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Former inmates offer Phil Spector advice

April 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The verdict came in Monday, and producer Phil Spector is now looking at a long jail sentence for murder. So what can he expect from life behind bars? Some former inmates that say his days of cushy Hollywood life are over.Phil Spector comes from a very lavish lifestyle. He's had very fancy cars, he lived in a castle, and he did have his own bodyguard. In prison he will also have a bodyguard of a sort, and one inmate says he will definitely need it.

From a millionaire's life cushioned by bodyguards to a barren cell tended by deputies. Inmates told Eyewitness News about gritty days ahead for Phil Spector, the newest celebrity resident of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

"You just gotta be strong," said "Lance," a released inmate. "You gotta look for the weak points."

"Better be strong, better know how to fight," said "Steve," another released inmate.

The defense attorney for Phil Spector, Doron Weinberg, is taking steps to ensure his client will be protected. Weinberg visited Spector Tuesday morning.

"He is in a hospital dorm right now," Weinberg said Tuesday. "That's where they put him, presumptively because of all the medications that he has prescribed. They are wanting to evaluate. It is a licensed hospital, they will keep him there only if he qualifies for housing in a licensed hospital. If not, they will transfer him to a security unit."

Weinberg said Spector is shaken now his freedom has ended after a jury convicted him of murdering Lana Clarkson.

"But to have it all suddenly happen, you know, and to be taken out of the courtroom and be put in handcuffs, transported here and put in jail, it's all pretty shocking," said Weinberg.

And it will continue to be shocking. There's the food.

"It's like crap," said "Lance." "Food is no good to me."

Then there's Spector's sense of security. He is 69 years old, 5 feet tall, weighing less than 100 pounds.

"It is a disadvantage if they got to fight, there's a riot, they're gonna get messed up," said "Steve."

If Spector is moved from the hospital ward, a sheriff's department spokesman says he will be segregated from the main population and closely monitored.

Weinberg dismisses any notion that Spector would need suicide watch.

"He has reasons to be optimistic about his appeal," said Weinberg. "It's a very strong appeal. He just needs to hold on."

Doron Weinberg said it would take some time to file that paper. In the meantime, Spector's sentencing is set for May 29, and he could get life in prison.


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