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Jurors in the murder trial of Phil Spector last night told the judge that they had reached an impasse in their deliberations, raising the prospect of a mistrial being called as soon as today.

Jurors in the murder trial of Phil Spector last night told the judge that they had reached an impasse in their deliberations, raising the prospect of a mistrial being called as soon as today.

A mistrial would essentially leave the wildly eccentric music producer a free man.

At a hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Larry Paul Fidler questioned the jurors, who told him that they were split 7 to 5 — a sign of irreconcileable differences. They did not reveal which way the balance tipped: guilty or not guilty.

When asked if they could reach a decision if they were allowed to convict Mr Spector of involuntary manslaughter, instead of the original charge of second-degree murder, only three jurors said yes. Analysts said that this did not bode well for the prosecution.

Mr Spector, 67, is accused of picking up Lana Clarkson, a struggling actress who was working as a cocktail waitress at the House of Blues, on a February night in 2003, taking her home to his Los Angeles “castle”, and shooting her in the face.

The creator of the “Wall of Sound” technique of the Sixties, and a one-time producer for The Beatles, had been known for decades in the music industry for his drunken gunplay.

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Jurors Deadlocked In Spector Music Murder Mystery