Can’t Act As Own Attorney
Tuesday, June 23rd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 23 – A former library employee from Wisconsin was denied permission Monday to act as her own attorney, after which she said her lawyer in a murder trial will be the same man representing hippie clan leader Charles Manson.
Mary Brunner, 26, formerly of Eau Claire and Madison, Wis., identified as a member of the “Manson family,” is charged with first degree murder in the 1969 slaying of musician Gary Hinman.
Judge George M. Dell of Superior Court complemented Miss Brunner on what he called her apparent intelligence, but ruled she lacks the ability to serve as her own attorney.
She then said her lawyer would be Daye Shinn, who represents Manson, Susan Atkins and other figures involved in the Sharon Tate slayings case last August.
Dell told Miss Brunner: “There are substantially strong legal issues in this case as to whether or not you can be tried at all after the proceedings that have taken place.”
He did not elaborate. Miss Brunner had been granted state immunity from prosecution while testifying against Robert Beausoleil, 22, who was convicted of fatally stabbing Hinman. Beausoleil has been sentenced to death.
The day after Beausoleil’s June 15 conviction, a grand jury indicted Miss Brunner in the Hinman slaying. Manson also was indicted.
Dell said he would rule next Monday on Miss Brunner’s choice of Shinn as her lawyer.