Convicted murderer Phil Spector is supposed to be serving a 19-years-to-life sentence for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. But in a shocking development, INSIDE EDITION can reveal that Spector was secretly released from prison to visit his personal dentist.
"My appointment got bumped for a convicted murderer!" says KFI radio personality Sheron Bellio.
The secret unraveled after the dentist's office called Bellio and asked her to move her appointment back an hour in order to accommodate what they called an emergency. When she arrived, Bellio says six prison guards were in the waiting room.
"Were you shocked that inmates are able to get out of prison to have dental work done?" asks INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret.
"We were all baffled by it, we'd just never heard of anything like that," Bellio says.
Spector's dentist visit was planned like a CIA operation. After five hours in the chair he was rushed out a side door and into an unmarked car, which then took off
Bellio and a friend snapped photos of the prison caravan tearing down the busy street.
The women followed the unmarked car containing Spector to a parking lot. Then, unbelievably, they say the guards let an unshackled Spector out of the car and placed him into a jail van.
Debi Dodge captured images of the bizarre incident.
"It's creepy to think that he could have gone anywhere, they could have done anything with him, or he could have escaped," she says.
So why is a convicted murderer being let out for the day in the first place? Due to prisoner lawsuits, California is the only state that allows inmates who can afford to pay for the extra security to visit their own personal doctor or dentist.
That includes people like Charles Manson and death row inmates like Scott Peterson.
"You may not be afraid of Phil Spector, but Charles Manson would have these rights as well...Scott Peterson would have these rights."
"Absolutely. It's unsettling even if there are five, six, seven, eight sheriffs with them...who knows what could happen? It's just outrageous to me."
Citing privacy laws, prison officials would not reveal how many times well-to-do inmates have been released for medical visits. INSIDE EDITION was unable to interview a prison spokesperson on camera, but the prison did send INSIDE EDITION a statement saying, "Inmates are human beings and they have constitutional rights."