Los Angeles star prosecutor Marcia Clark takes on Rebecca Schaeffer case: Part 8

Robert Bardo's siblings testified during his trial, which occurred two years after the actress' murder. Bardo's case was decided by a judge, not a jury.
7:27 | 04/13/19

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Transcript for Los Angeles star prosecutor Marcia Clark takes on Rebecca Schaeffer case: Part 8
Marcia Clark, at that point, was one of the star prosecutors in Los Angeles. People call 41-year-old Marcia Clark smart, savvy, hardworking and dedicated. But before O.J. Simpson, her most celebrated case was that of Rebecca Schaeffer. The trial of Rebecca Schaeffer's stalker, Robert Bardo, was a huge deal. It was covered wall-to-wall by newspapers and television. On "Hard copy," Hollywood's worst nightmare. Now Rebecca's accused killer is on trial. It was also the subject of an episode of "Law & order." He accosted me on the street, and then I tried to get away. He told me to stop, and when I didn't, he attacked me. Two years after Rebecca Schaeffer's murder, Robert John Bardo goes to trial. The prosecution waived the death penalty. The public defender had wanted to waive jury in exchange for not seeking the death penalty. This case will be decided not by a jury but by a judge. It was a gamble, but they believed they had a better shot with a judge than with a jury. Bardo's admitting that he shot Rebecca Schaeffer. It's not a whodunnit, it's a why. The defense was going to lean very heavily on a mental defense. So I had to prove that the murder was premeditated and that there were special circumstances in order to get a life without the possibility of parole sentence. The defense wasn't claiming insanity here and saying he should be found not guilty. He had a mental defect and could not have developed the necessary intent to commit the crime. The security guard who had turned Bardo away from the gate at Warner brothers, he testified. After quite a bit of talk, I proceeded to tell him that the best thing for him to do would be to stay away from the studio and not try to get near Rebecca Schaeffer. I said, "How did you get out here today from Hollywood?" And he said, "I came out on the bus." I said, "Well, I don't want to see you go back on the bus with that five foot teddy bear." And I drove him back to his place on Whitley street in Hollywood, dropped him off. So at the trial the witnesses you would expect to hear from are called. The brother who bought Robert John Bardo the gun after Bardo was turned away. His siblings actually had incredibly critical testimony to give that showed evidence of premeditation. When you purchased the gun, did he give you cash for the purchase? That's correct. Do you recall how much it was? Something over $200. Shortly after he left, did you look to see if the gun was still in its place in the closet? I believe I did. Did you ever see the gun again? No, I didn't. The fact that he got his brother to help him buy a gun, these were all ways in which to prove that he was actually thinking about killing. Several other members of Robert Bardo's family took the stand, including his father, Phillip. We happened to be watching the CNN news, and I heard that Rebecca had been killed. And my first thought was that we couldn't believe it. My son went and checked to see if the pistol was still in the house, and the pistol was gone. A neighbor would describe the sound of the weapon that killed Rebecca Schaeffer. I dropped to my knees because the blast rattled the door and sort of knocked me to my knees. And I heard the scream, one very loud, long scream. In an effort to prove that Bardo is mentally ill, his lawyers call to the stand park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist who's no stranger to a courtroom. Now, Dr. Dietz testified in the Unabomber case. He testified in the Jeffrey Dahmer case, the serial killer. And he testified in the case of John hinckley Jr., who shot Ronald Reagan. There were times when he was said to yell and to moan. He compared himself to the family cat. He had told his counselor, Mr. Hickman, that he had compulsions to kill someone. He also wrote that when he listens to the radio, he is possessed by it. Bardo goes through this trial largely in a kind of catatonic state, except for one strange moment when the defense plays a u2 song called "Exit" and claims that Bardo was somehow influenced in what he did by this u2 song. ��� Shining from above ��� ��� his hand in his pocket his finger on the steel ��� ��� the pistol weighted heavy his heart he could feel was beating ��� For some reason this struck a chord with Robert John Bardo. I'll tell you, it's very interesting. Marcia Clark, she cross-examined a world renowned expert, a psychiatric expert, Dr. Park Dietz, that he was testifying that Mr. Bardo shouldn't be found guilty of murder because of a mental condition. So if a prospective patient is asked whether or not he hears voices, he may well adopt the suggestion and agree that he does, when in fact he does not. That can happen, can it not? It can happen, yes. So the fact that the defendant may have wanted to kill Rebecca Schaeffer if she was arrogant or because he felt she rejected him is not in itself evidence of a mental disorder or defect, is it? No, that isn't. I must say by the time Dr. Dietz got off the stand, I think even his knees were rattling a little bit. I grabbed the door, gun still in the bag, reached around, grabbed it on the trig, like this. Phew. Pow. His demeanor during those interviews was matter of fact. He shows no remorse, and there's not any sense that he saw anything wrong with what he had Bullet hit her here. She was just screaming. "Why? Why?" She was screaming. She was just straight screaming. "Why? Why?" I watched it a few times thinking, "Wait, there's something here." And I watched it again, and I said, "Wait a minute. He's holding his hand behind his back. That shows he was hiding his intent." That proves lying in wait. I've got my special circumstance." The evidence is more than sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt as to whether or not he had the intent to kill. I'm telling you that it's my position that Robert Bardo is not guilty of first-degree murder. He loaded the empty chamber, put the gun in his waistband, went to the door, rang the buzzer, stepped back and waited until Rebecca Shaeffer came out onto the porch, grabbed her arm, grabbed his gun from behind him and fired. Robert Bardo's fate was in the hands of one person, judge dino fulgoni.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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