Coroner: Spector might not have shot victim. A coroner's report suggests that Lana Clarkson could have shot herself at the legendary producer's home

By Brian Hiatt
Updated May 07, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Phil Spector: Nick Ut/AP

Producer Phil Spector’s alleged murder victim may have actually used his gun to shoot herself, according to a coroner’s report cited by the Associated Press. Actress Lana Clarkson had gunshot residue on her hands and had the gun in her mouth at the time of the shooting, suggesting that she may have fired it herself, AP reported. The report was produced four days after Clarkson’s death in February 2003, but had been kept secret by prosecutors. Spector’s defense attorneys decided to release the report after prosecutors refused to do so, according to AP.

Still, the coroner’s report ultimately concludes that Spector murdered Clarkson, and a district attorney spokesperson told AP that prosecutors acknowledge that the gun was in her mouth. ”It does not mean she put it there,” spokesperson Sandi Gibbons told AP. ”We’re fully aware of the contents of the autopsy report and we intend to proceed with this case.” She alleged that Spector also had gunshot residue on his hands, along with blood. Spector, who maintains his innocence, was charged with murder last November, and released on $1 million bail.