Judge: Spector trial to proceed

first_imgWith the jury and Spector absent, the judge continued to hear testimony about a piece of evidence that the prosecution claims the defense found at the crime scene and hid. For days, witnesses have offered opinions on a small white object found on the floor near the body, mentioning a tooth fragment or part of a fingernail. Sara Caplan, an attorney who once worked for Spector, sprang a surprise on Thursday when she said she saw forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee pick up a flat white object the size of a fingernail and place it in an evidence vial. She said she had no idea what became of the item. Lee has said in his official report that the only things he recovered were two white threads and some carpet fiber taken for samples. Jackson asked Friday that Lee, who is on a trip to China, be ordered to return immediately and bring the reports he wrote. Jackson also sought to streamline the hearing and cut off forensic testimony about the object. He said the issue was not what the item was but whether the defense concealed it. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – The judge in the Phil Spector murder trial Friday ordered defense attorneys to be ready for testimony to resume Monday whether or not lead defense lawyer Bruce Cutler comes back from a weeklong sick leave. “Even if he is not here, unless you can show me he is due to cross-examine a witness or his presence is necessary, we will go forward,” said Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler. The judge, apparently impatient with the uncertainty of Cutler’s medical situation, pointed out during a hearing that Spector has many other lawyers who could take over if Cutler is unavailable. “There is a defense team of at least five attorneys,” said Fidler. “We should be able to proceed.” Defense attorney Bradley Brunon said, “We would have to confer with our client.” Fidler said he understood but pointed out that others in the case were being inconvenienced. Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson said he has been waiting to finalize plane tickets for witnesses whose work schedules were being interrupted. “There are other people’s lives involved here,” said Fidler. “There are personal interests and financial interests.” He said he was told that Cutler was going to a doctor Friday to check his ability to return to the trial. The judge has not disclosed Cutler’s ailment although his co-counsel have said he had a problem with his diabetes medication. Spector, 67, whose “Wall of Sound” transformed rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s, has pleaded not guilty in the shooting of actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion Feb. 3, 2003. Defense attorneys have argued she shot herself. last_img read more