Shouting Match in Court
Saturday, March 7th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 7 – Shouting “you can kill me, but you can’t give me an attorney,” accused murderer Charles Manson Friday was ruled incapable of representing himself and an attorney was appointed to handle his defense.
The wild court session which grew wilder as Superior Court Judge William Keene and the long-haired hippie leader tried to outshout each other, ended with the arrest of three of Manson’s “family” members for contempt of court when they joined in the shouting match.
Manson, who entered the Los Angeles courtroom smiling, was taken from the session visibly upset and shaking.
Judge Keene opened the hearing on Manson’s request for several things – including bail — by asking the bearded cult leader to read from the 17-page legal motion, asking if he had, indeed, read it at all.
“Certainly,” Manson replied. “These are all basically my ideas — but not my words.
The motion, among other things, asked that the district attorney be “incarcerated” the same as Manson “to let him look through my eyes” and that he (Manson) be allowed to travel to “anyplace I deem fit in preparation of my own defense.”
Judge Keene told Manson he had read the lengthy motion and was “appalled…at the outlandish requests.”
“In reviewing what you’ve done since I granted you pro per privileges, it looks like you’ve turned into a messenger boy, bringing in motions prepared by others. You can carry documents prepared for you by someone else, but you can’t in do anything thereafter.
“Based on your performance, I am satisfied you cannot act as your own attorney. If you went to trial it would he a fundamental, absolute denial of due process,” judge Keene said.
Manson, who sat quietly at the counsel table listening, asked if he could he heard.
“I can’t deny what you say, but again, I ask the court to look through my eyes. You’ve given me three weeks to become an attorney.
“I’ve asked for associate counsel. I told you I couldn’t be a lawyer, but I didn’t want to lose my voice.”
At this point Judge Keene attempted to interrupt, and Manson shouted, “Now wait a minute!”
As the jurist began to speak louder, asking the hippie leader to keep quiet, Manson countered: “I kept quiet for you…now let me finish…I am a man too, Mr.”
He finally bellowed through the courtroom: “I have a voice, do you hear it?”
At this point four “family” members, sitting in the courtroom jumped to their feet, but were quickly surrounded by deputies.
“That’s another occasion of your instability,” Judge Keene said. “When the court speaks, you listen. Your status is now changed…I will find you are indigent and appoint a good trial attorney, Charles Hollopeter, as your attorney.”
Manson, by this time, had risen in his feet at the counsel table: “There’s no love in your courtroom,” he said, almost in tears. “Go wash your hands, they’re dirty.”
At this point “family” members joined in the fray.
“You are a mockery of justice,” one shouted.
“You’re a joke…there is no justice. May I say your conduct has been most outlandish.”
Judge Keene, ordered the arrest of three of the four standing family members — Katherine (Gypsy) Share, Mark Ross and Sandy Good. He immediately sentenced them to five days in the county jail for “outlandish, direct contempt of court.” A fourth girl, Cathy Gillis, who stood, but remained silent, was ordered from the courtroom.
By MARY NEISWENDER