Cult Chief, Three Followers Act Calmly
Tuesday, April 27th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 27 — Charles Manson and his three co-defendants in the Hinman-Shea murder case were models of decorum yesterday as defense attorneys argued for dismissal of charges.
Neither Manson 36, Susan Atkins 22, Bruce Davis 27 or Steven Grogan 19, said a word during the hearing of more than an hour before Superior Court Judge Raymond Choate.
Both Manson and Miss Atkins, already condemned to death for the Tate-LaBianca mass murders, were evicted from Judge Choate’s courtroom last week after the cult chieftain gave a blood curdling yell when he was denied another request to act as his own attorney.
Manson was taken to San Quentin for formal processing last Thursday and returned Friday. Miss Atkins made a similar brief visit to the women’s facility at Frontera on Friday.
Yesterday’s argument for dismissal of’ charges was a continuation of pretrial motions presented to Judge Choate last week.
There was no ruling on any of the motions and Judge Choate postponed further arguments until 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Manson and the others are scheduled to stand trial on May 20. There are several motions pending before trial begins, however, including the dismissal request, a motion to have the case transferred due to publicity surrounding the case, and challenges to both the grand jury and petit (trial) jury systems.
Manson, Miss Atkins and Davis are accused of the torture-murder of Topanga Canyon musician in July 1969. Manson, Davis and Grogan are charged with the alleged murder of movie stuntman Donald (Shorty) Shea the following month.
Shea’s body has never been found.
The Hinman and Shea County Grand Jury indictments against the four defendants were combined last December as the prosecution wanted all to be tried together.