Police Hold to Spector Crime Theory

03/11/2003 at 03:33 PM EST

Contrary to reports that Phil Spector has been cleared of accusations that he murdered B-movie actress Lana Clarkson -- because, the legendary record producer said, her death has been judged an "accidental suicide" -- detectives are saying they still believe a crime occurred in Spector's suburban Los Angeles mansion.

"We hate to use the words, 'I told you so,' but I did tell you so," Spector, 62, reportedly wrote in an e-mail to friends, proclaiming that he's been cleared in the case. "After seven weeks of silence, we can say, with certainty, this will speak for itself, and, boy, does it speak volumes."

Clarkson, 40, was found dead of a single gunshot wound on Feb. 3 in the foyer of Spector's home. The producer was taken into custody and later released on $1 million bail, but Spector has yet to be formally charged for any crime.

On Monday, however, the Pasadena Star News reported that sheriff's homicide detectives are still looking into the fatal shooting, and that the investigation is expected to last several months.

"We still believe that a crime occurred," sheriff's homicide Capt. Frank Merriman told the paper, while declining to say whether Clarkson's fingerprints were found on the gun.

"I could be talking about manslaughter, and I could be talking about murder. We still haven't analyzed the evidence," he added.

Furthermore, the case's lead investigator, Lt. Dan Rosenberg, told Billboard.com: "We categorically deny that we are treating this as a suicide."

Attorneys for Spector had no comment.

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