And so the beat goes on for Phil Spector.
Spector, this time with his 'fro in check, appeared in a Los Angeles court Tuesday to okay a request to postpone his upcoming murder trial due to defense and prosecution scheduling conflicts, the district attorney's office confirmed.
The famed music producer's attorney, Bruce Cutler, is currently involved in a federal trial in New York that is expected to carry on past the scheduled Apr. 24 start date for Spector's trial. Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler asked the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer if he would agree to the delay, and the defendant responded simply with, "Yes, your honor."
The prosecution team handling the Spector trial is also set to try a double-murder case in May. Taking all of the above into consideration, Fidler determined that Spector will get his day in court no later than 15 days after Sept. 11.
Spector's consent was necessary because suspects have a right to a speedy trial within 60 days of arraignment, according L.A. Superior Court policy. Various motions filed by both the prosecution and defense sides of the table have already pushed the trial date back multiple times.
The legendary music man, famous for layering oodles of '60s-era hits with his orchestral "Wall of Sound" treatment, is facing a murder rap for the alleged Feb. 3, 2003, killing of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson. Spector was charged in November 2003 and indicted on one count of murder (prosecutors have not yet announced whether it will be first or second-degree) in September 2004. He has pleaded innocent and is currently free on $1 million bail.
Police arrived at Spector's home on the night in question after Spector's limo driver called 911, telling the dispatcher, "I think my boss killed somebody." An officer claimed to overhear Spector saying that he hadn't meant to shoot Clarkson in the hallway of his mansion in the L.A. suburb of Alhambra.
In October, Cutler filed a motion to have the statement thrown out. Whatever Spector said to police didn't matter, the attorney argued, because he wasn't taking his meds at the time and was "experiencing symptoms of withdrawal."
Fidler refused, however, ruling that all of Spector's statements around police following Clarkson's death can be admitted into evidence because they were voluntarily made. The judge is also allowing prosecutors to bring up Spector's 1975 misdemeanor weapons conviction and mention how police confiscated 14 guns from Spector's property the night of the shooting. The producer faces life in prison if convicted.
For his part, Spector says he had nothing to do with shooting Clarkson, telling Esquire magazine in July 2003 that the actress got drunk, "kissed the gun" and shot herself.