What Happened To Linda Kenney Baden From The Phil Spector Murder Case?

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Lawyer Linda Kenney Baden has built a career on tackling some of the toughest and most high-profile legal cases. She attracted a lot of media attention for her work for Phil Spector, defending the music producer in his 2007 murder trial. He was charged in connection with the 2003 death of actress Lana Clarkson, per Reuters. Clarkson died of a shotgun wound in Spector's California home.

Baden, who first handled the case with attorney Bruce Cutler, took the lead in Spector's defense after Cutler's departure, according to the Daily Beast. She told the jury that, "The science will tell you through the evidence of science that Phillip Spector did not shoot, did not shoot Lana Clarkson the decedent, that he did not hold the gun and that he did not pull the trigger ... " (via Associated Press). Baden managed to raise enough questions as to Spector's guilt or innocence that the jury was unable to reach a decision. The judge declared a mistrial, and Spector was later convicted of the crime when he was retried in 2009.

Baden: A legal superstar even before Spector trial

Even before the Phil Spector trial, Baden established quite a name for herself as an attorney. She is a self-described Jersey girl, having grown up in Red Bank (via The New York Times). Her father was a postmaster who encouraged Baden and her sister to challenge gender stereotypes and to excel. She told The New York Times, "You had to go to the journalism club or you had to go to the forensic club. None of this baton-twirling and cheerleading stuff for you."

According to her curriculum vitae (CV), Baden attended George Washington University before transferring to Rutgers University in her native New Jersey. There she earned a bachelor's degree in 1974. Four years later, Baden earned her law degree from Rutgers. Even this early, she demonstrated her courtroom skills by winning first place as an oralist in the university's moot court competition.

Baden started out her career as a law clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey before becoming an assistant prosecutor for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. She eventually set up her own practice (per Baden's CV). By the late 1990s, Baden won several civil rights cases as well as civil actions, several of which were filed by those injured by the police, per The New York Times. She also represented a group of minority New Jersey state troopers who outed their agency's racial profiling tactics.

Baden became an in-demand TV commentor

Around the time that Phil Spector was retried for murder in 2009, Baden launched a very different type of project. She and her second husband, Michael Baden, published their second novel entitled, "Skeleton Justice." This book was the second in a series featuring a pathologist and a lawyer –- characters created perhaps with a touch of inspiration from the authors' lives. Michael Baden served as the chief medical examiner for New York City and has worked as a forensic pathologist, per his official site. He also made a name for himself on the small screen, having hosted the HBO series, "Autopsy."

In addition to her literary pursuits, Linda Kenney Baden started blogging for the Huffington Post in 2011, per her CV. She also developed a career as a legal expert on television, appearing on numerous channels including Court TV, CNN, and MSNBC. Never one to stay out of the courtroom for long, Baden became involved in yet another high-profile case around this time.

Baden helped defend Casey Anthony

Beginning in 2008, Baden served as a forensic advisor and lawyer for Casey Anthony (via her CV). Anthony was charged with the murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee Marie, per the Orlando Sentinel. Baden offered her services pro bono for two years, but traveling between New York and Florida became a financial hardship for her. She had to remove herself from the case when she couldn't get reimbursed for her extensive travel expenses. She left reluctantly, telling the Orlando Sentinel that, "I believe in the client's innocence to the charges and do not wish personally or professionally to withdraw from the case." Anthony was acquitted in 2011.

Baden also aided in the defense of Gigi Jordan by acting as a legal and forensic consultant. Jordan, a New York executive, gave her 8-year-old autistic son a fatal dose of medication and tried to take her own life in 2010 (via NBC News). She was acquitted of murder, but convicted of manslaughter in 2014.

Baden consulted on Phil Spector TV movie

Baden returned to one of her most famous cases, albeit in a new role. She served as a consultant on the television dramatization of the Phil Spector trial. The project starred Al Pacino as the legendary and eccentric music producer and was written by famed playwright, writer, and director David Mamet, per the Daily Beast. Originally, the role of Baden was to be played by Bette Midler, but she had to drop out after injuring her back. Actress Helen Mirren stepped into the part and Baden was ecstatic about the casting choice.

As Baden explained to Los Angeles Magazine, she and Mirren spoke on the phone and exchanged emails to help her prepare to play one of America's most famous attorneys. Mirren also had the information that Baden had given to Midler on her courtroom style and demeanor. Baden was pretty pleased with Mirren's fictionalized interpretation of her, telling Los Angeles Magazine, "I thought that she really nailed the passion and the commitment that I have to both that case and pretty much any case I try." The television movie, "Phil Spector," came out in 2013. It did, however, draw some criticism for its depiction of the murder victim. One of the film's screenings was even picketed by a group known as the "Friends of Lana Clarkson."

Baden helped represent Aaron Hernandez in second trial

One of Baden's most recent headline-grabbing cases came in 2017 when she worked on the defense team of Aaron Hernandez (above) against two charges of murder, per her legal practice's official site. Hernandez was a professional football player, playing as a tight end for the New England Patriots since 2010. But his promising career was derailed when he was charged in the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013 (per Sports Illustrated). Two years later, Hernandez was convicted in this case and was given a life sentence.

Baden worked on defending the former athlete in the 2012 murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. She and the rest of the legal team were successful in getting him acquitted of those charges, but this victory didn't seem to matter to Hernandez. Days after the verdict came in, Hernandez was found hanging in his jail cell and died at a hospital in what was determined to be suicide (per Sports Illustrated). After Hernandez's death, Baden told Law & Crime Network (via her practice's official website), "He wasn't the monster people want to make him out to be." She also revealed that he was showing signs of brain injury during the trial.

These days, Baden is managing her legal workload along with her commitments as a television personality. She can be seen on the Law & Crime Network as a host and a legal analyst. 

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