Monday, August 29, 2011

#280: He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss) - Phil Spector's Greatest Hits - Number 1

Adriano De Souza was working as a valet parking attendant at the Grill in the Alley (the Grill), a Beverly Hills restaurant. There he met Phil Spector’s chauffeur, who asked if De Souza wanted to work as Spector’s backup driver. De Souza agreed because he could make between $30 and $40 an hour driving for Spector. By February 2003, De Souza had driven Spector between 12 and 15 times over the course of three or four months.

These backup driving jobs were arranged by Michelle Blaine, Spector’s secretary, who would call De Souza a few hours before he was needed. De Souza would arrange for someone to cover his shift at the Grill and then drive his own car to Spector’s house in Alhambra. After going through the main entrance gate, De Souza would drive to the back of the house, park, prepare Spector’s car and wait for him to come out. Spector had two cars, a Rolls Royce and a brand new Mercedes. De Souza testified Spector would tell him where to drive and that he always understood Spector’s directions. He and Spector communicated easily, although if Spector had been drinking he was sometimes hard to understand.

De Souza had been born in Brazil and he grew up there. He began studying English in school when he was 11 or 12 years old. In college he earned a B.A. degree in computer science. The instructional materials for his computer courses were in English. He had served for eight or nine years in the Brazilian military.  On Sunday afternoon, February 2, 2003, Blaine called and asked De Souza to drive for Spector that night. De Souza arrived at Spector’s house in the early evening and prepared the Mercedes. Spector got into the car carrying a leather briefcase and told De Souza to drive to Studio City, where his friend Rommie Davis lived. Davis had gone to high school with Spector and then met him again years later at a high school reunion. During 2002, they occasionally went out to dinner together, but they were not romantically involved.

De Souza picked Davis up and then drove to the Grill. Spector and Davis went inside for dinner. Spector had one daiquiri and at least part of another during dinner. When he ordered the second daiquiri, Davis “suggested that it wasn’t a good idea because he was acting silly.” Spector ignored her and continued to drink. He appeared to be a little drunk. They finished dinner between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. Davis wanted to get to bed early because she had to work the next day.

Kathy Sullivan was working at the Grill that night as a server. She first met Spector in 1997 and had socialized with him occasionally for a year or two, always in the company of her friend, Susan. Sullivan and Susan would visit Spector at his Alhambra house. Sullivan testified her relationship with Spector was entirely platonic and had never been romantic; she described Spector as acting “fatherly” toward her. She stopped visiting him when she lost touch with Susan in 1999. Then, after Susan came to work at the Grill, Sullivan would sometimes see Spector at the restaurant.

On Sunday night, February 2, 2003, Sullivan greeted Spector and Davis when they came into the Grill. After finishing her shift, Sullivan was eating when another restaurant employee came over and asked if she and her co-worker Karen wanted to join Spector for a drink. Karen declined, but Sullivan went over to Spector’s table and then accepted his invitation to go to Trader Vic’s. Spector and De Souza took Davis home and returned to the Grill to pick up Sullivan. De Souza and Sullivan knew each other because they both worked at the Grill.

At Trader Vic’s, Spector and Sullivan went to the bar. Spector ordered and drank a Navy Grog and Sullivan had an Amaretto sour. Spector ordered a second Navy Grog, but may have taken no more than a sip of it. Then they returned to the Mercedes. Sullivan said she was tired, but Spector wanted company at Dan Tana’s restaurant. Because Dan Tana’s was located between Trader Vic’s and Sullivan’s apartment, Spector had De Souza drive Sullivan to her car. Sullivan dropped her car off at her Hollywood apartment and got back into the Mercedes.

De Souza arrived at Dan Tana’s Restaurant about 12:30 a.m. There, Spector ordered a daiquiri and Sullivan ordered another Amaretto sour. They ate some food and ordered a second round of drinks. Spector then suggested going on to the House of Blues. Sullivan agreed, although she really wanted to go home.

At the House of Blues, Spector tried to get into the Foundation Room, a private VIP section of the club. Euphrates Lalondriz, who worked at the House of Blues doing security, testified he had been training Lana Clarkson to be a hostess and a security officer for the Foundation Room. Working security at the Foundation Room involved taking care of the VIP clientele and checking wristbands to make sure only properly authorized people were allowed in. Spector was a VIP client of the Foundation Room.

Clarkson stopped Spector and Sullivan from entering the Foundation Room because they weren’t wearing the appropriate wrist bands. Spector said, “Do you know who I am?” Sophia Holguin, one of the cocktail waitresses, told Clarkson the man was Phil Spector, a music producer and a multimillionaire. She asked Clarkson to be sure to give Spector a seat in her section because he had previously left her a big tip.

Clarkson seated Spector and Sullivan on a sofa in Holguin’s section, and told them if they were going to order drinks they had to hurry because it was late.  Holguin took their orders. Spector ordered Bacardi 151, an expensive rum which had double the proof of regular rum. Spector tried to order a drink for Sullivan, but she just wanted water. According to Holguin, Spector seemed irritated and upset by this. In an aggressive, agitated manner, he told Sullivan to “just order a fucking drink,” but Sullivan insisted she only wanted water.  Sullivan testified Spector “took the hint and said, “Oh, you want to go home. Fine. I’ll have my driver take you home.”  Sullivan initially thought Spector was being “perceptive and thoughtful,” but then he shouted “Get Lana” and, when Clarkson came over, he said “I’m sending Kathy home.” This made Sullivan “feel like crap” because Spector made it sound like he was dismissing her. Clarkson escorted Sullivan to the Mercedes. Clarkson told De Souza to take Sullivan home and then bring the car right back.

Meanwhile, Holguin served the water intended for Sullivan. Spector said, “I don’t want it. I don’t want that fucking water.” Spector downed his drink in one swallow. He appeared to have drunk a lot of alcohol and he “definitely appeared intoxicated.” Spector asked Holguin to have a drink with him. When she explained she could not drink with him because she was working, Spector asked her to go home with him. Holguin said she couldn’t because she had something to do the next day. Holguin testified Spector was “hitting on” her, and that he was also hitting on Clarkson.

After Sullivan left, Clarkson came into the room, fluffing up the pillows on the couch and making small talk with Spector. Holguin testified this was not how Clarkson usually behaved with customers, and it seemed she was doing it because she had learned Spector was a wealthy VIP. At one point, Spector commented that Clarkson was “acting like fucking Charlie Chaplin.” He told her to just calm down and have a drink with him. Clarkson had to get permission from her manager, who said she could sit with Spector but not have a drink. After Spector finished his Bacardi 151, he asked for another drink. Holguin said she needed her manager’s approval because of the time. The manager refused to approve any more alcohol and Holguin closed out Spector’s tab.

Lalondriz walked into the Foundation Room just as Clarkson, who had completed her job duties for the night, was about to leave. Spector asked if she needed a ride and Clarkson said yes. Spector then asked, “Do you want to go to the house so we could talk?”, but Clarkson said she just wanted a ride to her car.

Spector and Clarkson left the House of Blues at about 2:20 a.m. While they were standing by the Mercedes, De Souza heard Spector say, “Let’s go to the Castle, let’s go to the Castle.” This was a reference to Spector’s Alhambra house, a replica of a Pyrenees castle which had been built in 1926. Clarkson again declined. She said she was tired and she could get into trouble if she left with a client. She asked Spector to take her to a parking structure near the House of Blues so she could retrieve her car. Spector agreed. They got into the Mercedes and De Souza drove to the parking structure.

Spector said he needed a bathroom and Clarkson said he could go behind one of the walls. When De Souza stopped, Spector got out and urinated behind a wall inside the parking structure. Clarkson got her car and De Souza followed her as she parked it on the street nearby. Clarkson then got back into the Mercedes, telling De Souza she was just going for a drink. Spector got upset and screamed, “Don’t talk to the driver, don’t talk to the driver.”

De Souza drove Spector and Clarkson to Spector’s house. During the drive, De Souza smelled alcohol coming from the back of the Mercedes. Spector and Clarkson were watching a DVD, and talking and laughing. De Souza got to the house at about 3:00 a.m. He dropped Spector and Clarkson in front of the house and then drove around to the back, where he parked in a motor court just six feet from the rear door of the house. De Souza collected some things that had been left in the back of the Mercedes, including Spector’s leather briefcase, cell phones and a DVD player.

Spector came out the back door a short time later and De Souza handed him the DVD player. De Souza then walked to the open back door, reached inside, and put Spector’s briefcase onto a chair that was sitting next to the entrance. De Souza did not see or hear Clarkson at this time. Spector went back into the house and closed the door.

At about 3:20 a.m., De Souza got back into the Mercedes to wait until it was time to give Clarkson a ride back to Hollywood.  Around 5:00 a.m., De Souza was startled by a sharp noise which sounded like a pow or a bang. He got out of the Mercedes to investigate. For two or three minutes he looked around, but he couldn’t find anything, so he got back into the car and shut the door.  A few seconds later, Spector opened the back door. He was wearing the same clothes he had been wearing earlier that night: black pants, a black shirt, and a white or cream colored jacket. De Souza got out of the Mercedes because he thought it was time to give Clarkson a ride. Spector stepped out onto the back porch and De Souza could see he was holding a revolver in his right hand. Spector said, “I think I killed somebody.” De Souza testified he did not have any trouble hearing what Spector said.

De Souza thought he saw a “little bit of blood” on Spector’s right index finger. Behind Spector, De Souza could see a woman’s legs through the open back door. When he stepped to one side to get a better view, he could see Clarkson’s entire body. She was sitting slumped in a chair, sort of half in the chair and half on the floor, with her legs extended out in front of her. There was blood on her face. De Souza asked Spector what happened. Spector shrugged his shoulders but he didn’t say anything. He had a blank look on his face.

De Souza got scared when he realized Clarkson might be dead and he started running away from the house. He tried to use his cell phone, but he was so disoriented he couldn’t manage it at first. Then he ran back to the Mercedes, got in and drove to the main entrance gate.  When he calmed down enough to use his cell phone, De Souza called Michelle Blaine, Spector’s secretary, because her number had been programmed into his cell phone. He called Blaine because he didn’t know Spector’s street address, which he wanted so he could give it to the police. When Blaine did not pick up, De Souza left her the following message: “Michelle. Michelle. It’s Adriano, Michelle. Michelle, I have to – you have to come to, to Mr. Phillip’s house. I think he killed some – a lady. Please call me, call me back. I’m gonna call the police right now.”

De Souza found Spector’s address posted on a sign outside the front gate and he called 911. The call was recorded at 5:02 a.m. De Souza told the CHP dispatcher, “I think my boss killed somebody.” Asked why he believed there had been a killing, De Souza said: “Because . . . he have a lady on the, on the floor and he have a gun in, in his hand.” After the dispatcher transferred the call to the Alhambra Police Department, the following exchange occurred:
ALHAMBRA: Okay. So have you seen your boss?
DE SOUZA: Yes. He had, he had the gun in his hand.

The first officer to respond to the shooting scene was Alhambra Police Officer Brandon Cardella. He saw De Souza standing next to a black Mercedes, waving his arms frantically. De Souza told Cardella he heard a gunshot and then saw Spector with a gun in his hand. According to his police report, which Cardella wrote less than two hours later, De Souza said he heard Spector say, “I think I just kill [sic] her.”

Police witnesses testified De Souza was not allowed to go back up to Spector’s house.  At about 8:30 a.m., De Souza was interviewed by Alhambra Police Officers Esther Pineda and Garrett Kennedy. De Souza told them he saw Spector with a revolver in his right hand and heard him say, “I think I killed somebody.” De Souza described seeing Clarkson: “She was, I think, half in the – in the chair and half on the floor,” and she had blood on the left side of her face.

De Souza was subsequently interviewed at the Alhambra Police Department by Detectives Paul Fournier and Rich Tomlin at about 9:45 a.m. that same morning. De Souza said that when he picked up Spector and Clarkson from the House of Blues, Spector was “completely drunk.” De Souza said that when Spector came out the back door he had a gun in his hand and he said, “ „I think I, I, I killed somebody.”

Officer Cardella interviewed De Souza for about three to five minutes as part of his initial assessment. Four other police units responded to the Castle. The officers set up a command post just north of the front of the entry gate and coordinated their roles. They created an entry team of five officers, with Officer Cardella in the lead holding a ballistic shield, Corporal P.4 behind Officer Cardella with a Taser and an MP5 submachine gun, Officer Hammond next with a standard-issue sidearm gun, Officer Tamayo with a shotgun, and last, Officer Rodriguez with a standard-issue sidearm gun.

The entry team of officers walked up the driveway through the front gate in single file, Officer Cardella in front with the shield. The team stopped at the top of the first building, a stand-alone garage. The team entered the garage to clear it for other suspects and search it for any other persons needing aid. Officer Cardella posted himself at the doorway at the northwest corner of the garage to cover the other officers and faced the rear door of the house next to the fountain. Officer Tamayo posted near the corner of the house. Officer Hammond, Corporal P., and Officer Rodriguez went inside the garage.

While Officer Cardella waited at the garage doorway, he saw Spector about 60 feet away on the second story of the house through the windows. Spector was moving back and forth. Spector went onto the second floor landing inside the house for about 15 to 25 seconds. With his back turned away from Officer Cardella, Spector would pace and then stop, arms crossed, positioning “his hands like he was thinking,” looking downward as if he were trying to figure out what to do.

Officer Cardella notified his team about Spector so that they could quickly go into the house and address him. The team exited and told Officer Cardella that there was no one in the garage. Officer Hammond returned to Officer Cardella’s position at the door of the garage. There, Officer Hammond also saw Spector with his back turned towards him standing inside the house on the second floor landing above the rear door. Spector had his arms crossed over each other at the upper torso area. Spector’s head was directed downward toward where Clarkson was eventually found slumped in a chair. At this point, the officers’ position was still concealed.

About five or ten seconds after Officer Hammond saw him at the second floor landing, Spector went down the stairs to the doorway of the rear entrance. A short time later, Spector went outside out of the south, rear door, which was already opened, to the top of the outside stairs.  The officers were still positioned at the garage, about 40 to 50 feet away from appellant.  Spector was standing there, looking at the officers, frantic and anxious, hands in his pockets. He did not ask for help.

He made some statements, his voice slurred. The police started to come up the stairs to shorten their distance with appellant. They loudly told him that they were the Alhambra Police Department.

Trying to get Spector away from the house, Officer Cardella at least three times commanded that he take his hands out of his pockets, raise them in the air, and step toward the officers.   The first time, Officer Cardella’s command was loud, serious, and authoritative. Spector did not comply the first time with Officer Cardella’s command.  The second time, Officer Cardella injected an expletive to get Spector to pay attention, forcefully and loudly telling him, “Get your fucking hands out of your pockets.” After this second command, Spector quickly pulled his hands out of his pockets, raised them to shoulder level, and then abruptly placed them right back into his pockets.  Spector blankly stared and did not step forward.

Officer Cardella then loudly issued a third command for Spector to get his hands out of his pockets and to walk toward the officers. Spector did not comply with this third command.  Other than the time that Spector briefly pulled his hands out of his pockets and then put them back in, Spector did not comply with any of the three commands.  About 20 feet away from the officers, Spector said in a slightly slurred voice, “Hey, guys, you’ve got to come see this.”  Spector turned his back on the officers and returned inside the house. Officer Cardella and the rest of the entry team decided to move into the house in order to keep Spector in their sights. With Officer Tamayo staying back, the other officers followed Spector into the residence in single-file formation, continuing forward to make sure they could keep sight of him. Officer Cardella was again in front with a shield, Corporal P. behind him, and Officer Hammond third in line.

When the officers reached the threshold of the door, Spector had stopped inside the foyer, his back toward them. Spector’s hands were in his pockets and he was “gazing inward...”   Standing in the doorway, Officer Cardella saw Clarkson slumped with blood on her chest as depicted in a photograph later taken of the scene.  Two or three more times, Officer Cardella ordered Spector to take his hands out of his pockets and put them into the air. Spector turned around and saw the officers but did not comply with these commands. Corporal P., who was behind Officer Cardella, used his Taser on appellant. The Taser did not work; Spector was not subdued. So, the officers rushed into the foyer and charged Spector in single file with Officer Cardella in the lead.   When Officer Cardella entered the house, he heard “weird” organ music playing throughout.

In front of the entrance, Officer Cardella hit Spector with the shield in order to knock him off balance, causing Spector to fall backwards onto the ground. When doing so, Officer Cardella veered to the left because he wanted to push Spector away from Clarkson’s body and not have anything fall on or disrupt it. The officers jumped on Spector to subdue him, taking him toward the staircase to the left of Clarkson. Spector passively resisted while being handcuffed. There were further police commands, “Give me your hand, stop resisting, give me your hands.” It took some effort to get one of Spector’s arms from beneath him. At about 5:42 a.m., Corporal P. managed to subdue Spector and get him in handcuffs.

Turning his attention to Clarkson, Officer Cardella approached her and noticed that she was not breathing. Officer Cardella said, “Are you okay? Are you okay?” Officer Cardella checked Clarkson’s pulse without moving her arm by gently feeling her left wrist with three fingers. Officer Cardella found Clarkson’s wrist cool to the touch with no pulse.

The officers found Clarkson’s body slumped in a chair in a foyer near the back door. Her legs were extended straight out in front of her and her left arm hung down by her side. Her right hand was draped over the right arm of the chair, resting on a purse. The purse straps “were wrapped around her shoulder, and somewhat twisted, and then wrapped around the right-hand arm of the chair twisted in an unnatural fashion.” There was blood on her face and blood on her chest.

Underneath Clarkson’s left calf was a .38-caliber, six-shot Colt Cobra revolver. The gun was loaded with five live rounds and there was a spent round under the hammer. The gun was bloody. There was blood on both sides of the wooden grips, on the trigger guard, on the frame directly in front of the wooden grips, and on the metal strap securing the grips. A part of Clarkson’s artificial tooth had lodged in the front sight of the gun. More pieces of artificial tooth were found on the floor across the foyer from Clarkson’s body.

Next to Clarkson was a bureau or side table. One of its drawers was partially open. Inside this drawer there was a leather holster. The Colt Cobra fit into this holster.  Six feet to the left of Clarkson’s body was a leather valise sitting on a chair.  The valise had the initials “PS” and it contained various personal items, including a three-pack of Viagra, of which only one of the original three pills remained. Underneath the valise was a small portable DVD player. There were two working cell phones clipped to the outside pockets of the valise. There was also another phone in the foyer. There was blood on the doorknob and on the latch bolt assembly of the back door. The thumb lever for the dead bolt was in the off position and did not have any blood on it, which meant it had not necessarily been touched at the same time or by the same hand that left bloodstains on the doorknob and the latch bolt.

There was a formal living room off the foyer. This room was very dark, with the only light coming from some candles on top of the fireplace. On a coffee table, there was an almost empty bottle of Tequila and a brandy snifter containing alcohol.  Background music was playing.  There was a small bathroom nearby. In the bathroom, there was a matching brandy snifter containing a small amount of alcohol. A pair of false eyelashes was sitting on top of the toilet tank. On the floor of the bathroom there was a one white cotton Curity brand diaper covered with blood on both sides. This diaper had also been soaked with water. The diaper was about 10 inches in front of an open toilet.

On the second floor of the house was the master bedroom. Inside the bedroom closet was a white jacket stained with blood. This jacket was lying crumpled on the closet floor.  Sean Hecker, an officer with the Alhambra Police Department, responded to the crime scene and was asked to escort Spector, who already had been taken into custody, to the police station. Hecker did so and also obtained gunshot residue samples from Spector’s hands. During that process, Spector told Hecker he was right handed. Hecker did not notice any blood on Spector’s hands.

Jaime Lintemoot, a criminalist with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, was part of the Coroner’s response team that analyzed the crime scene. Lintemoot collected blood swabs from Clarkson’s hands and wrists. She took one swab from “the backside of the right wrist” where she saw “red, mist-like drops consistent with blood.” She collected two sets of swabs from Clarkson’s left hand: “One . . . from the backside of the wrist of the left hand, and the other was from the inside of the wrist.” Lintemoot testified: “There were two regions on which I thought there was possible blood. One was the backside of the wrist, and this consisted of the fine, mist-like spots. The other area . . . appeared to be . . . a larger area and appeared to be more of a smear.” By “smear” Lintemoot meant a contact or transfer bloodstain.

Regarding Clarkson’s purse, Lintemoot testified: “It was a leopard print purse with a long black strap, and the black strap was going over the decedent’s right arm. The purse was resting on the floor.   The interesting thing was that the purse was rotated almost . . . 180 degrees. The back of the purse strap appeared to have caught the edge of the seat or the arm of the chair and got flipped around when it landed.”


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

pathetic plagarism