Red Line train. This is good. It means I should get to the rear of the Criminal Court Building by about 9:05 am. I see a woman applying her make up on the train. I make a judgment call, that she’s putting on way too much blush on her face. The air is not very good on the train today. It’s quite stuffy.

I finally reach the 9th floor. I see Mr. Dunne and the Dunleavy guy who was here yesterday. Michelle is sitting with Dominick. The auburn haired Dateline reporter is here. Harriet Ryan and David K. Li are chatting away. No Spector yet. DeSouza arrives with his entourage. Two hefty bodyguard like guys accompany him into the courtroom. Right afterwards, the jurors file past the hallway into the courtroom. Now the Spector entourage arrives. His purchased wife Rachelle Short on one arm, and a bodyguard on either side of them and one in front.

An inmate from the jail is brought into court 107 in a wheelchair. I notice injuries to his scalp as he passes me. Mr. Dunne smiles and says hello. John Spano (who was yawning when he arrived in the hallway) is looking around smiling going, “Okay! Here we are again!” We are finally led into the courtroom, and the reporters are all settling into their favorite viewing spots. It’s 9:30 and we haven’t started yet. I see the court reporter emerge from the judge’s chambers.

The family arrives with their tall attorney with jet black hair. The Dateline reporter moves in to talk to the attorney, and it’s just the two of them by themselves talking now. Ed arrives and it looks like he got a haircut. And he’s not wearing his glasses. I wonder if he’s got contacts in. The attorney’s exit the judges chambers now, so they were in camera. Jackson and Dixon step off by themselves right next to the witness box to discuss something. There are five elderly gentlemen all sitting together in the row behind me. These are some new trial watchers that I haven’t seen before. Rochelle is writing on some paper; looks like a notepad. It’s hard to see from where I’m sitting.

The judge is on the bench and there is something, possibly about what was said in chambers. There are no improprieties on behalf of juror #6. The hearing they just had will be part of the official transcript. Private information will be redacted from the e-mails. Spector and the defense attorneys stand, everyone else gets up, and the jury files in.

DeSouza is still on redirect. The prosecution resumes playing the video tape exhibit of DeSouza's interview with detectives. The jurors have copies of the transcript of the interview. Most are not watching the video, but reading along with the transcript. Oh wait, #9 is watching the video. Looking at the thickness of the transcript the jurors are holding, it appears they are not even half way through this video.

So, I settle in to watch the jurors. Mostly the jurors are reading, and I see the judge is watching the video. It’s very difficult to understand because the sound quality is terrible. The judge is looking at the transcript now. I write out this note to Steven: “CAN YOU UNDERSTAND ANYTHING?” Steven shakes his head no. Adriano DeSouza is sitting in the front row. How strange that must be for him, to watch and listen to his interview with police. I’m wondering what Rochelle is writing in that notepad, since she’s still writing. One of the bodyguards is reading a book while the video plays. Judge still watching the video.

From the video:

“Why did you call the secretary first?”
I don’t know. I don’t know.

I note the date and time on the tape: 2-3-0 12:24:51 am

Now, DeSouza is explaining his movements after calling Michelle Baine, Spector’s secretary. And then, there it is on the tape. “I think I, killed; I think I killed somebody.” This is so damaging to the defense. I see Rachelle is resting her hand to her face, her fingers on her forehead; her thumb on her chin. I see juror #9 say something to juror #8. #8 looks over the gallery, almost like he’s searching for a face. Michelle and Dominick exchange notes. On the video now, DeSouza is imitating for the detectives how Spector was talking and slurring his words. The detectives go through his statements again.

DeSouza: “I think I killed somebody.”
Detective: “You’re sure about what you heard?”
DeSouza: “Yes.”

It’s 10:15 am and they’re almost through the tape. Maybe 10 to 15 pages more of video. The still photographer drops his camera! It lands on one of the Court TV camera operator’s head! Everyone turns to look to see what happened. Juror #9 looks out at the gallery. He doesn’t follow the last few pages of transcript. On the video, the detective tells DeSouza, “It’s going to be a big case. Whomever he (Spector) hires, I can guarantee, he will hire investigators to look into you and try to talk to you.”

It was obvious on the video that DeSouza was totally freaked out by what happened. The attorneys have a side bar at the bench at the end of the video. Jackson collects the transcripts, and DeSouza is back on the stand.

Unfortunately in my notes, I forget to document if DeSouza is under cross or direct. I believe he’s under cross, and that Brunon is conducting it.

DeSouza says that Detective Pinyeta (sp?) gave him a ride to the police station. 5:10 am was the 911 call. Around 6 am, DeSouza says that was the next time that he saw Spector again. That was when the police escorted him from the house. Brunon is really trying to get DeSouza to say he could be wrong about what he heard. The prosecution objects now to several questions in a row being improper. The defense is really try to get him to focus on the fact that on the tape, after he tells them Spector’s words, “I think I killed somebody,” right afterwards on the tape he says, “I think, I’m not sure.” DeSouza explains on the stand, “I said that to Mr. Pinyeta because I’m not sure he understood what I said.”

Spectors elbows are on the table; fingers inter clasped and his hands shaking. Now the defense is going over the condition of Spector and whether or not he was drunk at the time he emerged from the house. Also re questioning DeSouza on the “shoulder shrugging.” The defense is digging away at those inconsistencies. I mostly see Mr. Jackson from the back, his fingertips pressed together. His chin resting on his fingers. I’m betting he’s really focused right now. Juror #9 yawns the same time I do. I watch Spector clench his hands together into a fist like clasp. I can’t see totally, but it sure looks like Rachelle is taking notes still on that pad. Maybe she’s writing a letter? She appears now to be looking at the jury. She looks up, then looks down for a bit, but I can’t see her hands. So I’m not sure what she is doing, except looking down at her lap a lot.

Q: You said: “I want someone to direct me.” What did that mean?
A: To help me to explain what I had to do.

The defense asks DeSouza more questions on the deportation issue and then Brunon finally says, no more questions.

Jackson steps up to do the redirect.

Q: Who asked Lana back to the Castle?
A: Phil
Q: Did he ask one time?
A: No.
Q: Did he ask two times?
A: No.
Q: Did he ask three times?
A: Around three times.
Q: You were subpoenaed?
A: Yes.
Q: Are you mistaken about what you saw, what you heard that day?
A: No.

And DeSouza is finally off the stand! The court is on break. The cameraman who was hit in the head with a camera had a set of headphones on, so maybe it didn’t bump his head too hard. Another reporter leans into him and says, “The judge was concerned about you. He looks over at you a few times.” The camera operator replies, “Maybe he was looking at you,” (meaning, the cameraman who dropped the camera!)

Spector is standing alone at the defense table. He comes over to his wife and they both exit the courtroom. I talk for a bit to Dominick, but a man interrupts by coming up to Dominick and fawns all over him. Dominick says, “It’s always nice when people say something nice to you.” I reply to him, “You have a big fan club.” Mr. Dunne replies, “It happened to me late in life. I still have trouble getting used to it. That was a terrible cross by Brunon from start to finish!” We then discuss Dr. Henry Lee. Dominick does not hold back on how he feels about how he feels about Dr. Lee. I say, “It will be interesting to see if they put Dr. Lee on the stand.” Dominick replies, “Did you see that? him on the stand, where he got all arrogant? I’ve head him tell that joke so many times.”

We talk about the missing evidence and I tell Dominick, “I think Dr. Lee lost it. He said on the stand it was a private case and not a state case. That procedures were not as precise. He kept claiming, no one told him what to do with the evidence. I don’t believe it. I think he lost it. Dominick says, “I can’t stand him. The jurors (in the past), they fawn all over him, even though there was no jury there.”

Back in the courtroom, it’s 11:20 am and we’re back on the record.

The next witness is Sandra Hill, and Dixon will take her direct examination.

Sandra is a Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor, in charge of the sheriff’s office computerized systems. She’s worked for the Sheriff’s Dept. seventeen years. She is also familiar with the 911 system in Los Angeles County. The witness goes into detail on how 911 calls made from cell phones were routed back in February, 2003. The system archives all calls on a DVD, and they are held for 180 days. She testifies that “We search for calls on our system for that date (2-3-07). We only found one call. The computer searches by date and by location.” There is a two page document of that single call put up on the Elmo.

Rosen gets up to cross the witness.

Rosen is plodding through everything, going over the witness’s testimony in detail. I think the defense strategy is to put these jurors to sleep!

Q: Can you tell (from the report) if an ambulance was sent?
A: No, I can not.


The witness says the training process for 911 operators is a very lengthy process. At least four weeks. After that, there is one on one training to ensure they are properly trained to handle calls.


Rosen: This will be brief.
Judge: I wouldn’t believe it.

Rosen points out that the call says, “lady lying on the ground.

I see the judge rub his face.

The witness replies that the operators are trained to write what was said.

When the witness is finally done with cross, the judge jokingly says that she can discuss her testimony.

The next witness is called. Gamaliel Catalan. Unfortunately, I don’t have in my notes who conducts the direct examination. I believe it’s Dixon though. She is a communications Supervisor for Alhambra P.D. He supervises the communication center. Two shifts of employees. The witness says that they are the Public Safety Answering point.

It’s 12 noon, and Judge Fidler says, “And although we’re on the edge of our seats...”

Laughter fills the courtroom.

Updated 6-14-07 12:12am
Lunch is about over. It’s about 1:18 pm, and a man comes up to court with some papers for Spector. It’s a large envelope, and it gets passed to the two bodyguards there. One reporter says, “Maybe it’s a fingernail.” Finally, we are allowed to enter the courtroom. Cutler saunters in. Linda Deutsch and Roger Rosen are having a conversation. Steve Dunleavy, the legendary New York Post reporter who punched out Spector years ago is in the courtroom today. Rochelle has her hair up and pulled back, and it’s obvious she’s got a hair piece, blondish curls handing down. Steven speculates that maybe it’s one of Phil’s hair pieces on her head. The court is now trying to determine if the coroner has a conflict of scheduling. He’s scheduled to testify in courtroom 104 regarding a child abuse case.

Direct continues of the communications supervisor, Gamaliel Catalan.

Catalan testifies that he located one call, transfer from the CHP. A search of their records revealed “no calls” to be found from that residence made from land lines. The 911 call document is put up on the screen.

Direct is over, and Rosen steps up to cross the witness.

This is unbelievably tedious. Rosen is asking what term would you use to describe the document. He’s asking what all the little codes mean, and the witness explains. Rosen then asks if he can tell which words are spoken by the dispatcher, and which were spoken by the caller.

A: No.

Rosen then goes on with his tone of voice, that this is a big deal, that we can’t tell who said what. Rosen points out on the document that at 5:56:10 am, one subject confirmed dead. And the witness replies that just means the dispatcher documented information he received over the radio.

Q: Do you know who handled the call?
A: Bobbick.
Q: do you know which officer, CHP she spoke with?
A: I don’t know.

Cross if finally finished, and redirect begins.

Q: What type of training (do the dispatchers receive)?
A: 120 hours of basic dispatch training, then they are one 24 hour training.
Q: Why is it important to be accurate?
A: To dispatch resources in an accurate manner.

There are a few more questions about the dispatchers probing the caller to get more information and then redirect is done.


Q: Is it correct that you have found errors have occurred?
A: Human nature.

And finally, we are done with this witness. The next witness is Officer Sean Heckers. I forget to write in my notes who is performing the direct examination.

Officer Heckers is a with the City of Alhambra, and on February 3, 2003, he was assigned to patrol duty.

Q: Were you in uniform, and drove a black and white?
A: Yes sir, I did.
Q: How long at that time (were you with the Alhambra PD)?
A: Eight years.
Q: What shift (were you working)?
A: Day. I started a 6 am and went to 6 pm.
Q: How many days?
A: Three days a week.
Q: Had you ever been to 1700 Grand View before?
A: No I had not.

The witness confirms that he was just ordered to report there and assist. He was assigned to transport Spector back to the Alhambra police station. He identifies Spector as the individual he transported. The witness says his memory is not clear as to whether or not he was handcuffed while in the cruiser, but it’s rare that a suspect wouldn’t be handcuffed when being transported.

The witness testifies that he was told to administer a GSR residue kit. He explains the kits are uniquely numbered and what the kit consists of, and the procedures that are followed to administer the test. The witness was previously with the San Marino, PD. This was the first time he did the GSR test kit in the field. Once the test was completed, he booked it into evidence.

Q: Do you remember if an Alhambra paramedic or fireman came by?
A: To be honest, I can’t recall.
Q: Did you go to another facility, to have a sex test kit done?
A: Yes.
Q: What was the facility?
A: San Gabriel Valley Medical Center.

After this test, Officer Gullam Santan (sp?) escorted Spector back to the station. Photos of Spector were put on the screen. These are his Polaroid booking photos. He was then taken to the jail. End of direct examination.

Linda Kenney Baden is to do the cross. I can see that she’s working from a large spiral notebook. “I’m not sure I’ve met you. You look like the Judge’s brother,” LKB says. And the judge makes a comment about that. The witness states that he didn’t know Spector, just knew of the property. LKB now goes over the witnesses transcript of his (prior grand jury???) testimony. LKB asks him in detail about the GSR test, going over every tiny detail of the test, and asking him if he knows “why” certain procedures are followed. LKB is also trying to insinuate, through her questions, that GSR could have been in the back of the patrol car where Spector was handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

LKB asks how many suspects in that car a week before? Two weeks before? How about on the bench that Spector sat on at the jail? What type of guns do they carry in your department? All these questions to try to imply that the GSR found on Spector wasn’t from the murder weapon, but from the police car or bench he sat on, at the station.

Break is finally called. Spector left the courtroom. Rachelle sits in the back row with a bodyguard. Roger Rosen comes over to Dominick to deliver a message from someone they must both know. Rosen chats a bit about his computer workstation in the house, or his daughter’s workstation. It was a funny conversation. Rosen says he’s not real computer literate. Steven says, “We know where this GSR stuff is going!” There are some new trial watchers in the gallery staring at Steve Dunleavy.

Break is over, and we’re back on cross.

LKB continues with the GSR nightmare cross. Boring, boring questions. LKB paces when she asks questions, and her tone is a bit loud and has an accusatory tone. The prosecution just made it’s second objection to a question, and the Judge calls up counsel for a side bar. Then the Judge is in his chambers, the attorneys are in front of the clerk’s desk, and it’s a waiting game here. Now, we’re back on the record.

There are more questions about Spector being handcuffed in front verses being handcuffed in back. Baden asks if the other officers had guns, and then the type of vehicle Spector was transported in. This is all just to get these questions in the jurors mind. Now she’s talking about the rape kit exam, and if Spector disrobed in front of him.

Q: Did you see the nurse (Caruso) pluck anal hairs from him?
A: I don’t recall that specifically.
Q: Were you there when genital hairs were plucked?
A: Yes.
Q: After he disrobed, and went through the sexual assault exam, did you see Nurse Caruso, swab under his nails (and use) a light source through his hair?
A: I believe so.

Now, more questions back on GSR, and if he knew the reason why it was important to fill out all the documentation. (It’s basically a trick question, because if you don’t give every possibility, then the attorney can come back and say, “Well, what about this? Didn’t you learn this reason, too?")

Cross is finally over and redirect begins.

There are questions about the patrol cars being cleaned on a regular basis, and it’s here where we learn that the back seats of patrol cars are plastic and contoured, so that you can have your hands rest more comfortably behind your back while sitting in the car. And the witness testifies that the presence of guns in the back of a patrol car is very rare.

LKB is not going to let this go, she has to recross! Groan!

Q: You can’t testify to the technicality of GSR transfer can you? You can’t testify as to cleaning, how often? How many suspects who could have had GSR (on them)?

Finally, she’s done, and the prosecution has no more questions. We’re finally onto the next witness, Michael Brown (Fireman Brown), and Patrick Dixon handles the direct examination.

He is employed by the Alhambra fire Department. At the time of the event, he had been a firefighter/paramedic for one year. Fireman Brown details his training. In Alhambra, they rotate onto a fire engine in addition to paramedic work. He testifies that he was dispatched ot Alhambra Jail at 6:16 pm on February 3, 2003, for a patient who was tazed.

Q: What does “tazed” mean?

The witness says that he just knows what the public knows, and describes what he knows of tazing. The break is finally called. I’m about to fall asleep.

Q: So, it was at Alhambra Police Station where you met Phil Spector?
A: That’s correct.
Q: You went to see if he was okay?
A: Yes. It’s very common that we go down there to check on a patient.

The witness saw him on a silver bench. His partner evaluated Spector, and he documented everything. They work together. They evaluate for basic human functions. A.B.C. Airway, Breathing, Conscious. The witness states that Spector, “Wasn’t talking too much.”

Q: Did he seem to be okay?
A: Yes.
Q: Were there any marks on his skin from the tazer?
A: No.

The witness and his partner went through the primary and secondary assessment. They asked Spector if he wanted to go to the hospital. He declined. They took a medial assessment, listed meds, etc. Anything Spector might be taking. And that’s it. Direct is done.

LKB performs the cross, and starts as usual, by introducing herself. LKB gets the witness to verify that he and his partner were called at a little after 6:00 pm, and that he filled out some forms documenting the visit and treatment. LKB gets the witness to admit that they only spent about seven and a half minutes with Spector total. She now asks about the tazering of Spector.

A: I was looking over my partner’s shoulder. The barbs were not attached. The witness said he looked down Spector’s shirt.
Q: But you didn’t see down “here” (LKB points to her waist area).
A: No, I did not.

The witness states that an EMT-Paramedic has more advanced training than just a regular EMT. LKB is now going over the report he filled out with him. On the report is written “diabetes.”

Q: What are you looking for when someone is tazered?
A: Checking to see if the barbs are still in the skin. If the patient is uncomfortable; in pain.

THIS IS SO BORING! Finally! Cross is finished and redirect starts.

Dixon gets the witness to state that if there are no medical complaints, then the Paramedics give no treatment.

LKB gets up to RECROSS! Sheesh!

Q: You gave him a glaucoma score? Did not find any obvious signs of alcohol?
A: No.

Court is finally over for the day. The witness is done. Finally! Steven said that he needed a tazer jolt. Tomorrow they will continue with the inquiry into the missing evidence.

I have already transcribed the judge’s ruling and posted it here, but I still need to add a few notes covering where Sara Caplan was called to the stand one last time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Trial Notes, 5-16-07: Adriano DeSouza & Dr. Lee

I get an 8 am bus at Sepulveda. It’s only about 1/2 full, but will probably fill at the next stop. On the bus video transit news, they have a clip of the damaging testimony from DeSouza on the stand yesterday. “I think I killed somebody.”

On the Red Line train, I see a woman tweezing her eyebrows. Ehewwww! At the Pershing Square Station (the stop just before the Civic Center Station) there is a wild looking black woman, screaming something. It’s the same woman I saw on the escalator yesterday at Civic Center! She’s wearing the same clothes. “Stay outta my money!” She yells several times.

In the lobby, there were quite a few more cameramen with huge cameras going through security to get into court. The lines were very long at the security scanners. One cameraman squeezed in on the elevator I was on, and I ask him what trial he’s covering. He replied, “There an arraignment on the fifth floor today.”

On the 9th floor at court, Michelle, Dominick, and Ciaran (pronounced Keer'an) all sit together. The jury consultants from yesterday are back and standing with Lana’s family. One reporter noted that Lana’s mom had “a make over.” I don’t “see” what he’s seeing. All it looks like to me is that her hair is curled a bit more. Alan Jackson stops and speaks to Lana’s mother for a second before going into the courtroom.

Linda Kenney Baden and I are waiting for the restroom maintenance man to take the sign down on the women’s restroom so we can go in. I get the opportunity to talk to her about the broken foot. She is so nice! I commiserate with her, explaining that at one time, I had two different accidents where I broke bones in my foot, and one time, I broke the exact same bone she broke. I talk about being in a cast up to my hip for nine weeks, and once I got out of it, the only thing that really helped me was deep tissue bodywork, because I walked with a limp for quite some time. I also recommend to her to take bromelain on an empty stomach, because it will then act as an anti-inflammatory.

9:45 am. We’re getting a bit of a late start today. In a very irritated tone, the Judge lets the attorneys know that he is tired of wasting the jurors time. The defense is asking for the witnesses INS documents. Apparently, there is one form they are asking for, and they only have a copy of one side of it, and they are making a big deal about this.

I see Alan Jackson sitting in a familiar pose I often have noticed he takes. His elbows are on the arms of his chair, and his hands are splayed out, but his fingertips are touching. I’ve seen him put his hands in this pose when it appears he is thinking intently. Spector is the first to stand for the jurors to enter the courtroom.

The witness DeSouza is back on the stand. The witness says that Spector was not slurring his words when he made his statement. The two porch lights located on each side of the back door were on and an overhead light was on in the foyer. Up on the Elmo, there are close up’s of Lana’s face! Lana’s mother and sister in the front row, don’t look up at the screen. They look down the entire time photos of Lana are up on the screen. DeSouza says there is more blood on her face in this photo that there was when he saw her. DeSouza had to look twice past Spector, to see Lana.

Q: Did he say anything else?

DeSouza says that Spector didn’t speak after that.

Juror #9’s cell phone goes off, and he embarrassingly removes the battery. Alan Jackson takes a moment to confer with Pat Dixon, and the embarrassed juror #9, nervously taps his pen and looks out over at the gallery of reporters.

The 911 tape recording is played for the jury.

For some reason I turn around to look behind me and the petite, stunning law student I met at the Blake criminal trial is here! She’s impeccably dressed for court. It’s a total surprise to see her. She whispers, getting me caught up on what’s been happening with her.

Cross of DeSouza begins.

There was a lot of speculation as to who would stand up to perform the cross. Many thought it would be Bruce Cutler, the very theatrical New York lawyer, who has only presented the OS and performed one cross so far, but it’s Brunon who stands up and approaches the podium.

The witness says he started studying english around 13 years of age, three to four days a week. It was mandatory in school. When he was fifteen to eighteen he was in a different school, and he had a private english tutor then. I calculate it out. He was born possibly in 1970, and is approximately 37 years old today. DeSouza came to the US in 1997 to 1998. His status was as a legal visitor. The first time he came, he stayed eight to nine months. After his tourist visa expired, He remained in the US for a bit and applied for a student visa. He then returned home.

He reentered the US in 2000. This time, it was on a student visa. There is a little disagreement between the witness and Rosen. Sometime later, he withdrawals from school. This then violates his visa, but he didn’t return to Brazil. He stayed in the US.

Q: You didn’t respect the laws that let you come here, correct?

A: No.

I look over at the jurors and jurors # 8 and 9 are snickering, almost laughing. I’m guessing they think this question about obeying the laws is funny.

DeSouza says he stopped taking english classes in 2004. Rosen confronts the witness about not going home after he withdrew from school. Juror #8 finds this question and response funny, too. The tone that Rosen is taking with this witness, and the implication of his questions, is not going over well with this heavily mixed race jury.

The witness says that he talked about the event (the murder) with friends and family. I look on over at the jury and think that maybe they are getting bored with Brunon and these tedious questions. If it’s not boring the jury, it certainly is boring me. The cross is tedious.

DeSouza said that someone from a paper tried to interview him (after the event). The next day, he went back to Spector’s residence, to do some staging with the police (probably of the Mercedes). Rosen puts up on the Elmo, a copy of his own spreadsheet of billings. One column documents the number of times he has worked for Spector. It was just a spread sheet he designed, and he doesn’t remember preparing invoices. Rosen shows that DeSouza actually only drove Spector 10 times verses the 13-14 he originally said on direct, and I think, this is so petty.

Q: How did Mr. Spector address you?

A: They never called me the correct name. They never knew it.

DeSouza says that his conversations with Spector were all short. It’s now that Brunon asks DeSouza if he could describe Spector’s voice. DeSouza says that he’s not very good at that, and asks if maybe, Rosen would like him to demonstrate Spector’s voice. Brunon, pausing almost like he doesn’t know how to answer that says, “Sure.” And DeSuoza, says in a high pitched, whiney voice,

A: Adriano! Adriano!

There’s totally laughter throughout the courtroom. It’s hysterical! And what is so amazing, is this entire time DeSouza doesn’t even crack a smile. All this time, under this boring, excruciatingly detailed cross, he remains stoic. Not once do I see him even give the tiniest hint of smiling, ever.

Q: So he has a small voice?

A: Yes.

Q: And some have a big voice.

The judge makes a joke about Brunon’s voice, and the jury explodes in laughter again. During this cross, I don’t notice as much note taking by the jurors.

It’s 12 noon and the judge calls the noon recess.

Testimony in front of the jury will resume next Monday. In the afternoon session, the attorneys will continue with the evidentiary hearing in the missing evidence issue. Right when the noon recess was called, I asked Beth what her opinion was of the cross. She thought he was doing very good on the stand, “He’s telling the truth.”

Back inside the courtroom, and the hearing is about to begin. I notice Rochelle is wearing a blood red suit, and I mention this to Steven K. “The color of justice,” he replies. They’re real! I see an actual Team Spector Button! It’s huge. About 4-5 inches across. On the Court TV crime forums, someone came across a web site that supposedly belonged to Spector’s wife. On it, were statements about coming down to the courthouse between 9-4, and picking up a “Team Spector Button.” There was a lot of talk on the Court TV Spector Forum as to whether or not this was a “fake” web site, or if it really did belong to the wife. Someone posted that several news agencies reported that it was real, but there were still skeptics on the forum. Well, it’s true. A new public spectator, a trim, Asian woman had heard me talking about the supposed buttons to David K. Li. She asked me where she could get one. I told her, supposedly from the defense team. Supposedly you can get one. So she goes over to the bodyguards and asks for one, and this was the button she brought back that I saw.

Lana’s family is not here in the courtroom for the hearing yet. The state’s forensic expert is back in the courtroom. I think the woman’s name is Dr. Heard, but I’ll have to verify that. I can’t even take a guess as to her age, but she has real long slightly wavy gray streaked hair that looks like it goes down way past her waist. I finally see Lana’s family come back into the courtroom.

This is a very important moment, that everyone has been waiting for. Dr. Henry Lee is going to take the stand. Most have been speculating as to what he is going to say, to try to defend himself. There are several new people in the gallery that I’m guessing (by the way they are dressed) are from the district attorney’s office.

Dr. Lee takes the stand. Chris Plourd question’s the witness.

Dr. Lee states his name, says he is married and he lives and works in Connecticut. Dr. Lee says he’s a forensic scientist who has been in the field over 40 years, assisting law enforcement all over the world. He says that he has assisted in 6,000 or more cases. When he’s working on a case in Connecticut, and he is in charge, basically there is a standard operation procedure. They follow that procedure. Basically documentation of the scene, collect and preserve evidence, and transferring that evidence to the laboratory for analysis. Sometimes he comes to the scene as a consultant. In that case, he’s not in charge of of the scene. As a consultant, basically assist in certain aspects of the case, such as crime scene reconstruction, blood spatter interpretation, or gunshot trajectory determination.

Sitting at the prosecution table, Pat Dixon is absent, and there is a much younger, totally bald asian looking assistant there helping Alan Jackson. Dr. Lee has three pages of rough notes of his time at the crime scene.

Dr. Lee describes his role when he is assisting the defense, mentioning that the crime scene analysts have already been at the scene. He will document the scene, take pictures, observe the layout of the scene and take notes. If anything has a potential evidentiary value, he collects it. Subsequently, he will transmit (anything collected) it to the police department or law enforcement agency if they want it. If they don’t want it, I give it to lawyer.

Plourd puts up Dr. Lee’s notes he took at the scene, and goes over them with Dr. Lee., and he describes his procedure to go over the scene. He does an overview of the entire house, and takes photographs. Since the lighting in the house was poor, a private detective obtained special lighting to take some close up photographs at the scene. He set up a little laboratory area in another part of the house, to do some chemical testing at the scene. Up on the Elmo is an image of Dr. Lee at the crime scene. He took an overview shot before he set up the extra lighting, and there are some questions for Dr. Lee on the photographs up on the Elmo.

I notice in several of the photographs, that Dr. Lee has his very own “crime scene” ruler, complete with his name engraved into it, “Dr. Henry C. Lee, Chief Forensic Scientist Laboratory, State of Connecticut.” For some reason, I find that amusing that his measuring ruler has his name engraved into it.

More pictures are put up on the Elmo. Dr. Lee describes when he took the pictures and why.

Dr. Lee is now showing that he collected two items. There are images up on the Elmo of two pieces of yarn/thread like materials, and he’s saying that these threads are the only thing he collected. Pictures of the lower stairwell steps, the uncarpeted wood part, are put up on the Elmo. Dr. Lee says he took those pictures, because he said there looked like a “fresh cut or scraping of wood.” Dr. Lee now identifies photographs of what appear to be stains on the wood, and one of them he takes a collection of the stain. Dr. Lee then explains why he collected the threads and the blood stain. Throughout Dr. Lee’s testimony so far, the court reporter has to ask him to clarify what he said. She can’t understand him.

Q: Did you collect anything other than the two items that you just mentioned Dr. Lee?

A: No I did not.

Q: Did ever collect any type of a nail, either a portion of a human fingernail, or portion of an acrylic fingernail? Did you ever collect anything like that?

A: Definitely not.

Dr. Lee now describes photographs of the exterior stairwell wall. He performed some general swabbing, testing of this wall area for blood. There is a close up of this exterior stairwell wall, and there appear to be (according to Dr. Lee) gouges in the wood on this wall near the floor. Some damage to the molding. More photographs are put up of the exterior stairwell wall that appears to be marked up.

Just then, I have a coughing fit, and I don’t have any water with me. All I can think of at the time is, hoping for it to pass and I don’t have to be asked to leave the courtroom.

Q: Do you remember an attorney by the name of Sara Caplan being in or around the scene when you were looking at this particular wall?

A: Yes. There were some people in there.

Q: Okay. Do you remember an attorney by the name of Sara Caplan that was looking at this wall also and what did you do, and what did you remember about that?

A: Everybody try to assist me, sayed, “How about test this spot, or that spot. So, they try to point potential spot to me.

Q: Okay. So you visually examined this wall. Did you see some spots on this wall that you felt were important to do testing on?

A: I saw some area, potential to do test on. I did not see a, a blood drop on. If a blood drop I probably collect it.

More photographs are put up on the Elmo and described. One is a photograph of his working station and Dr. Lee describes it, shows his big magnifying glass he brings to a scene, and also points out the chemicals he uses for testing. He explains how he tests for blood using phenol saline. Dr. Lee has brought some vials to court and is now explaining what they are and how they are used. They are vials that have a cotton Q-tip type swab inside them. He shows the court that he takes this swab out, will swab an area to be tested, and then put the swab back in the vial.

Dr. Lee tries to say that Ms. Caplan was mistaken, and what she most likely saw was Dr. Lee swabbing the wall with one of these swabs, and then putting the swab back in the vial.

Several more photographs are put up on the Elmo, and Dr. Lee describes them.

A year later, Stan White supposedly sent Dr. Lee a package, wrapped up in a Macey’s paper bag. Dr. Lee says he did not see Mr. White collect anything at the scene. More pictures up on the screen of the front and back of this package that he was sent. Dr. Lee found a piece of red carpet inside. Since it contained blood, he sealed it in a biohazard bag. He said he couldn’t find anyone to determine what to do with it , so he kept it.

Now I understand why Dr. Herold was there. She was there to collect the evidence that Dr. Lee did bring to court with him. The examiner’s office will take possession of of the blood stained carpet. And the item is turned over to the crime lab right then.

Some photographs are put up on the Elmo, that the people entered earlier in the hearing, and Dr. Lee is asked to identify the items. He identifies them as the items he sent to the LA Sheriff’s crime lab. The court reporter asks Dr. Lee to repeat his words again.

Q: Now, your collection of these two items that we’ve been discussing, has an issue ever come up in this case where they wanted you to testify about your collection of these items before?

A: Yes.

Q: Okay. And, when was that.

A: That was ah, in ‘84.

Q: Okay, Ah, can we have a letter report marked next in order your honor?

Judge: Ah, 52.

Plourd. Is it ‘94 or 2004?

A: Ah... I mean 2004. 2004.

The document is a letter from Dr. Lee to Leslie Abramson, and it deals with him being called to testify, but he never testified. He had the items he collected with him, but since he never testified, he never handed them over.

Dr. Lee reviewed a transcript testimony of Stanley White regarding his observations.

Q: Do you have a different recollection than what he testified about as to anything of the things he saw or observed?

A: I feel very upset. I think my, (unintelligible word), my reputation severely damaged. Because he said things. I don’t know this person. I just don’t know why he did that. My recollection I did not have any conversation. My document, my pictures show the carpet there. Nobody cut into the carpet. ...  I never put biohazard material in my handkerchief. Just, nobody does that. Scientists, we’re all trained, to be objective; to be fair. Whatever we find, I reported. Nothing to hide about it. Remember one time he say, “That’s not a handkerchief now, all of a sudden it become a tissue. And he said the fingernail is red. Uh, he, I just don’t know what he’s talking about.”

Q: Dr. Lee, did you collect anything, or look at, or see anything that looked like a fingernail at that scene?

A: (Slightly chuckling) No, I did not see. I did not collect any fingernail. No, I did not collect any tooth. All I did was collect that two, thread like material. Which I documented when I picked it up.

There’s more questions about fingers, and that in over 6,000 crime scenes, Dr. Lee has only seen fingers a few times. And then bullet “swipe” is discussed, and how could all those investigators at the scene, miss a fingernail? Then there’s some talk about the gasses of the gun and whether or not it can melt the acrylic that the fake nails are made of.

Q: Did you review some testimony by a Sara Caplan?

A: Yes I did.

Q: Okay. And, uh, do you have any recollection that comports to what she saw?

A: I think she made an, honest mistake. When I use a swab, swab a surface, I put in a test tube, that looks like, something white. Maybe, she just make assumption; did not even check, what’s going on.

A few more questions about the tubes Dr. Lee uses are asked, as well as questions regarding how he was asked to stay on with the State Connecticut Crime Lab.

End of direct examination.

A recess is called. Alan Jackson is now able to take time to review the original photographs that Dr. Lee brought with him. These were the photographs that the prosecution has been asking for, for over a year. There’s lots of huddled discussion among the attorneys. Someone in the gallery makes a comment about how terrible it is that Mr. Jackson has to try to review the original negatives right there in the courtroom using the poor overhead fluorescent lighting.

Earlier in the day, around 9:30 am, I overheard Mr. Dunne describing how Cutler gave him a ride back to Pasadena when his driver didn’t show up. Dominick says Cutler is a really entertaining person. The break is still going.

Alan Jackson finally starts the cross of Dr. Lee.

Q: Did you recognize anyone there?

A: They all look alike to me.

I can’t believe it. Dr. Lee says the same joke he’s said in virtually every trial he’s testified in. There’s no jury here to laugh at his joke, and it’s not funny after it’s been told so many times.

Alan Jackson asked Dr. Lee directly, in person, in February 2006, for items he collected, and Dr. Lee doesn’t remember that.

Now Dr. Lee is explaining that he doesn’t document a “private case” as carefully as he would one for the state. “Not a state case,” he says.

Q: Why is it you don’t document as precisely?

A: I don’t document every conversation.

Now Dr. Lee is explaining that his secretary would have the documents that shows when he mailed his file to the District Attorney’s office. It’s not in is file. The secretary would have the FedEx slip. Dr. Lee says that since he does have the FedEx slip, that’s documentation.

Q: Why did you not keep a record in the file?

A: You have to ask them (his secretary).

Now Alan Jackson is asking Dr. Lee about paper bindles verses the type of collection paper that’s standard in Connecticut. In Los Angeles County, they use envelopes that are called bindles. In Connecticut, it’s a type of paper that’s folded and sealed somehow. But here, at this crime scene, Dr. Lee used “post it” paper. POST-IT paper! I can see it now, Dr. Lee will forever be called Dr. Post-it. And Dr. Lee sounds like he’s getting exasperated because in a very agitated tone he says, “It’s all paper! It all comes from the same place.”

Alan Jackson also gets Dr. Lee to admit that he didn’t document when he took his photographs at the scene.

A: I took that night. I don’t know what time.

Q: All those photographs were taken that night?

A: I don’t remember. (snip) Some maybe before the package, I sent it. (snip) I don’t remember exactly every one. I’d have to compare to my negative. Maybe you can help me.

Dr. Lee now says that with private consultation cases, all items he collects are stored at his home where he has a laboratory. Alan Jackson keeps insisting there was a court order for his file.

Q: Why didn’t you send it?

A: I only send what I collect. I was told only what I collected. I did not do any measurements. I just put my ruler there.

Q: Did you make a note as to when you received this piece of evidence? (I believe Jackson is talking about the rug swatch from Stan White).

A: No.

Q: Do you have an assistant? Do you have any procedures or protocols for your assistants to document (your case files)?

Alan Jackson asks Dr. Lee, or implies that Dr. Lee is sloppy. And I look over and Spector appears to be laughing! Dr. Lee gets real angry with his reply.


Dr. Lee got very irate at any time it was insinuated he was not using proper procedures. Mr. Jackson is clearly rattling the great Henry Lee.

Q: So, if Ms. Caplan testified to you picking up ...

A: She must be mistaken.

Now, Alan Jackson puts up on the Elmo, a photograph of a small white object that appears to be sitting on one of the stairway steps. And he asks Dr. Lee about this photograph.

Q: Is that a small white object?

A: No. That’s a cut.

Sheesh! Looks like a small white object to me! Dr. Lee is actually trying to tell the court (what all of us in the courtroom can see with our own eyes), that this small white object lying on the steps that he photographed is a gouge, a cut in the wood. And this is supposed to be a world renowned criminalist?

And, as we already know, a week later, Judge Fidler ruled that Dr. Lee’s testimony was not credible.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Trial Notes, 5-15-07

Updated 6-2-07I arrive on the ninth floor of the courthouse around five minutes after 9 am. Dominick Dunne, Michelle, and another reporter that is often with them are all sitting together on a bench. (Days later I find out this is Ciaran McEvoy who writes for City News.) These three are usually sitting together waiting to get into court, and they always sit together inside the courtroom, too. Linda Deutsch usually sits at the end of the bench on the far right in this same row or a row back. I see Mr. Dunne and smile and wave and he smiles and says hello back.

9:07 am
Linda Kenney Baden, Chris Plourd, and their clerk who operates the Elmo for their exhibits arrive. LKB talks to the reporter Michelle about her flat sandals type shoes LKB is wearing. Apparently, LKB broke a bone in her foot (that went undiagnosed for over a year), and this is all she can wear for her feet not to hurt. LKB is wearing a purple jacket with black pants, and I really wonder about her fashion sense for the courtroom. (A week later, when my husband was watching LKB cross a witness on TV, he commented about her dress and hair being, “out of place” for an attorney.)

A woman with a juror badge comes over to me and asks, “Are you 105?” Meaning, am I assigned to courtroom 105. I say, “No. I’m watching the Spector trial.” “Lucky you,” she replies. I notice that young, cute blonde DEA agent going into Fidler’s courtroom again. Harriet Ryan arrives and sits with David K. Li, who has taken advantage of a hallway outlet to recharge his cellphone. The prosecution’s clerk, Ed, arrives with a male assistant. The jury files past into the courtroom. Dominick Dunne has his cell phone on speaker as he takes a call. Everyone in the hallway can hear both sides of the conversation. I smile, but I really do understand. Mr. Dunne is 80, and if he needs to put his phone on speaker to hear somebody, who am I to judge that.

A man comes up to Mr. Dunne to chat about a case. He’s another public trial watcher like me, that I’ve seen in the courtroom a few times. He hands Dominick some papers to read and they talk about whats on the pages. Steven Mikulan of the LA Weekly arrives and I ask him about his deadlines, and how long before the paper goes to print does he have to have a story in. “Ten days to print, “ he says, “But they keep extending that deadline.” He says he can get a story online immediately. Here is his latest story on the trial as of this writing. We chat about yesterday’s testimony (which I missed) and how boring it was. I overhear Mr. Dunne say to someone else in the hall, ”And you had murder on your mind.” I wonder if this phrase will become infamous, or just fade away.

Steven tells me that the judge snapped at the reporter’s yesterday. Someone was answering another reporter’s question, and some of the reporters thought the judge was snapping at him, but Steven very casually points to the reporter who was being a bit loud. The individual is a regular at trial, who sits in the back row, and works on a laptop. Lana’s family arrives and are led into the courtroom. Someone named “Steve” shakes hands with Roger Rosen. Rosen introduces Dominick Dunne to his cousin and a friend. They came to watch the trial.

There’s a new media liaison person from the court I’ve never seen before. I’ve got to make sure I catch her eye and let her know I’m one of the public, and need to be included in the public group that want seats for the trial. I see the manager from the House of Blues is talking to the prosecution’s clerk, Ed. All the public and the reporters are still waiting to be let into the courtroom. I see two elderly ladies, all dressed up in suits, their hair expertly coifed and full make-up, say hello to Dominick and start to chat. They are waiting to get in and observe the trial. Finally, I get into the courtroom and take a seat by Steven in the second row on the far left. It’s 9:35 am. It’s another late start today.

I look around the courtroom and I don’t see Eric Leonard. I was able to hear his trial reporting yesterday, and it was great. I later learn that he’s reporting on the trial from the 12th floor media room. There are video feeds to the CTV cameras up there, and some of the reporters, their employers set them up with little TV screens where they can watch the trial from this room. For radio reporters like Eric, this is perfect because he’s no longer restricted as to when he can enter and leave the courtroom, and he can give his on air coverage of the trial, when it works for the station.

There’s a new cameraman in the back left corner. Harriet Ryan and David K. Li tease this new guy because he looks quite a bit like Patrick Swayze. One of the reporters says, “Where is Jennifer Grey when you need her? Show us some of that dirty dancing!” I notice there are more individuals sitting in the front row with Lana’s family. I ask Michelle if she knows who the new people in the front row are. Michelle thinks both the men are attorneys. There are five reporters in the back row, all on their laptops: Joe Spano, the tall, lanky looking guy, Harriet, Michael, and Peter Y. Hong from the LA Times.

The attorneys are in chambers with the judge and I believe the court reporter. LKB sits beside Spector. Trials take so long because of these endless delays, haggling over bits and pieces of evidence. A reporter makes a teasing comment about Dominick to another reporter. “Dom will get his OWN blog if you do that!” he says. Dominick turns around to look at them, smiling. I see one of the bottle blondes I saw on the second day of trial come into the courtroom and sit down on the defense site. Steven comments that they all look like Lonnie Anderson to him. The bottle blonde chats with Rosen’s cousin and another person on the defense side by the door. I overhear Joe Spano, (in reading Peter Y. Hong’s article) “Peter, this is wonderful!” Everyone is restless. Alan Parachini from the court’s public relations office arrives.

I make a note that I have rarely seen Lana’s mother smile. Her daughter occasionally does, as well as the gentlemen who are usually with them, but I’ve never seen Lana’s mom smile. There is a weight of sadness on her face, and I can’t help but connect with that, and what she’s had to live through. Then, finally, the trial of her daughter’s murder.

Alan Parachini comes in and sits in the row right behind me. He turns and jokingly asks Mr. Spano to behave well today. I’m betting this has to do with the public admonishment by the judge yesterday. For most in the gallery, this is exciting, myself included, watching a trial. But for the family, there is no excitement and it shows on Lana’s mother’s face.

Court gets underway. The jury is called in and a witness takes the stand. It’s the manager of the House of Blues. I totally miss getting his name. The witness testifies that they take a “softer hand with the music industry celebrities.” He says, “They have to be handled a bit more delicately.” Spector was an A-list member. The server is not allowed to cut off an A-list member, even if they appear to be drunk. The management team weighs in the factor of the transportation of the entourage of the member. (So, this is no surprise that celebrities are treated differently than the general public.)

Rosen steps up to cross the witness.

The witness testifies that, if the individual is not a member of the band or on a guest list of a member, they can not get into The Foundation Room. The policy of The Foundation Room is now discussed, and it’s testified to again, that celebrities are handled more gingerly.

Q: If a situation was not handled properly, it could result in the loss of revenue?
A: Could be. The situation would be kicked up to a senior vice-president.

Rosen now goes over the laws regarding maintaining a liquor license, and the “massive revenue” that a liquor license brings. And Rosen elicits that an inspector would not be allowed into The Foundation Room unless they identified themselves.

Q: (The liquor license is a) significant revenue getter. You’re very protective of that?
A: Yes.

Rosen is now calling the manager on the carpet regarding the liquor license code, and serving individuals who may be drunk. Rosen is reading the code to the witness, about serving an “obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Q: The policy of the House of Blues (would be) not to violate the liquor code?
A: That would be correct.

Rosen now takes a moment to confer with Bruce Cutler. Cutler smiles at the witness.

Q: On February 3rd, 2003, you were not familiar with Spector’s presence (at the House of Blues) on that date?
A: Correct.

Redirect of the witness. I believe Alan Jackson does the redirect.

Q: Would you describe it (the House of Blues) as a Rock and Roll venue?
A: Yes.
Q: Would your servers instructed to maintain a high profile, rock and roll “vibe?”
A: Yes.
Q: If servers are constantly cutting of patrons who were critical to the Rock and Roll “vibe,” that would severely impact the “vibe,” correct?
A: Correct.

Recross by Rosen

Q: You are not here saying the House of Blues breaks the law are you?
A: Not suggesting that. Just the way we handle celebrity patrons is different. It would be kicked up to a higher level, and that person would make the decision. ... I would kick it up to a higher level.
Q: You are not suggesting that the Vice President, whom you report to, would tell you to turn another cheek and break the law?
A: I don’t know that. All I can tell you is that we treated celebrities differently.

And that’s the end of the testimony of the manager of the House of Blues. A new witness takes the stand.

Direct of Sophia Holguin.

This is a really attractive, dark-skinned woman with great cheekbones and a nice figure. She worked as a waitress/server at the House of Blues in The Foundation Room. As of February 3rd, 2003, she had worked there for two months.

Q: You worked for a few weeks, late (into the evening)?
A: It was for the elite, so it was different.
Q: Did you know Lana Clarkson?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Was she working there on February 3, 2003?
A: She was a hostess/security. She guarded the door. ... Security had to make sure they were allowed in.
Q: Did you see Phil Spector?
A: (Yes.) He was with a young woman, with blonde hair.
Q: Had you seen Phil Spector before?
A: Once. ... I asked Lana to put him in my section because I knew he was a big tipper. ... That’s what I’m there for. To make money.

Lana called Spector “Mrs. Spector." He corrected her. The witness went up to Lana and told her Phil Spector was a multimillionaire.

Q: Do you know a man name Euphrates?
A: Yes. He was bar tending and working security.
Q: Did security wear radios?
A: Yes.

Phil Spector and his guest were seated in her section. He ordered a Cardi (sp?) straight up. Just straight; no mixer. It’s a premium rum. It has a high level of alcohol. The woman with him ordered a bottle of water. The witness testified that Spector said, “Just order a f***in’ drink!”

A: It was odd. I could clearly see that she didn’t want a drink. ... I could see it in her eyes she didn’t want a drink and appeared uncomfortable.

The witness goes on to explain that within The Foundation Room, there are “separate rooms” within the room. The room Spector and his guest were in was called “The Buddha Room.” When she returned with their drinks, the woman was gone. He apparently had sent her home.

Right after that, Spector asked her if she wanted a drink. She refused. She was working. He then asked her if she wanted to go home with him.

Q: What did you say?
A: Thank you, I can’t go. I had to work and I had a meeting (in the morning). ... He appeared a little agitated.

The attorneys call for a sidebar with the judge. The jury fidgets. The witness smiles while she’s on the stand. It’s probably a nervous smile. The jury is all turned to watch what is going on at the side bar at the bench. Juror #9 fiddles with an altoids tin that makes a noticable noise in the quiet courtroom. I look over and see Dominick staring intently at the jury.

We’re back on direct.

Q: Based on your job and what you do, did you think Phil Spector was under the influence?
A: Yes. Just his demeanor. Slurring his words. He appeared agitated.
Q: Did he ask for another drink?
A: Yes. After 2 am. So, I had to ask a manger.
Q: That was Kim?
A: Yes. She said no.

The witness testifies that Lana was moving around the room fluffing up pillows, and Spector commented on that.

Q: Did he comment on Lana?
A: He said, “She won’t stay still. She’s like some f****in’ Charlie Chaplin.”

A copy of the bar bill is put up on the Elmo. It shows that Spector tipped $450.00 on a $13.50 bar bill. Spector instructed her to divide the tip up among herself, security and the hostess.

After the House of Blues was starting to close, the witness overheard (on the security radios) Phil asking for Lana to sit down with him and to have a drink with him.

End of Direct. Rosen steps up to the podium to being the cross.

Rosen begins by getting the witness to go over virtually everything she already testified to. It’s slow, it’s monotonous, but when I look over at the jurors, they appear attentive.

Rosen elicits from the witness that Lana was a “big boned, statuesque woman.” That Phil Spector is a small man, and that Lana outweighed him.

Q: Do you recall being interviewed by detective .......(I miss getting the name of the detective). ... Do you remember saying, “Who does she think she is... get out of here.” ... “She doesn’t need to get that comfortable.”

From what I’m remembering as I type up these notes, apparently, the witness felt that Lana was sort of “hovering” over her table, and was in the room too much, moving about the room, fluffing up pillows. The waitress felt in some way that Lana was trying to “hone in” on her customer and possibly tips.

Rosen is trying to impeach the witness with her prior testimony to detectives. In a question about Spector’s demeanor, the witness says, “He wasn’t angry with me. He just seemed angry in general.”

Q: You never said that to the investigator back in February.
A: I wasn’t asked that.

Much has been made about his big tipping. The witness says that, “He asked me to write down, how to break up the tip.” And Rosen is really grilling the witness as to who got how much, and she’s not really remembering exactly, and he apparently is really going after her for that. Rosen appears to be getting testy with the witness, and the witness is getting testy back. Right now, juror #9 is swiveling his chair around a lot. Lana’s mother is very stoic. She has a bland, sad expression on her face.

The witness testifies that Lana came over to their table/area, and sat down on the arm of a chair. (I wonder if this was beside Phil, or just near the area.) Rosen elicits from the witness that the prosecution said to her that she didn’t have to talk to the defense if she didn’t want to. Rosen steps over to the defense table, and whispers to LKB and Spector.) The witness then says that when Spector left, he was the last one to leave The Foundation Room.

There’s no redirect and the witness is excused. Since court started way late, they are not going to take a morning break.

The next prosecution witness is Euphrathes Lalondriz.

The clerk stumbles on saying the oath for this witness.

Patrick Dixon does the direct examination. The witness says that as of February 3rd, 2003 he had worked at the Sunset Blvd., House of Blues for about a year and a half, almost 2 years. Before that, he worked at the New Orleans location, somewhere between 4-5 years. He then transferred to the Sunset location. On the night in question, he was a security officer and a trainer at that point in time. He also worked as a bartender from time to time. He started working at 7 pm until closing that day. He got off work at about 2:30 am.

Q: What exactly was your job as a security officer? Were you assigned to a particular part of the House of Blues?
A: Yes. I was a trainer. I was assigned to certain spots, and to check up on certain people.
Q: Were you working near The Foundation Room?
A: Yes. I’m a security officer for The Foundation Room.
Q: You mentioned that you were a training officer. Can you explain that for us?
A: A trainer is, a person that trains another fellow employee. And at that time, I was training Lana Clarkson.

The witness identifies a photo of Lana Clarkson that is put up on the Elmo, and he explains more of his training duties with Lana. And, he goes onto explain that security officers in The Foundation Room are more VIP than others in the House of Blues. They have to dress in blazers, jackets. Downstairs, they can wear T-shirts. The witness says, “It’s different; they work in different crowds, celebrities, VIP upstairs. They have to be more ‘professional,’ not, excuse the word, ghetto...”

Q: Radios. Tell us about that.
A: All the security officers in The Foundation Room have radios. And the other persons that has a radio is the bar; and besides the manager.

The radio’s include a headphone; an earpiece.

Q: In the Foundation Room, did you treat people really nice?
A: Yes. There are certain people that we have to treat “golden.”
Q: Golden?
A: Golden.
Q: Okay. On that day that you were trying to help Lana Clarkson, is it fair to say that you were keeping an eye on her, because you were training her?
A: Yes. Definitely.
Q: And where exactly was she working? What exactly was her job that day, at 1:30 in the morning, 2’ o'clock.
A: That whole day, she started with me downstairs, so she could know about the wrist bands.
Q: Tell us about the wrist bands.

A: The club has different wrist bands than us. The club is paper. We have plastic. The members get a different color, and their guests get a different color. They are to distinguish who gets into the Foundation Room, and who also gets into the club. Not necessary that you be a member. You get a wrist band, and you can go down to the concert. Even if you are a Foundation Room member, if you didn’t buy tickets to the concert, that mean’s you can’t go to the club. So, sometimes, you’d have to carry your member’s wristband, and also your club wristband, to go into both floors.

Q: So, at some point you had to explain to Lana Clarkson all that?
A: Yes. I have to explain all that.

One of her jobs at 1:30 in the morning at the Foundation Room, was to decide who gets into The Foundation Room and who doesn’t. At around 12 midnight, Lana was stationed at the door of The Foundation Room. If guests didn’t have the proper wrist band, then they were not allowed in.

Q: No matter who you are?
A: No matter who you are. If they don’t know you. I’m sorry. Let’s say if I never met you, and you walk in and you don’t have a wrist band, I’m not gonna let you in.
Q: You’re probably not going to let me in anyway?

A bit of laughter erupts in the courtroom.

A: No, (with a bit of laughter in his voice.)
Q: If I don’t have a wrist band, no chance, right?
A: No chance.
Q: So, from midnight on, until closing, based on your last answer as I understand it, Lana Clarkson’s job was to be at the door of The Foundation Room, to make sure only the right people, with the right wrist bands got in. Is that correct?
A: Yes.
Q: Prior to that date, did you know who Phil Spector was?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: You’d seen him before?
A: Uh, yes.

Q: At some point that evening, about 1:30 -1:45 in the morning, did you see Phil Spector near Lana Clarkson?
A: I’d seen him, after I was told.
Q: Somebody mentioned his name to you?
A: Yes.
Q: Over the radio, or otherwise?
A: Otherwise.

Q: Who talked to you?
A: Sophia.
Q: Just our last witness?
A: Yes.
Q: In fact, she was a waitress, in The Foundation Room, that evening?
A: Yes.

Q: What did she say to you about Phil Spector?
A: That, he’s in the hallway, and, he is getting loud. So, something is going on, and to go check up on Lana, because Lana doesn’t recognize Phil, and she’s stopped him. So he’s not to happy. So, I told Sophia, that I’d go take care of it right now.
Q: And, did you go take care of it?
A: Yes. While I was walking towards her, because I was at Sunset, and she’s at the beginning of the door, while I was walking towards her, I’m trying to explain to her over the radio, and I told her that I would be right there. So I got there.

Q: So, you talked to her over your little ear radio.
A: Yes.
Q: And you told her, I’ll be right there, I need to help you on this.
A: Yes.
Q: And when you arrived at where Lana Clarkson was stationed at The Foundation Room, what did you say or do next?
A: Lana Clarkson was at the door still. Um, Mr. Phil Spector was in the bathroom, was in the restroom. When I arrived towards Lana, that’s when he was walking out of the bathroom. And then he recognized me. He was like, “Hey, Euphrathes.”

There’s an objection, and the Judge over rules it.

Dixon: You can answer that.

A: So, when he seen me, he was like, “Hey, Euphrathes.” I said; I approached, “Hey Mr. Phil Spector, how ya’ doin’?” So that’s when I was like, let me just introduce, “I’m sorry. Lana Clarkson, this is Phil Spector. Phil Spector, this is Lana Clarkson. She’s one of our new ladies. I’m sorry that this happened.” And you know, I explained to Lana, “Hey. This is Phil Spector. I don’t know if you know who he is. And she shook her head, saying, “No.” I was like, “Well, okay. He is treated golden. He’s treated like Dan Akroyd. So.”

His supervisor, Kim Gregory was the one who initially told him who Phil Spector was. I see Phil twist a ring on his left hand, then go back to clasping his hands together.

Q: Also, in an earlier answer you told us that you told Lana Clarkson that Phil Spector should be treated like gold, like Dan Akroyd. What did that mean? Is that some kind of House of Blues code, for how you should treat people?

A: Well, yes. It’s a code basically saying, um, you have your members. And you have golden members. There’s different types of members, in the membership. Um, because of the status, sometimes, like, Mr. Dan Akroyd. We have certain tables reserved for him. We don’t bother him. We just give them their privacy. We’re not allowed to, um, talk to them. If they talk to us, we talk to them. If they need something from us there, that’s fine. But then, outside of that, it’s different. So, when Dan Akroyd comes in, he is treated golden. That when he comes in, he has his table. If someone is there, he’ll wait. Or, if we have to, either, compliment the guests that we have there, to take them somewhere else, to accommodate Dan Akroyd to his table. Those are the types of things I’m talking about.

Q: And, by saying these words to Lana Clarkson, treat him like gold, treat him like, treat Phil Spector like Dan Akroyd, you were telling her, exactly how to treat, Phil Spector that evening.

A: To treat or respect because he didn’t have a wrist band. Dan Akroyd, doesn’t wear a wrist band. Dan Akroyd, doesn’t like to wear a wrist band, because sometimes it bothers him. Sometimes he doesn’t know how to yank it out. So, there’s certain guests, Golden guests, or Platinum Guests, or memberships, that we don’t, if, we know them, everyone should know them. We as employees, are given lists, of like guests who are coming in, preshift, so that, if they walk in, even if they don’t have a wrist band, we should know. As security officers, waiters, bartenders, managers. When they walk in, we don’t bother them. But, if there are guests, we do have to ask for a wrist band.

Judge: Why is Dan Akroyd is so important to the House of Blues?
A: Dan Akroyd is so important because he’s one of our sponsors. He’s part of the House of Blues.
Judge: Thank you.

The witness confirms that Kathy Sullivan didn’t want a drink. To the witness, Kathy Sullivan appeared to be uncomfortable. He determined that from the way she was acting. She seemed to be edgy. Juror #10 takes lots of notes here. Jurors 5, 6,7,8,9, are all attentively watching the witness. The witness talks about how Lana was given permission to go sit with Phil Spector, but she wasn’t allowed to have a drink with him. The witness then goes into the close down procedures, and Lana was instructed that night to do some of these things herself, instead of being done together.

Dixon asks for a moment to confer with Jackson.

The last time the witness saw Lana, was when she was walking out to leave. He was asking Lana if she was okay, if she was getting the van (employee van to where employees parked their car), and she was like, “Okay. There’s other people downstairs.” So, Lana communicated that she was fine. At that moment, the witness didn’t know if she was actually with Spector or not, but he observed her walking away from The Foundation Room.

Direct ends, and Rosen begins his cross.

Q: Lana Clakson was a tall woman, she had a physicality about her? Is that a fair statement?
A: I don’t understand physicality.
Q: Well, she’s a tall woman, wasn’t she?
A: Yes.
Q: Over six feet, right?
A: Yes.
Q: And when I she she has a physicality, she wasn’t frail. She wasn’t skinny. Ah, I don’t like to use the word substantial, because it connotes something else. I’ll leave that to Mr. Cutler.

Laughter in the courtroom for the joke about Cutler’s size. Rosen says, “He’ll get even with me for that later your honor.”

I see that Lana’s mother’s jaw appears to be shut tight, with a taught expression on her face. Rosen goes over the prosecutions questions, and virtually asks the same things again. The training of Lana, the time Spector arrived. Trying to get the witness to say how long Spector was at the House of Blues, that there were other patrons at House of Blues, how may other people were there. He’s trying to get the witness to contradict the waitresses testimony. He’s going over all of Lana’s procedures in detail. It’s excruciatingly painful. Rosen asks something about patrons being escorted out in a nice way, and then something is said, and Rosen replies, “I didn’t go to law school for nothing.” It’s like he is making some sort of funny joke, but it doesn’t come over that way.

I miss the name, but it appears the witness verified that “Shane said she could sit with the guest.” Shane was serving as the Director of Operations. Lana finished her close down procedures, first. She did not immediately go sit with Spector.

Judge calls for the noon recess, and I head downstairs to eat my lunch and read a book I’d brought to pass the time.

Back on the 9th floor from lunch, I see Mr. Dunne and I sit on the same bench he’s on. Mr. Dunne and I exchange smiles as I open my book to read. Dominick asks me what I’m reading. I show him the front of the book, Deep Survival; Who lives, Who Dies, and Why, by Laurence Gonzales. I tell him, ‘It’s fascinating.”

At 1:15 pm, I see the jury is brought back to the courtroom. There’s one bailiff in front of the group, and another at the very rear. They are smiling and talking among each other. They appear to be friendly with each other. The gentleman who approached Dominick (I later find out his name is Richard) comes up to Mr. Dunne and hand some papers to him. It’s a copy of the police report, and has the statements that Spector made to police. I see on the report, “It was an accident.” Richard gives Dominick another paper. Mr. Dunne, in showing me these papers asks if I’d seen this. I told him that I had read about what he said, but I had not actually seen a copy of the police report. An elderly, sort of flashy dressed man comes up to Mr. Dunne and they start chatting it up. (I later learn this is the infamous reporter who had a run`in with Spector, Steve Dunleavy.) They finally let us into the courtroom and I’m in.

We all take our favorite spots in the courtroom. From right to left in the row I’m in, the young male reporter, then Mr. Dunne, then Michelle, then Steven, then me. The female black bailiff calls out in a loud voice, “All cell phones off! No gum chewing!” Steven leans into me and teasingly whispers, “No tongue or lip chewing!” There are two new people in the front row, a man and a woman, very nicely dressed in suits. The woman speaks to Lana’s mom. (It’s not until the next day, that I find out these two people are the prosecutions jury consultants.)

I look down our row to see what Dominick is writing in today. It’s a black and white school composition notebook. More room is needed in the front row for Lana’s family, and the female jury consultant moves to sit in the next row with us, right beside Dominick.

1:35 pm.
The jurors are brought in, but the judge is still not on the bench. The witness is on the stand. We all wait and the courtroom starts to get a little restless. The judge finally takes the bench.

Rosen finally takes the podium to continue cross.

He goes over with the witness the different “designations” of employees. Server, security, waitress. Now, they are going over a document on the Elmo called a “Punch Detail Report.” This report details who worked how long and how much they were paid.

OBJECTION! Relevance! Approach, your honor?

Most jurors avoid eye contact with the gallery, but, as I watch during the side bar, a few look out into the gallery. Juror #5 looks right at me. When the juror looks at me, I wonder if smiling back would be considered “communicating” with a juror, and I make sure to keep my expression on my face bland, and don’t crack even the tiniest hint of a smile. The jurors watch the judge and attorneys. There’s more argument it appears over asking about employee wages.

Back to questioning the witness. Laughter erupts over a question Rosen asks, but Lana’s mother’s expression does not change. She sits there, very stoic. There are more objections, citing relevancy about how the witness knows how they calculate how much liquor is sold every week, and there’s another conference at the bench. The witness looks over at the jury. I see Beth Karas come in. She sits in the row behind me, right beside the camera monitor operators. I’ve seen the two control operators eat lunch together in the downstairs cafeteria every day. We’re back on cross.

Rosen takes a moment to confer, and I see the judge whisper to his black female bailiff. Rosen continues to confer with the other defense attorneys.

I have written in my notes here, “Detective Rich Tomlin to join us,” but I can’t for the life of me remember what this is about. Did he ask the witness something about an interview with Detective Tomlin? There is another side bar. Cutler joins Rosen and Brunon at the judge’s bench, but then quickly leaves. The judge had ruled very early in the trial, in the preliminary stages that only two attorneys from each side are allowed at side bars.

Back to questioning the witness, Rosen asks him about a missing tequila bottle. The witness said he didn’t know anything about that. Just that they do inventory on Monday. I write this note on my pad and show it to Steven: Maybe Phil hid the bottle under his coat? I see Cutler lean in and confers with Spector. The attorneys have another side bar at the bench, and the defense is finally done with this witness.

Detective Richard Tomlin takes the stand. Detective Tomlin is a Deputy Sheriff of Los Angeles County. He interviewed a Mr. Quadro, at the police station. He went voluntarily. (I’m guessing that Mr. Quantro must not be available to testify. I wonder if it’s because Mr. Quantro is out of the country.) This testimony is all about Spector, when he was at Dan Tana’s, asking about getting a Navy Grog, a drink that is specific to Trader Vic’s. Since that drink wasn’t served at Dan Tana’s, there was an obvious problem filling Spector’s request. The officer is testifying, to bring in the corroborating evidence that this witness would be bringing in, as to Spector’s evening at Dan Tana’s. The defense makes one last attempt to object to what this witness is testifying to, and the judge over rules them.

Direct is finished, and cross of this witness begins.

The interview with Mr. Quadro happened at the Compton Police station, in the captain's office. The detective and his partner interviewed him. Mr. Quadro was given several options (of where to be interviewed) and this location was closest to his home. The witness is asked if Mr. Quantro came voluntarily, and I believe the answer is yes. The witness testifies that he doesn’t believe the interview was recorded. “To the best of my recollection, it was unrecorded.” I believe the cross ends, and the witness leaves the stand.

Juror #9 fidgets. An alternate looks asleep to me. Nope. He just looked up when the judge spoke. The judge asks juror #6 if he’s getting those e-mails together.

The next witness is the chauffeur! Adriano DeSouza! Finally! Some testimony that gets to the meat of the evening. Alan Jackson will conduct the direct questioning.

The witness says he arrived at Mr. Spector’s house around 6:45 pm. He was his private driver. He drove Mr. Spector’s car. He was not Spector’s full time driver, but an alternate. DeSouza says he thinks Spector’s full time driver is Dillon. At the time, he had been working about 2 years at The Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills as a valet. He was also working at two limousine companies. The regular driver, Dillon, needed someone to cover for him when he wasn’t available to drive for Mr. Spector. When DeSouza started driving for Mr. Spector, initially, just Dillon called him. After that, Michelle Blane, Spector’s personal assistant called him directly.

I see Spector’s hands are really shaking hard now.

DeSousa says that he drove for Spector about 13-14 times, from about November 2002 until that night.

Q: About three-and-a-half, to four months?
A: Yes.

DeSouza had to ask his boss at The Grill for the day off so that he could have the opportunity to drive for Spector. He used Spector’s car and credit cards to pay for gas. He charged $30.00 an hour. Photos of 1700 Grand View, Spector’s house, a view from the air, are put up on the Elmo, and DeSouza identifies that as Spector’s house. The witness says that he knew Spector called his home, “The Castle.”

The procedure for getting into the property is discussed, and DeSouza says that there are cameras at the front gate, but that no one asked him (who he was) on the intercom. It was no surprise that he was there, and he was let in. DeSouza was told that he would be driving Spector in a new vehicle. Normally, he drove Spector in a classic, 1964 Rolls Royce. He looked for a black Mercedes S430, because that was the new car. That was the first time that DeSouza had driven this car. The keys were inside the car, and DeSouza verifies that is was a brand new car. He describes his procedure for preparing the car, checking that everything was okay. Adriano took the car up to the rear entrance by the fountain, and Spector came out right afterwards. “Mr. Spector sat in the back on the passenger side. He had a leather bag with him.”

DeSouza had brought his laptop with him, some snacks, water, and a DVD to watch (on his laptop). The witness describes what Spector was wearing. Black pants, black shirt, and a white/beige suit jacket. I notice jurors #10 and #7 take notes.

In 2003, Adriano had been in the US about four years. He was in school in the US on a student visa. He was here in the United States with his girlfriend. (He is now married to her.)

The afternoon break is called.

As Lana’s mom leaves the courtroom on break, she has a few words with Sandi Gibbons. And it’s now, for the first time ever, I see a small smile on her face as she speaks to Sandi. The black, female bailiff sits inside a Plexiglas cubicle booth, near the entrance to the courtroom, right beside judge Fidler’s clerk. As I watch Spector at the defense table, he’s standing, going over some papers, and his hands are not shaking. It’s now that I see for the first time that underneath those long suit jackets, Spector is wearing suspenders. Phil confers with his attorneys. They are both looking over some information on a computer screen. Rochelle is in the gallery on the defense side, intently checking her blackberry. I notice that Dominick has left his little attaché case on the bench while he went out for break to stretch his legs. It almost looks like it’s plastic. I notice several large pink stickers on it. The stickers have the letter “V” in gray, along with the word “guest.” I imagine those are some Vanity Fair party stickers from past events. As Spector stands conferring with his attorneys, he keeps his hands in his pockets. His hands come out of his pockets, and he starts waving his arms and hands about a bit, expressing himself with his hands. His hands are still for a bit, and then I see his left hand begin to shake. Rochelle leads Spector out of the courtroom, his bodyguards forming a big wedge around them.

During the break, Michelle goes on about the types of pens she uses because they cause her the least amount of problems. They make it easier for her to write with her carpal tunnel symptoms. The two jury consultants turn and talk to Michelle about carpal tunnel syndrome. Michelle is afraid to get the surgery. I mention that it is an over diagnosed injury.

Being a shy person, I try to explain that as a 20 year bodyworker, I’ve worked with that type of injury many, many times. I tell Michelle, that with specific bodywork techniques, and taking natural anti-inflammatories, she could greatly improve her symptoms. I talk about bromelain, quecertin and glucosamine sulfate. She asks if these supplements would make her sleepy. I reply, No, not at all. Bromelian, when taken with food acts as a digestive aid. On an empty stomach, it acts like an anti-inflammatory.

Michelle mentions how the pharmaceutical ones work great, but, you can’t stay on them long. She mentions that she’s had massage. I ask her if she’s had Rolfing®, and she makes a face. I tell her that Rolfing® techniques can be used on her arm to get quick results. Then the male jury consultant turns around and says he had the carpal tunnel surgery and it was so easy and the post-op recovery was a breeze. And Michelle turns away from me and wants to hear more from the consultant.

Steven leans into me and says, “You almost had her.” I chuckle to myself. Most people are like this. They take the easy route when it comes to their health. They are usually not that interested in the hard work that dietary changes and painful bodywork entail. It’s too hard. Besides, I’m sure she thinks I’m just some nut she’s met at court. She doesn’t have a clue about my extensive knowledge and study of alternative therapies. During the break, several reporters talk about how all the testimony the day before about the alcoholic drinks and what went into them made them thirsty for a good stiff drink.

The reporters now talk about getting David K. Li some martini glasses and a mixer set for his upcoming wedding. The woman jury consultant over heard me talk about bodywork, and asked if I had ever worked with animals, horses specifically. I told her no, but I did know that there was a big movement of bodyworkers and chiropractors who specialized in that type of work. The consultant went onto talk about her horse that she owns, and how this work has helped her horse tremendously. That she can immediately tell the difference in the behavior and temperament of her horse, once he’s had bodywork and a chiropractic adjustment.

3:10 pm court is back in session.

DeSouza testifies that while in Brazil, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. The witness said he has studied english since he was about 13 years old. He had to study english because all computer programming is in english. He spent nine years in the Brazil military. He reached the rank of First Lieutenant when he left.

Q: That’s an officer?
A: Yes.

At one point, in Brazil, he had a private tutor in english for about one and a half years, from 1997 to 1998. In 1999 he arrived in the US. He started studying english in the US also.

Q: Did you have any problems understanding Mr. Spector?
A: Yes.
Q: Describe that.
A: When he was drunk. ... Sometimes, I couldn’t understand what place was, or what he was saying.

DeSouza goes over the details of the first “stop” of Spector’s dinner date with Ronnie. He waited two hours for Spector and his guest to exit the restaurant. He takes Ronnie back to Studio City, and then drove back to the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills. The witness states he didn’t notice Spector drunk whe he was leaving Trader Vics, but he first noticed a difference in his walk. He didn’t notice the odor of alcohol on Spector. After Trader Vic’s, DeSouza follows Ms. Sullivan to her house for her to drop off her car.

A map of the general area is put up on the Elmo, and you can see the jurors squint to try to see all the places highlighted on the map and identified with text. Even though this is the most important witness so far, I’m feeling sleepy and having a hard time keeping awake.

Outside of Dan Tana’s, DeSouza testifies, “I noticed he was a bit different.” There were two guys outside, and they said something Phil didn’t like.

Q: What was the look on Spector’s face?
A: He was mad. completely mad. ... Noticed once back inside the car, I noticed his speech. It was slow and (he had) difficulty speaking.
Q: Could you understand him?
A: Yes. ... Mr. Spector said to drive to the House of Blues.

A video clip is up on the screen. It’s of Phil Spector and Kathy Sullivan arriving at the House of Blues. They get out of the car, there appears to be some discussion and then they all get back into the car. Then the prosecution puts up on the Elmo a booking photograph of Spector. OMG! What an image! He just looks wasted, and his pants pockets are turned right side out of his pants.

Q: Take a look if you will, at what’s been marked as people’s 23. ... Take a look at this photo, and tell me if you recognize the person depicted in that photo.
A: Yes.
Q: Is that approximately how Mr. Spector’s hair looked that night, when you took him out?
A: Yes.
Q: Is that approximately how his hair looked, on the video, even though it’s kind of a poor quality?
A: Yes.

DeSouza goes through identifying everyone in the video because the film clip from the House of Blues appears to have been from an infrared black and white camera, and all the clothes don’t appear to be the right color. DeSouza then drives them to a different entrance, down a steep driveway that’s more private, by the valet parking. He tries to park as close to the door as possible. He finally is able to find a spot about 30 feet from the door. The prosecution hammers home again and again, each time someone spoke to DeSouza, he is asked if he understood them. Did he understand Kathy Sullivan. Did he understand Mr. Spector.

Q: How long did you wait, out in the car, before you saw someone else come out and approach you?
A: Probably, forty minutes, thirty minutes.
Q: Twenty to thirty minutes?
A: Yeah.
Q: And what happened after that twenty to thirty minutes?
A: Uh, Miss Sullivan, and uh, Miss Clarkson, they came out.

Q: You said Miss Clarkson. Let me ask you a couple of questions. (A photograph of Lana Clarkson is put up on the overhead Elmo.) ... Do you recognize the person in that photo?
A: Yes.
Q: Who is that?
A: Miss Clarkson.
Q: All right. That’s the person you are referring to as Miss Clarkson. Let me ask you a couple of questions about that Mr. DeSouza. At that point in your life in 2003, had you ever met Lana Clarkson before?
A: No.

Q: Was this the first time you ever saw her?
A: Yes.
Q: What happened when Miss Clarkson came out of the House of Blues with Miss Sullivan?
A: She introduced herself.
Q: How did... tell me about that. How did she introduce herself? What did she say?
A: We shook hands, and, uh, she said like uh, I’m Lana Clarkson, I work in the House of Blues. Mr. Spector told me to tell you to give a ride to Miss Sullivan, and return.
Q: Did you have any problems understanding her instructions?
A: Ah, no.

Q: Did she seem, nice?
A: Oh yes.
Q: Polite?
A: Yes.
Q: Professional?
A: Yes.
Q: Did you follow her instructions?
A: Yes.

DeSouza took Kathy Sullivan home. On the way back to Kathy’s house, they had a conversation, and Alan Jackson gets DeSouza to say that he didn’t have any problem understanding Kathy, and that she didn’t appear drunk or intoxicated. She didn’t smell of alcohol. When he got back to the House of Blues, DeSouza was able to park in the valet zone at the lower entrance, which he describes and points out in images on the Elmo. It was about five or ten minutes later, that Spector emerged from the House of Blues. Another video clip is shown.

Q: Did he come out alone, or was he with somebody?
A: Miss Lana.
Q: Were you waiting outside the car, when Mr. Spector came out of the House of Blues?
A: Yes.
Another video clip is shown of Lana and Spector exiting the House of Blues, and getting into the Mercedes. This is the fifth and last video clip.

Q: Did you recognize the people in that video clip?
A: Yes.
Q: Was that Mr. Spector and Miss Clarkson, coming out of the House of Blues?
Q: Did you hear Mr. Spector have a conversation with Miss Clarkson?
A: Yes.
Q: What did he say?
A: He invited her to go to the castle.

Q: And what was his response?
A: At first, it was no.
Q: What was his response, when she said no?
A: She said, “No, I’m too tired, I have to work in the morning.”
Q: What happened after that?
A: He insisted. He asked like, three times more, or two times more. “Let’s go to the Castle. Let’s go to the Castle.”

Q: So, he was insisting?
A: Yes.
Q: And what was her response?
A: Uh, I think, I think she was afraid to go.

OBJECTION! SUSTAINED! The objection is sustained. The answer is stricken. The jury is admonished.

Q: Without telling me what you think, tell me what you saw, or heard. What did she say?
A: Ah, she said that she could like lose the job if she got like a, ride; some customers.
Q: Did Mr. Spector continue to insist?
A: Yes.

OBJECTION your honor! Characterization! Overruled!
Jackson: Thank you, your honor.
Q: Did Mr. Spector continue to insist, that um, Miss Clarkson join him?
A: Yes.
Q: Did he in fact, Mr. Spector, convince Miss Clarkson to get a ride from him?
A: Yes.

Q: What was her response, with regard to her car?
A: Her car was parked, like uh, close to the House of Blues. She needs to go there to pick her car up.
Q: Did she insist, that she needed to pick her car up?

Judge: At this point, I’m going to sustain the objection, you may rephrase it.
Q: What did Miss Clarkson say, in regards to picking her car up? What did she say?
A: Just that, the, the right to go to pick her car up.
Q: And, where was her car?
A: Her car was in a parking structure, close to the House of Blues.

They drove to where her car was. Adriano opened the door for her, and he opened the door for Mr. Spector. Spector, got out of the car and went behind a wall to go to the bathroom to relieve himself; take a pee. Miss Clarkson went to her car, and they followed her to a street close to the parking structure where she parked her car. Her car was a small car, a Mercury Cougar. Then Clarkson got into the Mercedes.

Q: Did she say anything to you?
A: Yes.
Q: What did she say?
A: She said that she was, uh, going just for a drink.
Q: Did you say anything to her?
A: Uh, just like, ah, like ah, say, yeah, okay.
Q: Did Mr. Spector say anything, when she said “I’m going for just one drink.” Or just ‘a’ drink. Is that what she said?
A: Yes.

Q: All right. What did Mr. Spector say?
A: Don’t talk to the driver.
Q: How did he say that?
A: He scream it.
Q: Screamed it?
A: Yes.
Q: Was he screaming at you?
A: To her.

Q: Did you notice anything about Mr. Spector at that time, concerning, whether or not he was drunk or sober?
A: Yes.
Q: What did you notice?
A: He was smelling alcohol.
Q: I’m sorry?
A: He, he was smelling alcohol.
Q: He smelled of alcohol?
A: Yes.

Q: Did he appear to be drunk?
A: Uh, yes.
Q: Was he walking any differently?
A: Yes.
Q: Was he walking any differently?
A: Yes.


Judge: Overruled. The question was, “Was he walking any differently?” can be answered yes or no. It is not overly leading in my mind, the objection is overruled. You may answer.

Jackson: Go ahead and answer.
A: Yes.
Q: You said that you had seen Mr. Spector drunk in the past, correct?
A: Yes.
Q: In the past, when you had seen him, was he as bad, was he as drunk this time, as you had seen him in the past?
A: Yes.

It’s 3:50 pm. I wonder if we will get to the “spontaneous utterance” today.

Q: Did Miss Clarkson appear to be drunk?
A: No.

DeSouza drives both of them back to the Castle. That took about 30 minutes. Once back at the Castle, Spector told DeSouza to go to the front gate. More exhibits are put up on the Elmo for DeSouza to identify. DeSouza says, that this was the first time that Spector had him drop him off at the front steps of the house. Normally, he would always drop Spector off at the back door. We see the images of the front of the house. There are a ton of steps up to the front door. I read somewhere, I think there are something like 80 steps up. It’s very impressive. Spector and Clarkson walk up these steps to the house. DeSouza then points out in the motor court where he went to park the car. He parks the car right beside the back door and he points out the area on the Elmo.

Q: After you dropped off Mr. Spector and Miss Clarkson off, what happened? When was the next time you saw Mr. Spector?
A: Uh, around like, ten minutes later?
Q: What did he do?
A: He opened the back door of the house. I got out of the car, and, he didn’t say anything.
Q: So what happened?
A: Then I tried to, to give to him, everything that he left inside the car.
Q: Which was what?
A: It was a briefcase.

Q: The same briefcase that he came out with?
A: Yes, the same briefcase, and a DVD.
Q: All right. Were there also some cell phones?
A: Yes.
Q: What did you do with those cell phones?
A: Um the cell phones, I just dropped inside the bag.

Q: All right. So, did you basically clean up the back seat area?
A: Yes.
Q: Is that normal for you?
A: Yes.
Q: After Mr. Spector stepped outside, did you hand him that valise, or that briefcase?
A: Yes. First time, I tried to give to him, he said, “I don’t want that.” And, when I was return to the car, he asked me for the briefcase.

Q: How far away were you standing from Mr. Spector during this conversation?
A: I wa pretty close. From about here to the ?????
Judge: Indicating about three to four feet.
Q: Thank you your honor. Ultimately, did you give Mr. Spector that valise?
A: Uh, yes.
Q: How did you give it to him? Did you place it inside the house?
A: Ah, yes. I gave to him the DVD and I placed the, the wallet in the chair.

Q: Assuming that I’m about the distance between yourself and Mr. Spector, how far did you have to go, to get to that back door? Closer than I am? Or the same distance?
A: Closer. I stopped at; I think I, I went inside the house like two steps, and, drop ah, drop, give, I give to him the DVD, and then I drop, the inside, inside the house.
Q: So, you had the bag in your hand?
A: Yes.

Q: And you stepped two or three steps inside the back door and dropped the bag?
A: Yes.
Q: Did you put it in a chair? Did you put it on a chair?
A: On the chair.
Q: And, attached to that, bag, were. cell phones, that had been left in the back of the au...
A: Yes.
Q: How long did you wait outside the car? I’m sorry. Let me ask it this way. What was the next thing that you heard, or saw, as you waited outside?
A: I wait in the car until, ‘till like about five o’clock in the morning.

Q: So this is about two hours?
A: Yes. Around two hours.
Q: And what happened?
A: Uh, I heard a ‘poe.’ A noise.
Q: What kind of noise? What did it sound like?

A: It sound like a ‘poe.’
Q: Like a, you’re saying ‘poe,’ like, we might saw ‘pow?’
A: Pow.
Q: Okay. Did that startle you?
A: Uh, yes. I opened the door.

Q: Opened the door of the Mercedes?
A: Yes.
Q: Were you inside the Mercedes?
A: Yes.
Q: Was the radio on?
A: Yes.
Q: Was the pow sound that you heard, loud enough to hear over the radio?
A: I could hear like, clear.

Q: Clearly?
A: Yes.
Q: What did you do when you heard this sound.
A: I opened the door, and I ah, tried to find the, where the noise came from.
Q: And what did you uh, ultimate, what was the first thing you thought?
A: There is like ah, air conditioner outside. There is like a fountain outside. Ah, it could be like the air conditioner. It could be anything. Like that, could be like a, tree. There’s a lot of trees outside.

Q: When you got out of the Mercedes, what did you do Mr. DeSouza?
A: I tried to find the, the, where the noise, the noise came from.
Q: Where did you go?
A: I went like, close to the fountain. Uh, just like check, a little bit fast, then returned inside the car.
Q: Did you see anything unusual when you stepped out of the car?
A: Um, no.
Q: Did you ultimately get back in the car?
A: Ah, yes.
Q: What happened after you stepped back into the Mercedes?
A: I wait like, for a minute probably, and, Mr. Spector opened the door.
Q: Opened the back door?
A: Yes.

Q: I’m showing you what’s been previously marked as People’s 25. There’s five photographs. Do you see that back door in photographs B, C, D, and E?
A: Yes.
Q: Is that the back door your talking about Mr. Spector stepping out of?
A: Yes.
Q: What happened when you, saw Mr. Spector come out of that back door?
A: I got out of the car. And, uh, he was at the door. At that time he, he had the gun in his hand.
Q: What kind of gun?
A: It’s a revolver.

A photograph labeled “Murder Weapon” is put up on the Elmo, and Alan Jackson identifies it as a 38, snub nosed revolver. (People’s 26.)

Q: Take a look at what’s been marked as People’s 26. Do you recognize what’s depicted in that photograph?
A: Yes.
Q: Does that look like the gun that was in Mr. Spector’s hand?
A: Yes.
Q: Which hand was it in?
A: Uh, right hand.
Q: And, how was he holding it Mr. DeSouza?
A: Uh, close to his body.
Q: Could you stand and show the jurors exactly how Mr. Spector was holding that gun.
A: Yes.

DeSouza stands up and shows the court. His right elbow is bent at the elbow, and placed close to his body. His index finger is out imitating the barrel of a gun, pointing to the left, in front of his belt buckle.

Q: Mr. DeSouza, when you saw Mr. Spector step outside with this gun in his hand, approximately how far were you from him? And if you could place me in the courtroom that same distance please. Just tell me where to stand.
A: That’s it.
Q: Right here?
A: Yes.
Judge: Four to five feet.
Jackson: Thank you your honor.
Judge: Maybe six feet.
Jackson: Thank you.
Q: Did you get a clear look at the gun?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you know the difference from a revolver, and a semiautomatic hand gun?
A Yes.
Q: How do you know that difference?
A: Uh, I was work with the guns in the army.
Q: You were in the army you said close to nine years, correct?
A: Yes.
Q: Was the gun black?
A: Yes.
Q: Did it have a different colored handle?
A: Yes.
Q: What color was the handle?
A: Brown.
Q: Did you see anything at that time, on Mr. Spector’s hand?
A: Yes.

Q: Describe that for the jurors please.
A: I saw a little bit of blood.
Q: Where was that blood? And point to it on your hand, where you saw blood on his hand.
A: It was on this finger, on the top.

Jackson: May the record reflect the witness is indicating his extended right, index finger, right along the top side of it I guess.
Judge: Yes.
Jackson: Thank you.

Q: When Mr. Spector stepped outside with the gun in his hand, were you already outside the Mercedes.
A: Uh, he opened the door, as soon as I saw him, open, opening the door, I got out of the car.
Q: Were you standing face to face with him?
A: Yes.
Q: And you already indicated you were about, where I was from you, correct?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you see him clearly?
A: Yes.
Q: Did Mr. Spector say anything to you?
A: Yes.
Q: What did he say?
A: He said, “I think I killed somebody.”

Q: Was he directing this comment to you?
A: Yes.
Q: When he said, “I think I killed somebody,” what did you say then?
A: Eh, “What happened, sir?”
Q: And what, if anything, did Mr. Spector do, when you said, “What happened, sir?”
A: Eh, he moved, he moved his shoulders up.
Q: Show the jurors what you’re talking about, when you say, “He moved his shoulders up.”

DeSouza turns and shows the jurors.

Jackson: May the record reflect the witness has shrugged and his eyebrows went up.
Judge: Yes.
Jackson: Thank you.

DeSouza looked past Spector into the house, and he could see the legs of Lana Clarkson. ... He stepped aside, (to look around Spector) and saw the blood on her face.

Q: Where was Mr. Spector?
A: He was inside his back door foyer.

Court stops for the day. Court will be dark on the 17th. The judge has a teaching commitment. The defense has a complaint about the word “murder weapon” on the prosecutions exhibit of the gun. The prosecution agrees to take that off their exhibit before it goes to the jury.

Outside, in the hallway, Mr. Dunne and I talk a bit about how the driver was such a surprise. I hear Dominick say to Sandi Gibbons. “I was expecting an older, gray haired man.” But he’s neither. He’s a young, middle aged, college-educated man. As Mr. Dunne and I pick up our pace to catch the elevators down, I notice Mr. Dunne, (who’s 80 years old) moved pretty fast into the elevator. And, as we squeeze into the elevator, I smile and say to him, “You can move pretty fast when you have to.”

I hope you have enjoyed my trial notes. Please understand that my notes should not be used in place of a more exact transcript of the trial. Although I tried to be as accurate as possible when I was quoting someone, I’m sure you will find some statements that do not exactly match Court TV’s Extra coverage.