Reject Manson Defense Plea to Drop Charges
Monday, June 29th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 29 – A motion to dismiss charges against hippie cult leader Charles Manson and three of his “followers” charged with the Tate-LaBianca murders was denied today as the trial opened its third week in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The motion, argued by Paul Fitzgerald, attorney for Patricia Krenwinkel, claimed that extensive pre-trial publicity precludes the former Spahn Ranch residents from getting a fair trial.
Fitzgerald cited in his arguments that Los Angeles Police Chief Edward Davis had said that he had “solved” the massacre murder cases with the arrest of the Manson family.
Police and prosecution since the Dec. 1 arrests have released pictures, confidential police reports, past criminal records and other reports of crimes which they attributed to Manson.
“We have documentary proof that one of the deputy district attorneys did disclose to the public a great deal of information about the case,” Fitzgerald said, indicating a lengthy story in an underground newspaper. “This is but one aspect of it — the only time they’ve been caught, but not the only time they did it.”
Fitzgerald maintained the district attorney planted the publicity to gain public support because “they were having difficulties with the trial aspects of this case.”
With the public support behind them, the attorney said, “they would likely have an easy time in convicting these defendants.”
Manson’s attorney, Irving Kanarek, backed up Fitzgerald’s charges, claiming the prosecution’s “banter of a ‘family’ is a clever device which makes a conspiracy charge indefensible.”
Daye Shinn, representing Susan Atkins, pointed out to the judge that his client had been taken from jail accompanied by a deputy district attorney to the office of her former attorney where her “confession” was taped with the “intention of publishing it.”
Deputy Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi, although not directly answering the charges, called the arguments “totally unbelievable.”
Meanwhile, selection of the jury is expected to continue throughout the week.
Manson, 35, Miss Atkins, 21, Miss Krenwinkel, 22, and Leslie Van Houten, 20, are on trial on charges stemming from the murders last August of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
By MARY NEISWENDER