4 Manson Followers Convicted in Hawthorne Robbery-Shootout
Thursday, February 22nd, 1973
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 22 – Four followers of hippie cult leader Charles Manson were found guilty Wednesday of committing a Hawthorne surplus store robbery which led to a shootout with police.
The seven-women, five-man jury deliberated four days before returning the verdicts against Mary Brunner, 29; Catherine (Gypsy) Share, 30; Lawrence Bailey, 23, and Kenneth Como, 33.
In addition to their conviction for holding up the Western Surplus Store at 134th St. and Hawthorne Blvd., on Aug. 21, 1971, the four were found guilty of robbing a Covina beer distributorship of $2,600 eight days earlier.
The defendants were captured shortly after the Hawthorne holdup and a gun battle with 30 police officers.
The same jurors are scheduled to start hearing evidence today on the sanity of the defendants, all of whom have pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.
Howard Weitzman, Miss Brunner’s attorney, indicated that the first two witnesses to be called in the sanity hearing would be Robert Beausoleil and Bruce Davis, both Manson “family” members convicted of killing Malibu musician Gary Hindman.
Davis also is serving a life sentence for the slaying of Donald (Shorty) Shea, who worked at the Spahn movie ranch where the Manson group was once headquartered.
They will be followed to the witness stand by Manson, who is expected to appear in court Friday. Manson has been convicted of both the Hinman and Shea murders plus the Sharon Tate-Leno LaBianca slayings.
Dept. Dist. Atty. Harland Braun theorized during the trial that the Manson followers stole 143 weapons from the surplus store and the money from the Covina brewery firm to further a plan to help Manson break out of prison.
Superior Judge Arthur Alarcon ordered the jury sequestered in the late stages of the trial after death threats were received by two jurors. He allowed the man and woman who received the threats to be excused from further duty.
After the return of the verdicts Thursday, Alarcon continued the sequestration, saying that the reasons for being locked up in a downtown hotel “were still existent.”
The two alternate jurors have now replaced the pair excused from duty and no further alternates are available.
By WILLIAM FARR