Phil Spector Appeals Murder Rap; Pop Producer in Prison for Shooting Death of Actress Lana Clarkson

Music producer Phil Spector in 2009.
Music producer Phil Spector in 2009.
AP/Lawrence K. Ho

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) Lawyers for pop music producer Phil Spector asked an appellate court to throw out his second-degree murder conviction for reasons written up in a 148-page brief.

The brief filed on Wednesday cited multiple reasons why 70-year-old Spector was denied his right to a fair trial, including grounds of judicial error and prosecutorial misconduct.

His lawyers claim, among other things, that prosecutors improperly argued Spector should be convicted based on bad character.

Spector is serving 19 years to life in prison for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, in Spector's mansion.

Clarkson was the one-time star of "Barbarian Queen," a film from 1985. Defense lawyers claim she was depressed and shot herself. Phil Spector was the producer of a string of hit pop songs, primarily for female bands in the 1960s, as well as the Beatles album "Let it Be" and other records.