Court stays Spector lawyer contempt order

June 23, 2007 at 2:05 PM

LOS ANGELES, June 23 (UPI) -- A California appellate court ruled a lawyer who represented accused murderer Phil Spector does not have to serve a jail sentence for contempt -- yet.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals late Friday stayed the jail term for Sara Caplan pending a full hearing on the contempt citation issued against her for refusing to testify about witnessing defense expert Henry Lee allegedly picking up evidence at Spector's home.

The judge in the ongoing trial had ordered Caplan to tell what she knew about the incident in which Lee supposedly pocketed a fingernail fragment, which courtroom observers say could prove that victim Lana Clarkson had been struck in the hand by the fatal bullet and could not have pulled the trigger herself.

Spector's lawyers contend Caplan should not be compelled to testify against her own client and are appealing the contempt order.

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