Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul declared a mistrial after jurors told him they were deadlocked, 10-2. KNBC's Doug Kriegel reported that the 10-2 split was in favor of conviction.
"At this time, I will find that the jury is unable to arrive at a verdict and declare a mistrial in this matter," the judge said.
The judge announced the mistrial at about 1:50 p.m. Attorneys and the judge remain in discussions until Fidler asked that the courtroom be cleared at 1:55 p.m.
Spector and his wife left the courthouse in a black Mercedes-Benz at 2:17 p.m.
The jury deliberated for a 12th day Wednesday and indicated after about two hours that they had a question, prompting the judge to schedule an afternoon hearing.
The panel hit the jury-room buzzer twice, a signal that they have a question, at 11:26 a.m. Wednesday. A court clerk went into the jury room and came out with an envelope, then announced that a hearing would be held at 1:30 p.m.
The nine-man, three-woman jury told the judge during the hearing that it was unable to break a deadlock it announced last week.
Spector, 67, was accused of shooting 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson through the mouth in the foyer of his Alhambra mansion at about 5 a.m. Feb. 3, 2003, after a night of drinking. His defense maintains she shot herself, either by accident or on purpose, with his snub-nosed .38-caliber Colt Cobra.
The jury got the case Sept. 10 and has deliberated for a total of more than 44 hours.
Jurors announced Sept. 18 they were deadlocked 7-5. Some jurors said they were confused by a specific jury instruction crafted by one of Spector's defense attorneys.
That instruction -- called "Special Instruction 3" -- read that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Spector pointed a gun at Clarkson and the gun ended up inside her mouth while in Spector's hand.
Deliberations were suspended for two days, during which attorneys argued over new jury instructions to explain to the panel the prosecutors' contention that Spector committed an act that resulted in Clarkson's death.
On Thursday, Fidler told jurors he was withdrawing Special Instruction 3. He then gave the panel updated instructions -- some of which angered defense attorneys -- and jurors resumed deliberating.
Among the new instructions was a clause giving several scenarios in which Spector could be found guilty of Clarkson's murder, including "forcing her to place the gun in her mouth."
"There's not a shred of evidence to that," defense attorney Brad Brunon argued in opposition to the wording.
But Fidler ruled the new language was reasonable based on the evidence presented to the jury.
Prosecutors have the option of retrying Spector, offering him a plea bargain or dropping the case. If convicted of second-degree murder, Spector face 15 years to life in prison, plus a possible added 10 years for use of a firearm.
Spector and Clarkson met when he went to the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, where she was working as a $9-per-hour VIP hostess. Spector, who had spent the night on the town dining and drinking with two other women, invited Clarkson to come home with him. Hours later, she was dead.
Clarkson was best known for her starring role in the 1985 Roger Corman cult hit "Barbarian Queen," though she had bit parts on dozens of TV shows and in a few well-known movies, such as 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
Spector, renowned in music circles for the "Wall of Sound" recording technique he invented in the 1960s and used in his work with the Beatles and other groups, is free on $1 million bail.
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