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Nancy Grace

Phil Spector Murder Trial Begins With Opening Statements

Aired April 25, 2007 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: It`s a go. A jury is struck. The trial begins, music genius multi-millionaire Phil Spector, behind the biggest hits in music history, facing charges of murder one in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, Clarkson killed by a single gunshot in the mouth right there in Spector`s own California mansion he calls "the castle." Tonight, Spector`s long history of gun violence towards women comes out in open court.
And tonight: A mom stands by helplessly as her 6-year-old little girl mowed down by an SUV as the little girl makes her way to the local church. And then to add to the tragedy, the driver takes off. Tonight, the manhunt for the unknown driver, the reward tonight climbing to $10,000.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) I know something`s going on with my big sister.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Faneesh Spencer`s (ph) big sister died within a few feet of her family`s front porch, mowed down by a hit-and-run driver.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Head twisted, neck broke. And you just wanted to (INAUDIBLE) and keep going. How could you? He`s heartless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six-year-old Krista Spencer`s (ph) death has relatives and neighbors constructing a (INAUDIBLE) memorial with stuffed animals and her favorite purse. The 1st-grader loved the TV character Dora the Explorer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a sweet little girl. And she loved that church over there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The crew with the Medic-15 (ph) ambulance tried to save Krista. The driver left this pink memento on the pole before breaking down in tears.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) my daughter asked me, Is she coming back? She said, It hurts me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New stop signs and speed bumps installed by D.C. workers could slow people down. Krista`s 11-year-old uncle says he worried about traffic when he walked the 1st-grader to school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going (ph) better, but it ain`t going to bring Krista back, so -- they should have (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Relatives say Krista`s mother yelled out to stop her daughter from crossing in front of the green SUV. Her great-aunt says she just hopes police catch the driver who killed a big-hearted little girl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Watch your kids. Cross the street with your kids.


GRACE: Good evening, I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. First, to California, music genius multi-millionaire Phil Spector on trial for murder one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The jurors will be asked to decide what exactly happened just before dawn four years ago at the house up on the hill. The incident began a few hours earlier, about 20 miles away in the heart of the Sunset Strip. That`s when Phil Spector, a legendary music producer, met a striking blonde named Lana Clarkson, a hostess at the House of Blues and a struggling actress. 5:00 AM at the mansion, the driver had been waiting in Spector`s Mercedes for about an hour when he heard a pop. Court documents say Spector emerged from the house, blood on his hands, and told his driver, quote, "I think I just killed someone."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shortly after 5:00 o`clock this morning, Alhambra police officers responded to this residence at 1700 South Grand View (ph) Drive in the city of Alhambra. When the officers arrived, they discovered that a female had been shot inside the location. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Philip Spector from Motown Records has been taken into custody and is being detained at Alhambra Police Department.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my opportunity to talk with you for a few minutes about what we expect the evidence to show. And that evidence, ladies and gentlemen, is going to paint a very, very clear picture, a picture of a man, Philip Spector, who when he`s confronted with the right circumstances, when he`s confronted with the right situation, turns sinister and deadly. The evidence is going to paint a picture of a man who on February 3, 2003, put a loaded pistol in Lana Clarkson`s mouth, inside her mouth, and shot her to death.


GRACE: That murder trial starting off today with opening statements.

Out to Pat Lalama, investigative reporter, in court all day long, right now outside the courthouse. Pat, what happened in court?

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Oh, my goodness! Well, you know, people asked me over the last few years, Do you think this will really have any media legs? My answer always was yes.

And when you hear the case, it`s a fascinating case. It starts out with Phil Spector looking so frail. I mean, it`s amazing to me he could get from the doors outside the court to his seat. He held his hands like this, and his hands were shaking. It was unreal!

Allen Jackson (ph), a very young, very smooth, very competent prosecutor, basically and clearly and competently laid out his case. Remember, there are no witnesses. What he did was he took what we call the 1101-B witnesses, and that`s -- that`s the California law that says there were so many people in the past who had experiences with Phil Spector that were so similar to what he allegedly did the night of the murder of Lana Clarkson that they are relevant and they`re coming in.

He laid out four women, essentially their stories almost line for line the same -- lots of drinking. As soon as they said they wanted to go home, he snaps, he goes off the deep end. That`s where Allen Jackson`s and Pat Dixon`s (ph) strength is.

Then cut to Bruce Cutler, an attorney that this town is not accustomed to. This is a New York guy with a big blustery personality, a lot of New York accent, I think a lot for this LA jury -- very laid-back jury, by the way -- I mean, he came in gangbusters, definitely tried to say Phil Spector changed the world, definitely tried to say that this line that Allen Jackson used -- and we`ve all heard it -- where Phil Spector allegedly came out of the house and said to Mr. De Souza, his driver, I think I just killed somebody -- Mr. Cutler spent a lot of his time trying to discount that, but the judge put a stop to a lot of it.

GRACE: Well, most people prepare for trial by reading up on the law, possibly rehearsing their testimony. Not Phil Spector. He came armed with powder, mascara and eyeliner, apparently.

Out to you, CBS Radio Network Steve Futterman is with us. Was he actually wearing makeup and a wig in front of the jury?

STEVE FUTTERMAN, CBS RADIO NETWORK: You know, Nancy, I`m not that familiar with the makeup part of it. It looked to me like he was. Obviously, we`ve been following Phil Spector`s hairstyles quite a bit. Today he was wearing what I sort of called a unisex wig that sort of had remnants or reminders of a bit of Austin Powers, maybe when Austin Powers gets to be around 70 years old, sort of a pageboy blondish blond wig, that`s how I would best describe it. It`s a strange-looking wig, different than that -- that sort of electric one that we saw a while back that seemed to go out and out and out forever.

But I mean, he is certainly not the mainstream guy who doesn`t stand out in the crowd. He definitely stands out in the crowd. You noticed him when he walked in. And he`s obviously not trying to blend in, either.

GRACE: Take a listen to what the prosecution said in court.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my opportunity to talk with you for a few minutes about what we expect the evidence to show. And that evidence, ladies and gentlemen, is going to paint a very, very clear picture, a picture of a man, Philip Spector, who, when he`s confronted with the right circumstances, when he`s confronted with the right situation, turns sinister and deadly. The evidence is going to paint a picture of a man who on February 3, 2003, put a loaded pistol in Lana Clarkson`s mouth, inside her mouth, and shot her to death.

In order to give context to what happened on February 3, 2003, you`re going to be introduced to evidence, as I talked about just a second ago, about the defendant`s history of violence, about his pattern of violence with women, his history of losing his temper, his history of flying into rages, his history of pulling guns on unarmed women. The evidence will show, ladies and gentlemen, that Lana Clarkson fell victim to Philip Spector on February 3, 2003, at about 5:00 o`clock in the morning, that she was simply the last in a very long line of women who had been victimized by Philip Spector over the years.


GRACE: Back out to CBS`s Steve Futterman. Steve, tell me about the facts of this case. What has the prosecution put out there?

FUTTERMAN: Well, obviously, they talked about specifically accusing Phil Spector of putting the pistol in Lana Clarkson`s mouth and then pulling the trigger. There`s no ifs, ands or buts about the prosecution`s theory. It`s not like he set the stage and then maybe Lana Clarkson killed herself. Allen Jackson said Phil Spector pulled the trigger. He put the pistol in her mouth. Now, to go along with that, they are going to rely a great deal on this pattern of his past.

GRACE: Wait a minute. Before we talk about all the other women he allegedly threatened with a pistol, I want to hear about the forensics in this case. They can prove six, seven other cases to the jury, but if they don`t prove this case, they`re going to walk home with a not guilty verdict. What are the forensics, Steve Futterman?

FUTTERMAN: They claim that the forensics will show that Phil Spector was at the location when the gun was fired.

Now, one other point we have to bring up. They are going to rely a great deal on the testimony of the chauffeur, the chauffeur who was outside, heard the gun go off. Then he will claim that Phil Spector told him, "I think I killed somebody." That, according to the prosecution today, is an admission. They basically said Phil Spector admitted, told the chauffeur that he did it. So that`s going to be a key bit of the evidence in this case. And he will be on very early on, I believe, a very, very key witness in this case.

GRACE: Back to Pat Lalama, investigative reporter. A few quick cross-exams to you, Pat Lalama. Number one, isn`t it true in court today, the prosecution stated that Lana Clarkson`s blood was going all the way up the banister from downstairs to upstairs?



GRACE: Yes, no?

LALAMA: Yes. The physical evidence -- go ahead. Go ahead.

GRACE: Yes. Did we also learn that Lana Clarkson was seated in a chair with her purse...


GRACE: ... over her shoulder, just a few feet away from the back door as if she was leaving?

LALAMA: In the foyer, with her purse over her shoulder, like a lot of the other women...

GRACE: So that would be a yes?


LALAMA: ... about ready to leave.

GRACE: That would be a yes?

LALAMA: That would be a yes.

GRACE: OK. Is it true that throughout the home, there were found diapers used to clean guns with Lana Clarkson`s blood on the diapers? Yes, no.

LALAMA: Yes. Yes.

GRACE: Did we learn...

LALAMA: And the spatter on their clothes...

GRACE: Did we learn...

LALAMA: Go ahead.

GRACE: Did we learn today that Phil Spector walked around in the house and did something for up to 40 minutes after the gunshot went off?

LALAMA: Well, if you mean 40 minutes by not calling 911, yes, and trying to clean up the place.

GRACE: Take a listen to this.


BETH KARAS, COURT TV: He`s going to talk about the events of February 2 into the 3rd, when Lana Clarkson is dead, and put it in context so he can say, See? It fits the pattern. This is what he did to this woman, this is what he did to that woman. It`s similar. They want to leave, hold them at gunpoint. It is the prosecution`s theory that Lana Clarkson wanted to leave in a hurry.

It appears that she wanted to leave in a hurry. I mean, she`s in a chair in this massive foyer of this house, near the door, where the limo driver was waiting for her. And her ankle-length skirt is rolled up in her purse, and she`s wearing a slip that`s above the knee, sort of a decorative slip, could pass as a skirt instead. And maybe something sexual had happened, but she didn`t have time to put on her skirt, is what I think they`re going to argue.

There is forensic evidence here to support them that Lana Clarkson fired the gun herself. For example, Lana Clarkson has far more gunshot residue on her hands than Phil Spector had on hers. But of course, she`s there, virtually untouched from the time that shot is fired, whoever fired it. Phil Spector had access to bathrooms in his house, putting his hands in and out of his pockets. He had only one piece of gunshot residue on each hand. I mean, but gunshot residue comes off when you put your hands in your pockets, when you wash your hands, wipe them and you touch things. So there`s an explanation that the prosecution will give. The defense, of course, will say he didn`t have it on his hands because he didn`t fire the gun and was nowhere near her.


GRACE: That is Court TV`s Beth Karas, also there reporting live at the trial.

Out to the lines. Linda in Arizona. Hi, Linda.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why has it taken four years to go to trial?

GRACE: That`s an excellent question. Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Susan Moss in the New York jurisdiction, Joe Lawless out of Philadelphia and Anne Bremner, high-profile trial lawyer out of the Seattle jurisdiction. Anne, why so long? She`s absolutely correct.

ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: She is. And they always say 2-3-03. That`s when this happened. But what you`re looking at, basically, is he`s gone through so many sets of lawyers, high-profile lawyers. And he started with Robert Shapiro, and then went on to Leslie Abrams (SIC), and then he went on to Gotti. And I think there was another lawyer in between. So -- and of course, he`s delayed these proceedings. He`s been out on bail. And that will affect the prosecution, as you know, Nancy, this delay.

GRACE: Absolutely. Out to you, Joe Lawless. Explain to us, why is delay a defense attorney`s best friend?

JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, a number of things can happen. Passions can cool. Recollections can fade. Public furor can recede. It gives a little bit of perspective to what could turn into be almost a lynch mob frenetic atmosphere. It`s always a better to have a little time between you and the incident. It just makes things a little calmer when you start the trial.

GRACE: I never saw a lynch mob mentality in this case, Susan Moss. Everyone was already jumping on the bandwagon, day one, that somehow Lana Clarkson was responsible for this. Do you recall that, Susan?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Absolutely. Also, delay helps the defense because witnesses` memories can fade. But I will tell you this. When a man for decades goes after women and threatens them with guns, it`s no surprise that one day he makes good on that threat, and that`s exactly what happened in this case. Phil Spector made good on his threat with that gun, and this guy has got to fry.

GRACE: You know, to you, Diane Bennett, a very dear friend of Lana Clarkson. In fact, our guest tonight, Diane Bennett, actually spent time with Lana Clarkson the very day before she died. The defense is making a lot, Diane, of the fact that Lana Clarkson allegedly wrote some e-mails saying that she was depressed over not striking it big in Hollywood. I don`t know if that`s true or not. What can you tell us about your friend?

DIANE BENNETT, FRIEND OF LANA CLARKSON: I ran into Lana about 5:00 o`clock in a department store near Beverly Hills, where she was in a great mood, very happy. We were joking. She said, Oh, I got this great new job as a hostess at the (INAUDIBLE) House of Blues. I`m buying expensive, ugly nurses` shoes because high heels hurt my feet.

And she says -- oh, by the way, I`m a matchmaker. So Lana said, Diane, you`ve been wanting to marry me off for years. I`ve been telling you no, I`m an actress. I want to devote my time to acting. She says, Call me on Monday. I`m ready to get married. I want to have kids. I`ve been dreaming about this. So she thought it was very interesting that we ran into one another because she said, You promise, you`ve got to call me on Monday, let`s get together and have lunch.

GRACE: Diane, that doesn`t sound like she was down in the dumps at all.

BENNETT: She wasn`t down in the dumps. She was really happy and up. And she just was always such a vibrant, wonderful, popular girl.

GRACE: And to you, Dr. William Marrone, joining us tonight. He`s a medical examiner and ballistics expert. The fact that she actually had her pocketbook slung over her shoulder -- she still had it on her shoulder when they found her dead body -- that does not suggest suicide to me. Explain.

DR. WILLIAM MARRONE, MEDICAL EXAMINER: It suggests preparation for exit. Suicide preparation is very different. People who actually shoot themselves prepare their scene. They prepare their body. They position their gun. And the number one statistic is 99 out of 100 suicides involving guns are not women.

GRACE: Well put. And very quickly back to Pat Lalama, investigative reporter in the courtroom all day long, outside the courthouse right now. Pat, in all of the similar transactions, the previous women he allegedly threatened with a gun, isn`t it true he finally would pull the gun on them when they would threaten to leave and go home?

LALAMA: The common factor in all this, Nancy, short answer, they were all ready to go. Saying to Phil Spector, I want to leave now, set off something in his brain, allegedly, that no one can explain.

GRACE: And it seems, Pat, from what the prosecutor said today, that they would be having a perfectly enjoyable evening, going out to dinner, going to various functions, and then when the woman wanted to go home, all hell broke loose.

LALAMA: If I can make a real quick analogy. Remember, somebody asked Jeffrey Dahmer, Why did you do what you did, meaning cannibalize your victims. He said, Because they were going to leave me. There`s a psychological issue there to being abandoned. I think that was the case with him potentially, probably.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence points quite clearly to homicide. The fact that she was shot in the mouth can indicate homicide if the trajectory of the bullet is slightly down, or if it`s backwards straight. And the fact that there was gunpowder on her hands -- most likely, she tried to pull the gun away.


GRACE: A beautiful young aspiring actress, Lana Clarkson, found dead in what Phil Spector refers to as his castle, his suburban castle there in California.

Out to the lines. Kristin in Georgia. Hi, Kristin.


GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just one question. I wanted to know if there were any fingerprints found on the gun, and if so, whose?

GRACE: Good question. What about it, Steve Futterman with CBS?

FUTTERMAN: I did not hear them talk specifically about that today. I believe what has been suggested, and Pat might correct me on this, is that they don`t have any firm fingerprints on the gun right now.


LALAMA: Nor was it registered, I understand. I mean, it wasn`t legally registered.

GRACE: You know, another thing, Pat Lalama, to Kristin`s question, didn`t we learn today that, apparently, her face had been wiped down before police got there? If her face was wiped down, certainly the gun was wiped down.

LALAMA: Yes, I mean, that`s what I was thinking about early on, is that, you know, if he was smart enough to take the time to clean up the place and try to wipe her off, for lack of a better term, obviously, he`s going to, allegedly, try to wipe off the gun.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gun that Spector was seen with by the limo driver, Mr. De Souza, was later found by the cops under her left hand, which was dangling down from the chair, even though she`s right-handed. So it was obviously an attempt by him, I would assume, because there was nobody else in the house, to stage a suicide scene.


GRACE: Day one of the murder trial against music genius Phil Spector. behind some of the biggest billboard hits this country has ever known, including the Beatles "Let It Be," Ike and Tina Turner, the list goes on.

Out to the lines. June in Oklahoma. Hi, June.


GRACE: Hello, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for supporting our troops.

GRACE: Yes, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, why is it that women -- isn`t it very uncommon for them to shoot themselves in the face at all?

GRACE: Out to you, Detective Lieutenant Steve Rogers. You know, I practically memorized the book "Method and Assessment of Homicide and Suicide" as a prosecutor. Detective Rogers, the reality is it`s highly unusual for a woman, especially of her age, her position in life, to commit suicide by gun to the face.

DET. LT. STEVE ROGERS, NUTLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Very highly unusual. And in fact, Nancy, I believe the photographs that the police took are going to play a major role in this case. You know, there`s a saying that a picture is worth more than 1,000 words. Well, the police have those pictures, and I believe the prosecution is going to use those pictures to wrap this case up and to show that, you know, this guy possibly did clean up that mess and put that gun to her face.

GRACE: But what will the pictures show, Detective?

ROGERS: Well, where was the gun? Was it by her side? It`s in her left hand, when she`s right-handed. That`s very important.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In order to give context to what happened on February 3, 2003, you`re going to be introduced to evidence, as I talked about just a second ago, about the defendant`s history of violence, about his pattern of violence with women, his history of losing his temper, his history of flying into rages, his history of pulling guns on unarmed women. The evidence will show, ladies and gentlemen, that Lana Clarkson fell victim to Philip Spector on February 3, 2003, at about 5:00 in the morning, but she was simply the last in a very long line of women who had been victimized by Philip Spector over the years.

DESOUZA: Hi, it`s -- my name is Adriano. I`m Phil Spector driver. I think my boss just killed somebody.

911 DISPATCHER: You think your boss killed somebody? Why do you think your boss may have killed somebody?

DESOUZA: Because you have a lady on the floor and he have a gun in his hand.

911 DISPATCHER: OK, stay on the line. Do not hang up.


GRACE: Joining us tonight, a special guest, a friend of Phil Spector`s, Anita Talbert. Welcome, Ms. Talbert. What can you tell us about Mr. Spector?

ANITA TALBERT, FRIEND OF PHIL SPECTOR: Well, I was an unarmed woman who visited his castle dozens of times, and I left perfectly fine. I never heard him mention a gun. He was never violent. I never even heard anything that pertained to violence. He was always -- he was a great date. He was fun. He had a great sense of humor. He was protective of me, would have me picked up, made sure I could leave when I wanted to leave. I mean, I walked out of there alive and well.

I don`t understand the stories of these women. Maybe he dumped them - - he was very generous -- and they weren`t going to get any more goodies. Who knows what these girls had in mind? There was nobody else in the room when they say he supposedly pulled a gun on them. Nobody knows, you know? And everybody`s villainizing this guy.

I had lots of alone time with him. Sometimes his staff was there. Most of the time I was alone with him. We had dinner. We would listen to music. I mean, he was a pussycat. He was a doll.

GRACE: When did you break up?

TALBERT: Break up?

GRACE: Well, did you date?

TALBERT: I wouldn`t call it dating. I would call it keeping company with a guy who was a lot of fun and great personality. And I would go sometimes and help him host parties on Saturday, when he would have some of the engineers that he used to work with in music, and we would have a buffet of sandwiches. I mean, it was just -- you know, I liked him a lot. He is great company. You know, you could fall in love with Phil, because he`s a fantastic guy. And he`s pretty close to a genius.

GRACE: Did you? Did you fall in love with him?

TALBERT: No, no, I liked him a lot.

GRACE: Did he fall in love with you?

TALBERT: I have no idea.

GRACE: So you guys did not have a romantic relationship?


GRACE: You had a friendship?

TALBERT: Yes, a very close friendship.

GRACE: Interesting. I find that very interesting. And I believe every word you said, except I don`t believe that seven women would all lie for no reason. They`re not getting anything out of being hauled into court and having to give this story again, but I completely believe you.

You know, what`s interesting, to Pat Lalama, investigative reporter in court all day, right now outside the courthouse, his evening that evening started off with a lady friend very similar to Anita Talbert, a long-time friend, a friend girl. There was not a romantic interest. They just went out, I believe, to have some dinner. But things seemed to evolve when he was with a woman that he was romantic with or wanted to be romantic with. Explain, Pat Lalama.

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: There`s the key word. Very quickly, he was actually with two female friends earlier that night, but let`s just get down to brass tacks.

When he had the equivalent of, according to the prosecutors, of nine drinks, he then wanted to go to the House of Blues with one of his female friends. She didn`t want to go. They went. It was 2:00 in the morning. When they got to the House of Blues, they went to the Foundation Room. That`s where Lana Clarkson was at the red area, the red entrance area, for lack of a better term, and she claimed she didn`t know who he was. She thought he was a woman. That came out in court today, that when she said his name, she said, "Oh, I`m sorry, Mrs. Spector, I don`t know who you are," which didn`t sit well with Phil Spector today.

Anyway, so he sits with her, he wants her to sit down with him to drink. She can`t because she`s on the job. At the end of the night, he said, "Come on back with me. I want to show you my castle." She says no. Finally she goes. She gets to the car. She says to Mr. DeSouza, the driver, I`m only going for one drink.

Phil, according to the courts, said, "Don`t talk to the driver!" She`s startled, and she gets in the car. They go to the castle. The driver`s sitting in his car. He never leaves. He`s playing with the GPS system. He hears what we know now to be a gunshot wound. He jumps out. He`s startled. Then he gets in the car. He figures, OK, maybe a branch in a tree. Who knows?

Spector then allegedly comes out. The car is parked right near the castle door, and he says, allegedly, "I think I just killed someone." Those are the events of the night.

GRACE: To Caryn Stark, psychologist joining us, Caryn, I was listening very carefully. And the reason we`re talking about the prosecution`s opening statement is we didn`t hear all of the defense opening statement. That will resume tomorrow morning.

Caryn, I find it very interesting what Phil Spector`s friend, Anita Talbert, said. With her, he was like a pussycat. They were just friends. Now, with all the women he was with that night that were just friends, they got along great.

But this woman, Lana Clarkson, the scene was set. There was romantic music playing. I believe the lights had been turned down low. He had her there on a sofa setting, in front of a fireplace, giving her drinks, when she decided to leave. And, Caryn Stark, I know you`ve studied the facts very, very well. That is a similar scenario to the other six women.

CARYN STARK, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: And that`s the whole point, Nancy, is this happened to be a romantic situation. In a romantic situation, he began to feel -- I would imagine -- that he was being abandoned and left as she was about to leave. It`s so improbable that she would enter this scene and, in front of somebody, decide she wants to kill herself. And by the way, aggression, when it comes to a gun, a woman, it`s too violent, it`s too aggressive for a woman to kill herself that way.

GRACE: You know, you`re right, Caryn Stark. Typically with a woman of her age and in her setting, her social setting, the statistics show she would use poison, possibly jump out of a window, inhale gas, but most likely use poison.

STARK: Something less violent, that`s right, Nancy.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Sue in California. Hi, Sue.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. Love your show.

GRACE: Thank you, dear, what`s your question?

CALLER: Yes, I would like to know, is it true that Phil Spector refused to comply with police when they responded to his residence? And has he been complying with the police since the investigation?

GRACE: To Steve Futterman with CBS Radio, in answer to Sue`s question, didn`t he get Tasered?

STEVE FUTTERMAN, CBS RADIO: Well, he did sort of cooperate with police after initially trying to not cooperate with them. I was out there the day the killing took place, and we were at the Alhambra jail until very late at night.

Spector, as has been revealed, did try to talk to police, tried to suggest that nothing was going on. He was using very salty language, which was discussed in court today. The jury didn`t hear this, but it was discussed during a hearing before the judge.

But he was suggesting over and over again that he did nothing wrong, that you`re trying to accuse me of something. I`m not guilty of this. Why are you doing this to me?

So he did talk to police. But as far as pure cooperation, I wouldn`t suggest he`s been that cooperative with police. Very early on, that first evening, Robert Shapiro became his attorney, his first attorney in this long saga, and I don`t think he`s really sat down with police and really answered many questions that they`ve had.

GRACE: To Pat Lalama, investigative reporter, was he Tasered?


GRACE: What happened?

LALAMA: Yes, he was. They had to -- well, he was just -- he was absolutely belligerent, according to police records. I just read them last night. He gave them a hard time. They had no choice.

And, in fact, one of the excuses he has for his memory, with not drinking or anything else, or why he may have, you know, had, you know, not such good recollection of the events is that he says it`s the Taser that shook him up. He was absolutely belligerent. And then, if you read the police transcripts with the detectives, oh, my gosh. I mean, I`ve thrown out a few swear words here and there in my life, but he was outrageous. He was so absolutely demeaning to the cops.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elish Spencer`s (ph) big sister died within a few feet of her family`s front porch, mowed down by a hit-and-run driver. Relatives say Crysta`s mother yelled out to stop her daughter to stop from crossing in front of the green SUV. Her great aunt says she just hopes police catch the driver who killed a big-hearted little girl.

The crew with the Medic 15 ambulance tried to save Crysta. The driver left this pink memento on the pole before breaking down in tears.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, my daughter actually, is she coming back? She said, it hurts me.


GRACE: Tonight, the search intensifies for the driver of a green SUV, the SUV that mowed down a 6-year-old little girl and just kept on going.

Out to Bill Myers with "The Examiner," what happened?

BILL MYERS, REPORTER, "THE EXAMINER": Thanks for having me on, Nancy.

GRACE: Yes, sir.

MYERS: Crysta was waiting to go to a church social across the street from her house, we`re told. And she darted into traffic when she saw her little cousin coming. The green SUV came along across the intersection. Crysta wasn`t in a crosswalk. The SUV hit her and kept on going.

GRACE: Now, it just didn`t hit her. It`s my understanding she flew up in the air and then it ran over her?

MYERS: That`s what we`re told. That`s what we`re told from relatives and witnesses on the scene, that it was a pretty bad impact.

GRACE: What do we know about the driver, man, female, black, white, Hispanic, Asian? What can you tell me?

MYERS: Well, at this stage, the D.C. police are still chasing down their leads. The only description that they`ve released publicly is a dark green SUV, possibly with Maryland plates -- your viewers know that, here in D.C., we`re right on the Maryland border -- and with tinted windows. So no further description at this stage. Although I can tell you and your viewers tonight, some of my sources in the police department said that they may have a more advanced description within a few hours.

GRACE: Now, what do you mean by "advanced"? We`ll know what type of SUV it was?

MYERS: I don`t know specifically, but I`m told by my source that they had -- that they may have had a better description. They have to check it out, of course, and make sure they don`t influence their witnesses ahead of time. But there may be some news on that in the next few hours.

GRACE: Did not even slow down?


GRACE: Even after running over the little girl? Hitting her first, she flies up in the air out of her little shoes still left there on the street, and then runs over her, and keeps going, all under the eye of her mother who stood there helplessly. She tried to scream out to stop the little girl.

MYERS: She tried to stop her, that`s right.

GRACE: Yes, and couldn`t. Joining us also tonight is the little girl`s grandmother, Easter Spencer is with us. Ms. Spencer, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Ms. Spencer, to your knowledge, what happened that day?

SPENCER: I was on my way home from work, and I called my daughter to ask her a question. And she says, "Ma, Crysta has just been hit by a truck," so immediately I made it to the hospital. And when I got to the hospital, they were still working on Crysta, and then they pronounced her.

GRACE: Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elish Spencer`s (ph) big sister died within a few feet of her family`s front porch, mowed down by a hit-and-run driver.

Six-year-old Crysta Spencer`s death has relatives and neighbors constructing a light bulb memorial with stuffed animals and her favorite purse. The first-grader loved the TV character Dora the Explorer.

The crew with the Medic 15 ambulance tried to save Crysta. The driver left this pink memento on the pole before breaking down in tears.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My daughter asked me, is she coming back? She said, it hurts me.


GRACE: To think that this person -- we don`t know man or woman -- not only hit the child, she flies up in the air, hits the street, then runs over her and keeps going, with the mom standing there on the side of the road, screaming.

Let`s go to the lawyers, Joe Lawless, Anne Bremner, also with us Susan Moss, you know, Joe, the number of hit-and-runs is staggering in this country.

JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Nancy, it`s sad and it`s a little frightening, because when I heard the description of what happened to Crysta, it sounds like one of those situations where a little child darted out in front of a car, probably the driver didn`t have time to stop, but then what happened is he panics, he runs, and that makes...

GRACE: Didn`t have time to stop. Hold on. Put Lawless up on the screen.

LAWLESS: That was the description that I just heard...

GRACE: Didn`t have time to stop? What do you mean "time to stop"? What, were they in a hurry to get somewhere?

LAWLESS: I heard a description from one of your earlier guests that the little girl darted out to see her cousin and wasn`t in a crosswalk. It sounds to me like this was an accidental collision, but obviously when someone leaves the scene of a crime, or the scene of an automobile accident, that`s a crime in and of itself. And that`s going to make a bad situation even worse. It`s clearly a tragedy.

GRACE: Do you want to answer the question now?

LAWLESS: What`s the question?

GRACE: You said he didn`t have time to stop. Explain.

LAWLESS: Well, there`s something in civil law called the assured clear distance rule. Someone driving their car has to be able to stop it within their sight line. And if someone darts out in front of them, it might be a collision. Is it necessarily a crime or even a civil wrong? Not necessarily. But what you have here is a driver, who, it sounds to me, hit the little girl, and panicked, and ran. That obviously is a crime.

GRACE: And kept going.

LAWLESS: What? Right.

GRACE: To you, Bill Myers, with "The Examiner," what`s the speed limit in that residential area, right across the street from a church?

MYERS: The posted speed limit, as I understand it, is 30 miles an hour. Maybe Ms. Spencer can correct me if I`m wrong. I`ll say -- not to sound like I`m defending anyone or Mr. Lawless, but the fact is, Crysta wasn`t in an intersection when this happens. And it`s close to a very busy intersection. This was during rush hour, so there`s heavy traffic in that area. Separately from this, it`s raised a lot of questions for District of Columbia officials on how they`re going to handle traffic problems.

GRACE: How many dead pedestrians are there in D.C. so far this year?

MYERS: So far this year, according to our numbers, it`s 10. There were 17 all of last year, and the first four months of this year has been 10.

GRACE: You know what? To Anne Bremner, 30 miles an hour, is that right, Ms. Easter Spencer, is it 30 MPH is that area?

SPENCER: Yes, it is.

GRACE: How fast was the SUV going? Did your daughter see it? Was it speeding?

SPENCER: She did say that the truck was speeding.

GRACE: You know, that puts a whole new light on it, Anne Bremner, vehicular homicide.


GRACE: Too good for this person. To me, you speed in a residential area, especially in an SUV, which will kill on contact, you speed in a residential area where there are children, to me, that is an abandoned and malignant heart. That equals murder one.

BREMNER: Well, and the crime is, no parent should have to bury their child. And this is a horrible situation. This person should turn themselves in, throw themselves on the mercy of the court and the authorities. I know, Nancy, what we`ll see here, too...

GRACE: Oh, no, let`s cost the government a couple of hundred thousand more dollars for the manhunt. Let`s just tack that onto the bill, Anne Bremner.

BREMNER: That`s what I`m saying that the person should turn themselves in. And what Joe Lawless said is right, in terms of some of the defenses here. And the other part is, there are issues about signage and about what`s been done around there to make it safer.

GRACE: Blah, blah, blah, signage. You know, don`t even say signage to me. They kept going after they ran over a 6-year-old.

BREMNER: I agree completely with you, Nancy, but I`m just telling you, right now, we`re talking about what will the defense be? The crime is losing that child, no doubt about it.


GRACE: A D.C. driver drives over a 6-year-old little girl and keeps on going. Out to the lines, Sonya in Texas. Hi, Sonya.

CALLER: Hello.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

CALLER: What type of penalty would that driver be facing when they catch him?

GRACE: Vehicular manslaughter. To you, Anne Bremner, I`m guessing 20 max on murder, life behind bars, if it`s premeditated or abandoned or malignant heart.

BREMNER: Nancy, as always, you`re exactly right. Not always, but this one, yes.

GRACE: I`m glad you agree with me tonight.

Easter Spencer, what would you say to the driver of that SUV?

SPENCER: I would tell this coward that he needs to come forth and turn himself in.

GRACE: With us tonight, her grandmother, Easter Spencer. We want justice for this little girl.

Let`s stop to remember Army Private First Class Aaron Genevie, just 22, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, killed, Iraq. First tour of duty, wanted to be a soldier since a boy. He loved reading, Superman, basketball, baseball, golf. A quote on his MySpace says, "It`s the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag." Leaves behind grieving family, parents Gerard, Patty, sisters, Tiana (ph), Leslie, brother Gerard. Aaron Genevie, American hero. Thank you to our guests, but most of all, to you.

And tonight, a bittersweet goodbye to our colleague, Al. Come here, baby. He leaves our TV family to move with his own to London. Dear Al, walk slow and hurry back, a NANCY GRACE mug, and my lucky pen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get your pen? I`m honored. Thank you, darling.

GRACE: Until tomorrow night, good night, friend.