California corrections officials released a startling new prison mug shot of Grammy-winning music legend Phil Spector, convicted last month of second-degree murder and serving 19 years to life in prison.
Spector, 69, is being held at North Kern State Prison, where he is being evaluated before receiving a permanent prison assignment, corrections spokesman Gordon Hinkle said. The process could take up to 70 days. The mug shot, which shows a bald-pated Spector, was taken on June 5 as part of the routine intake process. California prison inmates are not permitted to wear wigs under Title 15, Article 5, Section 3062 of the state’s prison regulations, which addresses inmate hygiene. Corrections officials also are concerned that wigs can be used to hide contraband. A judge in Los Angeles sentenced Spector last month to the maximum sentence for second-degree murder in the February 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson. Spector, 69, won’t be eligible for parole until he is 88 years old. Clarkson, 40, was found dead, slumped in a chair in the foyer of Spector’s Alhambra mansion with a gunshot wound through the roof of her mouth. View a timeline of the case » Spector’s retrial began in October and ended in April. It took jurors 30 hours to convict him. His first murder trial in 2007 ended in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of conviction after 15 days of deliberations. Clarkson starred in the 1985 B-movie “Barbarian Queen” and appeared in many other films, including “Deathstalker,” “Blind Date,” “Scarface,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and the spoof “Amazon Women on the Moon.” She was working as a VIP hostess at Hollywood’s House of Blues at the time of her death. At both trials, Spector’s attorneys argued Clarkson was depressed over a recent breakup and her flagging Hollywood career. They said she grabbed a .38-caliber pistol and killed herself while at Spector’s home.
But prosecution witnesses painted Spector as a gun-toting menace. Five women took the stand and testified he threatened them with firearms. His driver testified he heard a loud noise and saw Spector leave the home, pistol in hand, saying, “I think I killed somebody.” Spector’s professional trademark was the “Wall of Sound,” the layering of instrumental tracks and percussion that underpinned a string of hits on his Philles label, named for Spector and his business partner, Lester Sill, in the early 1960s.