Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Phil Spector: The 'Mad Genius' of Rock'n'Roll

'Be Prepared
for the Consequences'

Judge Fidler
Judge Fidler

On Monday morning, September 10, 2007, Judge Fidler addressed a troubling development in the often-bizarre odyssey that has been the Phil Spector case. The judge warned Spector's wife, Rachelle Spector, to stop speaking to the media. The previous week she had appeared on Court TV defending her husband, and over the weekend she had contacted several media outlets, inviting them to watch a video of the interview on her website.

Phil Spector
Phil Spector

Rachel Spector's actions coincided with the publication of an article the previous Sunday in the British newspaper, The Mail, in which Phil Spector allegedly criticized the jury. The newspaper quoted Spector as having said, "I'm in the hands of 12 people who voted for George Bush." Defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden told the court that her client had never made such a statement, but the author of the article, Vikram Jayanti, told the Associate Press that Spector had made the statement in an interview before the start of his trial and that he was referring to juries in general, not this particular jury.

Judge Fidler sternly warned the lawyers on both sides not to speak to the media so that the jury could not be unfairly influenced. He then reprimanded Rachelle Spector directly: "You will not talk to the press. If you do, you will be in violation of my order."

Rachelle Spector
Rachelle Spector

Mrs. Spector shocked the court by talking back to the judge: "But I'm not a witness," she protested. "Is it okay for Louis [Phil Spector's son] and all the other bad people to say stuff?"

Defense attorney Christopher Plourd jumped out of his seat and approached Rachelle Spector with his arms extended, indicating that she should stop talking as the angry judge told her, "If you violate my order, be prepared for the consequences."

Once the courtroom settled down, the jury was brought in, and Judge Fidler gave them their final instructions. Deliberations began at 10:45 AM.

Rachelle Spector later sent a note of apology to the judge. In accepting her apology, Judge Fidler acknowledged that the five-month trial had been stressful for everyone.

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