Ex-UW Librarian Seeks Release in L.A. Murder Case
Tuesday, July 7th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 7 – Former University of Wisconsin librarian Mary Brunner, 26, charged in the torture-slaying last year of bagpipe musician Gary Hinman, today sought release on the grounds that she had allegedly been granted immunity from prosecution by the District Attorney’s office.
Filing a writ of habeas corpus through her newly-appointed court lawyer, James E. Patterson, Miss Brunner, a former member of the notorious “Manson Family,” said her immunity derived from testimony she gave which led to the conviction of Robert Beausoleil in the Hinman killing.
Deputy District Attorney Burton Katz denied that the state had given Miss Brunner immunity. Katz said his office had only “promised” to provide immunity and had not actually bestowed it.
Miss Brunner recanted her testimony against Beausoleil shortly after the musician was sentenced to death for the slaying.
Repudiating her own testimony in an affidavit prepared in Madison, the Eau Claire native was reportedly upset that the district attorney’s office allegedly reneged on a promise to return her son to her immediately after Beausoleil’s trial. The child is presently staying with her parents in Eau Claire.
Miss Brunner’s on-and-off testimony resulted in a county grand jury indictment against her on the grounds that she did not fulfill her part of the immunity deal.
Superior Court Judge George M. Dell set a hearing for July 16 on attorney Patterson’s request for a writ of habeas corpus. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Parker will decide the issue.
Also charged in the Hinman slaying, along with Miss Brunner and the already convicted Beausoleil, are Charles Manson and Susan Atkins.