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Ex-Cop Called Back To Testify Against Phil Spector

October 18th, 2008 1:00pm EDT
Phil SpectorA retired New York cop has been called back to court for Phil Spector's murder retrial after a Los Angeles judge rejected pleas to ignore his testimony. The music mogul's lawyers argued that Vincent Tannazzo's profanity-laced testimony should not be admitted to the retrial, but prosecutors insisted the ex-policeman's remarks about Spector reveal the producer's "state of mind regarding women."

During the original trial last year, which ended with a deadlocked jury, Tannazzo recalled conversations he had had with Spector, while working as a security man at two separate Christmas parties hosted by comedienne Joan Rivers.

The former cop told the court the producer had used foul language to describe women, and, on one occasion, stated they should all be shot.

Spector is accused of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who died from a gunshot wound to the head in the foyer of the music mogul's Alhambra, California mansion in 2003. Spector maintains the actress shot herself.

On Thursday, California Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler rejected a motion from Spector's attorney to exclude Tannazzo's testimony. The hitmaker's defense team argued that Spector's "misogynistic attitude is not a basis for admission of evidence."

But the judge stated he would consider toning down the language of Tannazzo's testimony after learning it had upset women in the court a year ago.

Spector's attorney, Doran Weinberg, accepted the ruling but confessed he was concerned that the testimony and the prosecution's determination to include it indicated the case "is going to be tried on a theory that Phil Spector hates women."

Jury selection for the retrial is expected to begin on Monday.

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