A California appeals court rejected music producer Phil Spector's bid to overturn his murder conviction on Monday, saying it was permissible for prosecutors to call a parade of women who said Spector had threatened them with guns in the past.
A three-member panel of the state 2nd District Court of Appeal affirmed Spector's conviction in a strongly worded, 81-page decision rejecting a number of claims made by defense attorney Dennis Riordan.
The judges also dismissed the contention that actress Lana Clarkson was despondent and might have killed herself with a gun at Spector's home. In making that ruling, the panel pointed to evidence from her mother that suggested Clarkson was hopeful about the future.
The panel also concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence to prove "Clarkson did not die by her own hand."
In addition, the judges found there was neither judicial nor prosecutorial misconduct at the trial, and that the testimony of five women who claimed Spector threatened them with guns was properly admitted, even though some of the incidents dated back 30 years.
Spector was never charged in those instances. Still, the judges said the testimony showed a pattern of gun-related behavior.