Phil Spector's Attorneys Question Paramedic

Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 7:11 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Defense attorneys tried to shift the focus of Phil Spector's murder trial to the troubled life of Lana Clarkson, calling to the stand a paramedic who once treated the actress.

Paramedic Daniel Stark recalled answering a call in the Hollywood Hills in December 2001 to help Clarkson, who had fallen at a Christmas party and broken both her wrists. He said Clarkson was crying in pain and required a heavy dose of morphine on the way to the hospital. He also said he detected a strong odor of alcohol on Clarkson and others at the party who were slurring their words.

Prosecutor Alan Jackson angrily challenged the paramedic, noting a written report on the incident did not mention alcohol. Stark said his partner, not he, filled out the report.

``You're not suggesting she was blitzed?'' asked Jackson, to which the witness responded, ``No. She was under the influence.''

Prosecutors say Spector shot Clarkson. The defense contends she fatally shot herself Feb. 3, 2003, at Spector's home after a night out, and that alcohol was a factor.

Earlier in the day, Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler reversed his own previous ruling and allowed testimony from celebrity security guard Vincent Tannazzo, who told of confrontations with Spector at two Christmas parties given by comedian Joan Rivers in New York around 1993 and 1994. He said Spector had a gun at one party and spoke of wanting to shoot women in the head.

The judge said he had re-examined the law on the subject and found that although the comments may have been made 14 years ago, they were relevant to questions of Spector's state of mind toward women. ``In this case, you have a woman who is shot in the head,'' Fidler said. ``It is highly particularized.''

Tannazzo, a retired New York City police detective, testified that at both parties, a year apart, he wound up ejecting Spector and once threatened to shoot him if he pulled a gun. He said he never saw Spector with a gun in his hand but at the first party he did a ``light pat down'' and could feel a gun in Spector's waistband.

He said Spector had been yelling obscenities against women and shouting, ``They all deserve a bullet in their heads.''

Spector, 67, rose to fame in the 1960s with a recording technique known as the ``Wall of Sound.'' Clarkson, 40, was a struggling actress best known for her role in the 1985 film ``Barbarian Queen.''