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Producer told cops he shot Clarkson, then changed his story, grand jury transcripts show

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 07, 2005 01:00 PM
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Record producer Phil Spector, charged with murdering B-movie actress Lana Clarkson at his suburban L.A. mansion in early 2003, reportedly changed his story from initially telling police that he mistakenly shot her to suggesting instead that Clarkson, 40, took her own life, according to newly released grand jury transcripts.

In a Los Angeles Times report that cites five volumes of grand jury transcripts, Alhambra, Calif. police officer Beatrice Rodriguez testified that Spector, now 65, told officers who came to his house, “What’s wrong with you guys? What are you doing? I didn’t mean to shoot her. It was an accident.”

Several women also testified that the producer had threatened them and routinely brandished a gun – including one time in 1999, according to witness Deborah Strand, who recalled that at a Beverly Hills-area party she saw someone she later learned was Spector flicking cigar ash on her boyfriend’s dog after it jumped on him.

After informing Spector, “You can leave,” Strand claims he turned around and pointed a gun at her right cheek.

Spector has pleaded not guilty of killing Clarkson and remains free on $1 million bail. He suggested in a 2003 interview with Esquire magazine that Clarkson may have shot herself.

Clarkson was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head. The house was otherwise unoccupied, and a police search of the premises revealed Clarkson’s broken teeth scattered about the entrance area.