First defence witness rules suicide in Spector trial

The first witness for the defence in the Phil Spector murder trial has testified actress Lana Clarkson committed suicide by firing a gun in her mouth.

The first witness for the defence in the Phil Spector murder trial has testified actress Lana Clarkson committed suicide by firing a gun in her mouth.

Forensics expert Dr Vincent DiMaio told the Los Angeles hearing yesterday the evidence is "consistent" with Clarkson killing herself.

DiMaio said the gunshot residue and blood on her hands, combined with the sort of mouth wound Clarkson suffered, conclusively point to suicide.

He said: "She died of a self-inflicted wound. There is no objective scientific evidence that anyone else held the gun. Everything else is speculative.

"The physical evidence is consistent with her having the gun and her having discharged the gun. She's got blood on her hands, gunshot residue on her hands, an intra-oral wound. Ninety-nine per cent, it's suicide."

DiMaio went on to testify that just because Clarkson, who had alcohol and Vicodin in her system, didn't leave a suicide note, doesn't mean she didn't kill herself.

He said: "Did she write something suicidal? Well, there's no suicide note. Seventy-five per cent of the people (who commit suicide) don't write notes.

"And, well, there was no planning. A suicide is many times impulsive. These aren't planned things.

"And then you add alcohol. People on alcohol do stupid things.

"Anything could be anything. But when you stick to the objective, scientific facts, it's suicide."

Spector is accused of the fatal shooting of Clarkson at his Alhambra, California home in February 2003. He has pleaded not guilty and claims Clarkson fired the fatal shot herself.

The trial continues.

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