Lana Clarkson and Phil Spector

The judge in the Phil Spector murder trial has issued the jury with new instructions to help them reach a verdict.The jury no longer have to believe the music producer was holding the gun when it fired in Lana Clarkson's mouth, killing her, to find him guilty. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler told the panel of 12 -who announced they had reached a deadlock with the vote split 7-5 on Tuesday(18.09.07) - to disregard "special instruction number three" when considering if Spector, 67, shot dead the 40-year-old actress in February,2003.The jury reported the instruction - which stated that for a guilty verdict to be reached the panel had to believe beyond all reasonable doubt Spector was holding a gun to Clarkson's mouth when it discharged - had caused confusion in their seven days of deliberation.Fidler said on Wednesday (19.09.07) he would withdraw the instruction as it"misstates the law" in its description of what jurors needed to conclude to convict Spector of second-degree murder. Instead, he issued a new instruction on the definition of murder in the case, and offered various scenarios for the jury to consider. He said: "To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime (murder), you must prove that, (1) the defendant committed an act with the firearm that caused the death of Lana Clarkson, such as placing the gun in her mouth or forcing her to place the gun in her mouth at which time it discharged,pointing the gun at or against her head at which time it entered her mouth and discharged, pointing the gun at her to prevent her from leaving the house causing a struggle which resulted in the gun entering her mouth and discharging."Fidler had considered allowing the jurors to deliberate on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. However, he decided against this move, saying it might be perceived as telling them what to do. Spector is charged with killing Clarkson in his Los Angeles mansion on February 3, 2003, after meeting her at a nightclub where she worked as a hostess.


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