Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.27.07

Spector reaction abounds, plus Dominick Dunne, Zev Yaroslavsky and a BIG gift to Claremont McKenna College — and Fishbowl LA as tool again.

Spector's money let him create doubt

That's the take of the main Times analysis by legal writer Henry Weinstein. The jury foreman, one of the two jurors who held out for acquittal, also gives his take.

Spector used [his wealth] to hire seven lawyers, a bevy of forensic experts and several private investigators to mount a defense against a second-degree murder charge.

After a Los Angeles jury told Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler that it was hopelessly deadlocked Wednesday, several legal experts said Spector's ability to finance a more elaborate defense than 99% of other murder defendants played a key role in the record producer being able to walk away free, pending a retrial.

[skip]

The jury foreman cited three factors that played a role in the decision of jurors to vote not guilty.

They included the prosecution's failure to present a psychological profile of Clarkson to counter defense witnesses who suggested she had committed suicide. In addition to the medical experts, the defense called on the testimony of several former friends of Clarkson, who were found by defense investigators.

The foreman cited the prosecution's failure to establish that Spector had held the gun when Clarkson was shot. The foreman also said that driver Adriano DeSouza's testimony that he heard Spector say "I think I killed somebody" was undercut by DeSouza's videotaped remark to police that his English was not perfect and that he was not positive about what he had heard.

Links: LAT mainbar, Steve Lopez, AP's Linda Deutsch


Chatting with Dominick Dunne

Tony Castro sits down in the Chateau Marmont to talk about the Spector trial and the murder of his daughter, the actress Dominique Dunne, 25 years ago. DN


Yaroslavsky pushes back at L.A.'s eased zoning

The planning department's concept, strongly endorsed by Villaraigosa, of letting developers build much higher density and escape quality of life rules in some areas of the city was criticized in a letter by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. He predicts a wave of demolition across the city, with expensive housing replacing rent-controlled apartments. LAT, DN


Conflicts galore

All but two of the 13 MTA board members have received donations from developers or other interests in a $1 billion North Hollywood project around Lankershim and Chandler. So a lottery system will choose which board members can rubber stamp, I mean approve, the project at today's meeting. DN


Officials don't ride buses

Citybeat surveys the transit-riding habits and excuses of L.A. City Council members.


Big gift to Claremont McKenna

The $200 million donation from Robert Day, an alumnus who is a college trustee and chairman of the Trust Co. of the West, is being called the single largest donation to an American liberal arts college. It will be used to establish a new master's degree in finance and to fund scholarships for undergraduates who show leadership potential. LAT


Fishbowl LA carries water for friends (again)

Kate Coe, longtime friend of controversial LA Weekly editor Jill Stewart who was brought in as a Weekly freelancer by Stewart, uses her paid perch at mediabistro's Fishbowl LA to run some of the letters to LA Observed that Stewart allies have orchestrated in recent days. Coe also attempts to draw conclusions and whiffs. FBLA and here Noted: Jill informs me that she and Coe are friends, but not longtime friends. I accept that.


Fixing the parking meters

New ones should start going up in November, and Los Angeles will start using more of the automated multi-space pay kiosks that are so confusing to visitors in cities around the world. LAT, DN


Antonio's newest contributors

Melanie Lundquist, one of the $50 million donors to Mayor Villaraigosa's schools committee, is scheduled to call in to "Patt Morrison" this afternoon at 1 pm on KPCC. The mayor is also expected to call.


Lynwood kicks out the bums

The mayor and three council members were recalled by 70% of the vote, "capping years of investigations, allegations of corruption and grandiose ambitions for the city." LAT


Wally Knox becomes official on DWP board

The former assemblyman's appointment by Villaraigosa was approved by the City Council. LAT


Universal evicts longtime hair salon

Makes room for the Conan O'Brien studio moving over from KNBC in Burbank. LAT



More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Friday 4.27.12
Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.26.12
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.24.12
Morning Buzz: Monday 4.23.12

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