Woman in Manson Group Loses Plea for Attorney
Tuesday, June 30th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 30 – Accused murderess Mary Brunner, a member of Charles Manson’s “family,” yesterday lost her bid to hire Daye Shinn as her attorney.
At the same time, the prosecution announced it would seek the death penalty for Miss Brunner and co-defendants Susan Atkins and Charles Manson — all charged with murdering musician Gary Hinman last July.
Superior Court Judge George Dell refused to allow Shinn to represent Miss Brunner because he is Miss Atkins’ lawyer.
“At some point we reach a position where there is conflict so substantial it can’t be waived. I think we have reached that point in this case,” he said.
“What we have between Miss Atkins and Miss Brunner are two young and relatively immature women, both of whom have made statements which may or may not be used against them.
“It is impossible for one individual to represent impartially two persons, at least in a capital case,” the judge concluded.
Judge Dell said he would appoint an attorney on July 6 for 26-years-old Miss Brunner.
Both Miss Atkins 21, and Manson 35, who has been represented by Shinn in civil matters, were present in court. Neither objected to Shinn representing Miss Brunner.
Dep. Dist. Atty. Burton Katz objected to Shinn representing Miss Brunner because the attorney is also involved in the Tate-LaBianca trial now in progress.
“Mr. Shinn cannot go to trial next month, we are prepared now,” he said.
Judge Dell noted that Miss Brunner has a “special defense” in that she formerly had been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against a fourth defendant — Robert Kenneth Beausoleil.
Beausoleil has been convicted and condemned to death for the killing.
The district attorney’s office obtained a murder indictment against Miss Brunner after she did several about faces in her testimony.
Katz said it may be necessary to sever Miss Brunner’s trial because of her previous court statements which he said may be used against Miss Atkins and Manson.
During her testimony, Miss Brunner implicated Miss Atkins and Manson. She said Miss Atkins was present at the time of the killing and that Manson had slashed the musician’s face with a sword.
Shinn told reporters after the court hearing he would appeal the judge’s decision.
“Judge Dell is trying to pre-judge the case. He doesn’t know what our defense is going to be,” said Shinn.