First Testimony Expected Tomorrow in Manson Trial
Thursday, July 23rd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 23 – Six alternate jurors have been sworn in for the Charles Manson murder trial and testimony is scheduled to get under way tomorrow.
Trial Judge Charles H. Older granted the delay after the swearing-in on Tuesday so the 89 prosecution witnesses could be notified to appear to testify.
The alternates were approved by both prosecution and defense after a full week of selection.
A seven-man, five-woman trial jury was chosen a week ago earlier.
Manson, 35-year-old leader of a nomadic cult, is accused of masterminding the murders last Aug. 9 of actress Sharon Tate and four others, and the killings the following day of market owner Leno LaBianca and his wife.
On trial with him are three female followers — Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel, both 22, and Leslie Van Houten 19.
Miss Van Houten, unlike the rest, is charged only with the LaBianca killings. All four, however, are accused of conspiracy to commit murder involving the seven killings.
A total of 73 prospective alternate jurors were questioned before the six — four men and two women — were selected.
It took a little over five weeks to select the regular jury and 141 persons were questioned before the panel was approved by defense and prosecution lawyers.
The alternate jurors selected are:
Robert Douglas 34, of Arcadia, a civilian employe for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; John Ellis 25, a General Telephone Co. employe; Frances Chason, a retired Civil Service employe; Larry Sheely, who works for Pacific Telephone Co.; Mrs. Victoria Kumpman, a housewife, and Kenneth Daut Jr. of West Los Angeles, a State Division of Highway employe.
Judge Older allowed the alternate jurors the rest of the day to take care of personal business before they were sequestered at the Ambassador Hotel with the rest of the jury.
The regular jurors have been confined to the hotel since last week.
Judge Older has said he wants the jurors sequestered for the three to six-month trial to prevent them from being influenced by prejudicial publicity.
Chief Prosecutor Aaron H. Stovitz said witnesses who will be called Friday include Roman Polanski, the movie director husband of the slain actress.
Polanski is in Rome, however, and may not get here in time.
He has returned once to California since his wife and the others were killed at his rented home in Benedict Canyon. Polanski was in London at the time of the murders.
Other witnesses tomorrow, following an opening statement by co-prosecutor Vincent T. Bugliosi, will include William Garretson and Winifred Chapman, who both worked at the Polanski home.
Garretson 20, was a caretaker at the estate and was asleep in a cottage behind the main house when the killings occurred
Mrs. Chapman was the maid and discovered the bodies on the morning of Aug. 9.
Stovitz also disclosed that Linda Kasabian, 20-year-old codefendant of Manson, “probably” will testify Monday.
Mrs. Kasabian, mother of two small children, reportedly was outside both the Benedict Canyon home and the Los Feliz residence of LaBianca’s when the killings occurred.
The prosecution has said it will offer the blonde young woman immunity in exchange for her testimony.
The prosecution witnesses also include former members of Manson’s so-called “family,” such as Paul Crockett, Diana Lake and Kitty Lutesinger.
Other witnesses include television producer Terry Melcher, son of actress Doris Day, who reportedly knew Manson at one time, and Ruby Pearl, the manager of the Spahn Ranch, the group’s one-time headquarters near Chatsworth.
Another one of the first witnesses for the prosecution will be William Parent of El Monte, father of 18-year-old Stephen Parent, one of the victims.
Parent was the only one killed at the Polanski home who was not scheduled to be there. He was friends with Garretson and was just leaving the caretaker’s cottage when he was shot to death.
Others killed at the Polanski home were friends of either the director or his 26-year-old actress wife, pregnant with their first child — a son — when she was stabbed to death.
They were coffee heiress Abigail Folger 26, hairstylist Jay Sebring 35, a former fiance of Miss Tates and Polish playboy Voityck Frykowsky 37, Miss Folger’s boyfriend.
The LaBiancas also were stabbed to death in a manner similar to that used with Miss Tate and the others. The husband, owner of the Gateway chain of markets was 44 years old and his wife Rosemary was 38.
Mrs. LaBianca’s son and daughter by a previous marriage also will testify for the prosecution.
The defense, meanwhile will call only 15 witnesses. The four lawyers have not disclosed the witnesses’ names.
By SANDI METTETAL