Judge Hears Testimony on Immunity in Hinman Case
Thursday, July 23rd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 23 – A Superior Court judge yesterday heard testimony on whether Mary Brunner, member of Charles Manson’s clan, was in fact granted immunity from prosecution for the murder of musician Gary Hinman.
Judge Kathleen Parker recessed the hearing until 2 p.m. today.
Miss Brunner’s attorneys have petitioned the court for a writ of habeas corpus. They claim it has no jurisdiction to try the 26-year-old Wisconsin librarian for Hinman’s murder because she previously was granted immunity.
Miss Brunner has been indicted by the County Grand Jury for Hinman’s slaying. Previously she was a prosecution witness against Robert K. Beausoleil 22, convicted and condemned to death for the fatal stabbing of Hinman last July 27.
However, since Beausoleil’s trial, Miss Brunner has changed her story several times as to what happened in Hinman’s Topanga Canyon home the week end of his murder.
Because of this, the prosecution withdrew what it claims was only a “promise” of immunity, contending Miss Brunner failed to comply with her part of the bargain.
Testifying yesterday was Ernest Graves, an attorney who represented Miss Brunner last June 12 during her testimony in Beausoleil’s motion for a new trial. Graves testified he understood on June 12 that Miss Brunner had been granted immunity based on certain conditions.
Also testifying was Melvin F. Greenberg, of Madison, Wis.
He represented Miss Brunner for a short time last March and April when law enforcement officials went to Wisconsin to see if she would come to Los Angeles to testify at Beausoleil’s trial.
Greenberg claimed it was his understanding that the prosecution offered Miss Brunner immunity for testifying only in the Beausoleil case.
Dep. Dist. Atty. Burton. S. Katz contended Miss Brunner was “promised” immunity if she testified truthfully in all proceedings stemming from the Hinman murder.
He said this included her testimony at the prospective trial of Manson and two of his other clan members, also charged with Hinman’s slaying.
Miss Brunner’s present attorneys, James Patterson and Howard Weitzman, called Katz as a witness. The prosecutor testified that he did not show Greenberg any immunity documents for Miss Brunner when he spoke with the attorney in Wisconsin.