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Record producer Spector arrested in woman's slaying

Released on $1 million bail


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Legendary record producer Phil Spector was released on bail after his arrest in connection with the death of a woman at his suburban Los Angeles home. CNN's Paul Vercammen reports (February 4)
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Phil Spector, the record producer whose "Wall of Sound" backed up rock groups from the Ronettes to the Ramones, was arrested Monday in the early morning shooting death of a woman inside his sprawling suburban mansion.

Bond for Spector, 62, was set at $1 million, which he posted late Monday, according to a bail bondsman with direct knowledge of the case.

The district attorney's office said an arraignment date hasn't been scheduled.

Earlier Monday, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Westin said Spector had been taken to a medical facility because he complained of feeling sick but was then brought back to a holding facility in Alhambra, near Los Angeles.

Police were first alerted to something amiss when they received a 9-1-1 call from inside Spector's Alhambra home at 5:02 a.m. (8:02 ET), Sheriff's Deputy Richard Pena said. One of Spector's neighbors also said she heard what sounded like "firecrackers" around 5 a.m.

When police arrived, they found the body of Los Angeles resident Lana Clarkson, 40, in the home's front foyer. Officials did not release any other information about the victim.

Police did confirm they found a gun.

"The victim was pronounced dead at the scene," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Faye Bugarin said.

Police records show Spector was arrested at 6:09 a.m. Homicide detectives arrived about an hour later.

Spector's black Mercedes sedan, its driver's side door standing open, was encircled by yellow crime scene tape.

Shapiro representing producer

Pena said six homicide detectives, specialists from the county crime lab and coroner's office processed the scene and gathered evidence from inside the home Monday afternoon, after they obtained a search warrant.

"We're trying to determine what happened here late last night or early this morning," said Lt. Dan Rosenberg of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department homicide unit.

Neighbor Susan Georgino said Spector's mansion was once a 28-room hotel.

Another neighbor, Steve Morales, described Spector as "very quiet, other than maybe having a few parties."

Prominent defense attorney Robert Shapiro told CNN he is representing Spector. Shapiro was part of football star O.J. Simpson's winning legal team in his 1995 murder trial.

Attorney Marvin Mitchelson, a close friend of Spector's, told The Associated Press the producer lived alone and didn't have a girlfriend.

Mitchelson said he and Spector had been trying to put together a movie about Spector's life. "His mental state has been great -- very rational, very together," the lawyer said.

'Wall of Sound' creator

Spector's trademark was the "Wall of Sound," the layering of instrumental tracks and percussion which underpinned a string of hits on his Phillies label in the early 1960s.

The roaring arrangements were the heart of what he called "little symphonies for the kids" -- among them No. 1 hits like the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Loving Feeling."

Spector co-produced The Beatles' final album, "Let It Be," and worked with ex-Beatles George Harrison and John Lennon on solo projects after the group broke up. His recording of Harrison's 1971 benefit concert for war relief in Bangladesh won the 1972 Grammy award for Album of the Year.

The last major album he produced was The Ramones' "End of the Century," in 1980.

Spector married Ronettes singer Veronica Bennett in 1968, but the couple divorced in 1974.

In October, New York's state Supreme Court threw out a $3 million award against Spector in a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife and the other two members of the Ronettes, seeking royalties for the sale of their recordings for use in movies and commercials.

CNN Correspondent Paul Vercammen and Producer Michelle Harrosh contributed to this report.


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