Friday, December 7, 2007

December 7th, Pre-trial hearing, Phil Spector

Update 3!
I'm here on the 9th floor with Dr. Adams. There is no one that I can see from the Spector trial, although Judge Fidler's clerk, Wendy just arrived. Hopefully the courtroom will be opened soon. Dr. Adams is still watching that dual jury trial in 107. The two juries are in deliberations, yet there is another case with the same judge that is starting jury selection for another trial. One of the juries is using courtroom 104's jury room for their deliberations. Dr. Adams just ran off since his courtroom opened just as I wrote this.

I'm having trouble keeping connected to the net in the hallway. When I tell Dr. Adams that before he took off, he tells me that all the CourtTV personnel, anyone on a laptop in the back row during trial number one had the same problem.

The hallway is somewhat empty. They're are people on benches, but it is no where full. I think one of the court reporters just went into 106. It's a face I've not seen before.

I just got kicked from the net again, but it could be because I was looking at the phone, and just jiggled the wire a bit. It's a waiting game now, to be let into 106.

Although I promised myself I would try to learn to use the built in keypad for my macBook, I procrastinated. So, I'm cheating. I've got my Logitech wireless mouse on the bench beside me, and I'm using that.

There is a mix of people in the hallway. Court employees, attorneys, and those waiting for trials that must still be in deliberations.

And y'all will just have to bear with me and my terrible spelling. I probably won't have time to spell check everything before I post it.

There was this one attorney in the hallway, but it appears that he's waiting for 108 to get started. I've seen his face before, but I don't know his name.

There's is quite a bit of chatter from the people in the hallway. Some are reading books while others are catching a last minute bit of breakfast. The hallway is getting busier, but no familiar faces other than Wendy, the clerk, who already arrived.

A reporter, a woman I've seen before has shown up.

A juror on another trial comes by and thinks I'm working. "That's a good idea." I explain that I'm a blogger, writing about the Spector trial. He wants to know how I'm connected, and I tell him my husband figured everything out, using our cell phone to "tether" to the net. The juror, Larry, and I talk about the Spector trial for a bit. But it looks like he might have to go into a courtroom soon.

I'm inside the courtroom!

The female reporter is arranging with the bailiff to set up sound for the hearing. She's from radio. I just got the courage to ask her which station she's from. It's KNX.

There are a total of five people in the gallery. (That includes me.) Wendy is talking to some one who is at her desk. The bailiff is at her station.

Another trial watcher enters, a young man in jeans, tennis shoes and carrying a red notebook. I've never seen him before, and he sits on the plastic chairs against the back wall near the door. I'm hoping my battery holds out for the next hour. I can see that from now on, even in the hallway, I'm gong to have to hook up the Mac to an outlet. During Spector I, power was provided for those on laptops. Now there is an outlet, or what looks like an outlet from here, all the way in the far left corner, right where the still photographer would set up, and behind where the CTV video control operators would sit at their little console station. I'm going to go check it out.

Darn! The problem with tethering the phone is, any movement with the phone wire can cause it to disconnect, but yes, if I have to, I could move down there and use the outlet.

Ah, the guy with the notebook appears to be an undercover detective. He's talking to other people in the courtroom, and it's clear from the conversation. It's most likely they are here to get documents signed by Judge Fidler, but I won't know until I actually see the Judge.

The bailiff leaves to get a defendant. Wendy just asked her to go get someone. Maybe the black man at Wendy's bench is the individuals attorney. Yep. I just heard him say, "I wanted to get on that case."

There's Judge Fidler.

He's signing documents for three gentlemen who have been waiting. Two of the gentlemen leave. The one who appears to be an attorney is still here.

The defendant comes in. His attorney is a woman, and the man who stayed behind must be the prosecutor.

The woman reporter from radio, leaves and tells me that the hearing is at ten am. Now it's coming back to me. I do remember meeting her at Spector 1, but for the life of my fading brain, I can not remember her first name, and I'm too embarrassed/shy to ask. But she addressed me by my first name, so she remembers my first name like a good reporter would.

Court is in session for another case. Defense attorney is asking to put the matter over for Feb. 1st. They are still hammering out charges. Everything is agreed to, and the defendant in his blue jail uniform, is taken back.

Alan Parachini, head of the court's public relations office comes in, and the KNX reporter tries to arrange with him to get the audio sound set up. Alan looks good. His hair is a bit shorter. I'm not sure if she got that approved or not, but I think so. They chat a bit, but I'm not really following the conversation.

The courtroom is very quiet. Probably no one will show until about 20 minutes from now, if they are on time. Alan left, the reporter is here with someone (another staffer?), and they talk. It's just the three of us in the gallery. I ask the reporter if they will have sound, and she tells me that Channel 5 will be filming, so they will take sound off of them. Understand, Ch. 5 will not be live. They will have to wait to take the film back to a truck or studio before they can put it on the net.

The court reporter is all set up (She handled the 30 second hearing earlier.) and Wendy and her chat a bit.

The Spector's and two bodyguards just walked in. Steven, Mikulan from the LA Weekly, who just arrived and sat down beside me, said they had to use the public metal detectors today. The place they used to go to was locked. (The private service elevators.)

Rachelle and Spector are sitting in the front row, Rachelle has her arm around Spector. She's wearing what looks like from here, a suede tan colored suit. Here hair is pulled back into a ponytail, and she has these little childlike tiny flower clips in her hair.

Damn. What happened to my last entry?

Doron Weinberg shows up. Rachelle gets up and gives him a hug and a big smile, Spector smiles, and they exit the courtroom. Alan Parachini is in the back row, texting on his blackberry, and Ciaran McEvoy from City News sets up. Steven suggests I plug into the wired box in the back corner, but I tell him I better ask first.

The Spector's and bodyguards reenter the courtroom. Doron goes up to speak to Wendy. The Spector's are back in the front row, sitting next to the wall. One of Alan's staff enters, a cute young woman I remember from Spector 1. I wish I could remember all their names. Doron hands Alan Parachini his business card, and leaves the courtroom. This all looks good towards a deal being inked. Let's hope so!

Another reporter entered earlier and is sitting in row 2 behind the KNX reporter. They are all chatting it up, and then the KNX reporter asks me if I remember "Circus of the Stars." And, it's vague, but I barely remember a show like that.

The family, their counsel, Alan Jackson, Pat Dixon, and Ric Ocampo (sp? do I have that name right?) all arrive. The attorney's greet Mr. Weinberg, and Rick is chatting with him still standing in the aisle.

I catch Mr. Jackson's eye, and he waves to me. Linda Deutsch arrived with the big group, and another reporter just arrived with Sandi Gibbons. Sandi and Linda Deutsch chat a bit, and Alan Jackson is talking to Ciaran and Steven.

KTLA (Channel 5) has NOT shown up, so KNX is trying to quickly set up their microphone. I notice Rachelle is wearing some gold hoop earrings that look like they might be about 1.5 inches across.

Rod Lindblom, one of the family attorney's looks back, catches my eye, smiles and waves.

There is a bit of chatter. The reporters are trying to set up a microphone at the judge's desk. Mr. Weinberg paces. Jackson and Mr. Taylor are chatting.

The bailiff announces: "Cell phones off please!" The attorney's stand. Spector is at the table.

The Judge takes the bench.

Weinberg says he is prepared to be accepted at his attorney.

He is the soul counsel for the defense at this time. Chris Plourd is in San Diego and is unavailable since he in another trial after the one he currently in now.

35,000 pages, including trial transcript. Weinberg is giving a list of things he has to go over.

In order for me to get to the level of knowledge about the trial and the .... he needs about five months. And then, more time after that. Plourd isn't free until September anyway.

The Judge asks to hear from the people. Jackson and Dixon confer.

Dixon says they want something as soon as possible. I would ask at this time not to set (a date of) September, and come back in February, to see where we are.

Weinberg responds, referring to Plourd's schedule. "He is in trial right now." Mentions the trial/defendant. He won't be done with that, until March 12. And then, another trial after that. Brown and the one he is in now will keep him tied up until the earliest, August/September.

Judge Fidler speaks. "I think I have a resolution that will solve it for everybody. Set it as the beginning in July, up to mid August."

Just depends on Mr. Plourds trials.

Weinberg asks not to do that. Plourd won't be ready until at least July, most likely August.

Now Weinberg mentions a family vacation that he always takes in August, 2 weeks, and goes on about his boys being at an age where, this is the last time they he will probably be able to vacation with them.

Judge Fidler responds, "We will come back in May, and see what your needs are."

Alan speaks. He has a request. They may be looking at other experts. "I don't want to wait until May to know about other experts." Waiting until May is okay as far as checking where we are.

Doron is still stalling about that.

Judge says, "discovery compliance date." Doron says a date in March. Alan looks at calender. Alan leans over the gallery wall and asks John Taylor about March and he says okay.

Judge just needs the "zero of 60" date for legal purposes. Thursday March 22nd, is the next trial date time. 9:00 am. That's just a check in date.

And that's it.
The judge leaves the bench.

Then Doron asks the judge back, and asks about the Spector's gag order from first trial.

Doron asks if they can be relieved at the gag order.

Fidler responds. Any potential witness, anyone acting on their behalf, at this time he is going to keep the gag order in place.

Judge says, everyone else can, but he doesn't believe the participants should. Keep that order in effect.

How does the Judge want to schedule motions? The Judge replies, to get with the DA, work something out, and then schedule it with the clerk.

And that's it for sure. Everyone slowly mills out of the courtroom, chatting with those they know and exchanging pleasantries, talking about other cases. Etc.

The Spectors finally leave the courtroom with their attorneys.

Hopefully, I'll have more later.

The bailiffs say they are going to take the Spector's down using the service elevator.

Updated! 12:15 pm
It appears I have my dates totally off. I missed it totally when they said Friday, March 7th, for the next pretrial hearing, and it's Thursday, May 22nd, for the next "zero-sixty" countdown. The time I believe for the first hearing would be 10:00 am and in May, it would be 9:00 am.

Outside the courtroom, I met two very nice ladies, Sherri and Robin, trial watchers just like me, who saw my Market Tote and asked me, "Are you Sprocket?" Yep, that's me! We talked about the first trial a bit, and they both said that they are going to attend the second trial. Robin and Sherri said that originally, they were going to fly up to San Francisco for the Barry Bonds hearing, but they couldn't get a flight. Another thing one of them asked (I'm sorry I can't remember which one) was, "Does he always look like that?" And I ask, "You mean like, Medicated? Yep. That's how he always is." I'm looking forward to seeing both of them at the next pretrial hearing. It will be nice to have some other trial watchers to discuss the case with and hopefully have lunch with.

On my drive home, I finally remembered the KNX reporter's name. Claudia! I hope I don't forget it again.

Update: 1:35 pm
I know that Alan Jackson leaned into John Taylor and appeared to be asking him about a check in date for the next pretrial hearing sometime in March. And I thought at first, I heard March 7th, then the date "Thursday, the 22nd was passed around, after Wendy said "the 23rd, they were dark."

Linda Deutsch of the AP has a report up, but it doesn't mention a date in March. It just mentions the May 22nd date. I've sent out a few emails, asking friends in the courtroom for clarification on the next pretrial hearing date.

Update: 2:05 pm
Thank you so much Sandi Gibbons! There are two dates. March 7th and May 22nd. Both hearings are at 9:00 am. The first date is being called a "discovery compliance hearing," but will probably be more of a status hearing, to see how far the defense is, in going through all the material from trial #1. The May 22nd date is a trial date, but it is not a "firm" trial date. It will also function as a status hearing, to see how much longer the defense will need to get ready, and what is happening with Plourd's two cases, one in Imperial County and one in San Diego County. Those two cases will be the ones to watch, to see how far they get and if they have any set backs.


Anakerie said...

Sprocket, you are fantastic! Thank you for doing your live update!

Anonymous said...

Great, great, great report Sprocket. You make me feel like I was right in the court room. Kind of disappointing about the delay though. Of course, we should be used to that being this is Phil Spector. Good thing there is no statute of limitations on murder!

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, you are amazing! lol, my F5 key got a workout while you were posting... Thanks so much for doing the "live" update on your blog!!

Anonymous said...

Sprocket - on that next court date - March 22nd - that's a Saturday??!! You mention Thurday... should that be March 20th??
Thanks for keeping us updated on today's hearing!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, Sprocket, for your efforts and reporting! best, Christine Z

Sprocket said...

You're welcome everybody! Thank Mr. Sprocket for figuring everything out, and getting everything identified in the right files on the macBook! I did some trial runs at home, and everything worked great. While at the courthouse, I did get kicked off the network several times, but I was able to reconnect without too much hassle.

Looks like we will be back in court for Spector on March 7th. I'll be there, reporting on it.

Anonymous said...

Great job as always!

ShepherdLady :)

Anonymous said...

Do you have any evidence that Rachelle is using Spector for his money and it's a business arrangement? I keep hearing this from many sources and wonder if there's any hard cold proof.
Sorry this isn't on topic necessarily.
-Harriet Chevalier

Sprocket said...

Have you read Michelle Blaine's blog, mControl? The link to it is in my "Places to Go" list. Every entry is a great read.

If you honestly think that the current Mrs. Spector and Mr. Wall of Sound, a man old enough to be her grandfather are really "in love," and there is no "financial arangement of some kind" I've got a bridge you can buy. I've been wanting to sell it for some time now.

Look at it this way. Would you approve of a marriage of lets say, your daughter, to a man that age, who had a murder charge hanging over his head?

Anonymous said...

Great job as usual. Loved the live feed, you brought US into the courtroom with you.

Looks like another summer of Spector - not sure I can take another one!

donchais said...

As usual, great job! Thanks for being our eyes and ears in the court!

Susan said...

Oh, Betsy! What would I do without you? Returning to work is almost a 24/7 proposition and I've already put "vacation need" for the start of the new trial. However, these pre-trial motions and motion enlimine may take more than a few months and by then Spector may be long gone and 6-feet under. This only serves to emphasize the importance of "getting it right" the first time, which as we all know the jury couldn't do because of strong feelings held by the jury foreman.

In any event, by the time this case is back on calendar for trial, I'll have plenty of vacation time and look forward to meeting you Sprocket, my mentor and the most honest reporter in La-La Lands. Take care and Happy Holidays to you.

Anonymous said...

Sprockett: thanks for the link to Blaine's site, I had suspected there was more beneath the surface of their bizarre marriage...I was surprised to read Rachelle keeps a journal in case something happens to her. Quite terrifying--and to learn she's got serious anger issues herself. Funny, you'd think he would have married more of a "lap dog" (forgive the crassness)

Sprocket said...

You're welcome.

The thing that is not obvious to Rachelle, is the fact that the "I love my husband" statements she's made to the press are as transparent as a window with the glass removed.

Virtually everything she said in her Jamie Floyd interview is a proven lie, lol. I mean, if you're going to lie, at least make it believeable.

Anonymous said...

Why won't they both just admit to this arrangement instead of putting up such a facade??

When will Mrs. Blaine's book be out?

Sprocket said...

Rachelle admit that she married Spector for financial gain? When pigs fly, lol!

Would that make people respect her more, if she did?

I have no idea about Michelle's book. Last I heard Michelle was scheduled to have her little Lyryk on December 4th. I'm hoping everything went well, and there were no complications.

Anonymous said...

What's a little Lyryk??

Do you see them staying married if they are so miserable together?
If RS has her own wing like Blaine suggests, I wonder how much quality time they really spend together. As for my hoping RS will come clean about the reality of their relationship, I guess I lost my marbles on that one, LMAO!

Sprocket said...

"Lyryk" is the name that Michelle had decided on for her and her husband's new baby. There is a link on her web site to the baby registry if you want to give the baby a gift.

I think Rachelle's BIL said it best, in describing her. You can read all about that in my entry on September 12th.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your work in covering the Spector trial. I am afraid we are in for a long wait before the retrial. Note how long it has taken for the second trial of Jayson Williams. I will be amazed if Spector is tried in 2008.

Sprocket said...

Posting for ellie to remove the email addy

Hello, Sprocket! Ellie from the 'other place' here... just checking in and once again your report was thorough and a great read! Will you be providing updates in the future? I have questions... I've been out of the loop for while, busy off having a baby. :-) What will become of the CTV boards once the change takes place? Where are CTV viewers supposed to go for trial watching? Also, so are we honestly looking at next FALL for the retrial? Hasn't Spector lived free FAR too long?!! My sincere apologies for asking all these questions, not your responsibility to keep me posted! But I see my friend Dini has been banned and is not accepting messages. :-) Silly girl, must have talked to the wrong people over there.... lots of 'wrong people' over there and a girl can get in trouble! Anyway, thanks again for an awesome blog, I will check for updates!
Take care,

Hi ellie, I will pass on your message to Dini for you. It is a sad state of affairs that Spector is still out on bond. I don't expect that the CTV message boards will survive the merge to TruTV, but I could be wrong. There are several public boards that have been cropping up to take the place of CTV... check with CTV members on the "Open Court" Forum via pm. There should be members there who can point the way.

I will be attending as much of Spector, round deux as my schedule allows. I will be blogging from the back row of the courtroom, each day that I can get a seat. It will not be as "good" a seat, but it will mean I'll have my notes up in real time. It will be interesting to see how long this current legal team lasts, and if Spector tries to play "revolving door " attorneys once again.

Anonymous said...

How will we be able to view the new trial, other than being on a computer all day to watch it?
Does Court TV offer the full first trial on DVD? (I know, I know, my husband is a forensic nut when it comes to those things)

Sprocket said...

From my understanding (and I could easily be wrong), CTV will still offer trial coverage from 9:00am to 3:00 pm PT. If anyone hears different, please let me know.

Depending on what service you use (cable vs dish) will determine when that coverage appears in your area.

For example, we have DirecTV, and the CourtTV channel is on east coast time/real time. That means, we have trial coverage from 6:00am to 12:00 noon PT.

When we had cable service, that feed was delayed.

Anonymous said...

Attempted to contact Ms. Blaine but alas, no response. Queried as to when she thinks her book will be out and about.
No response.
John F.

ps. Keep up the great reporting.