Cult Leader, Friends Lose Court Claim
Sunday, April 4th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 4 — A Superior Court judge today had refused to halt the prosecution of condemned killer Charles Manson and three others in connection with the Shea-Hinman murders.
Judge Raymond Choate ruled against a defense claim that the two murder cases were improperly joined in one county grand jury indictment.
However, Judge Choate took under submission until tomorrow at 2 p.m. another defense move to sever the cases for the purpose of holding two trials instead of one.
If the judge had found that the indictment was improper, it would have barred, at least temporarily, the prosecution of Manson and the others.
In other developments, Dep. Dist. Atty. Burton Katz, both in oral arguments and in written legal briefs submitted to Judge Choate, claimed the Shea-Hinman murders, like the Tate-LaBianca murders, resulted from Manson’s philosophy of “helter-skelter” — a “blood bath” between blacks and whites.
Manson 36, Bruce Davis 27 and Stephen Grogan 19, are charged with the murder of Donald “Shorty” Shea, a worker at the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth.
Manson, Davis, and Susan Atkins 22 are accused of the murder of Malibu musician Gary Hinman.
Shea’s body has never been discovered. The prosecution claims Shea was stabbed and decapitated at the ranch sometime between Aug. 16 and Sept. 1, 1969.
Hinman was stabbed in his Malibu home July 27, 1969.
Manson, Miss Atkins, and two other female cult members are under death sentences for the Tate-LaBianca murders.
At one point in Friday’s arguments, Manson interrupted his attorney, Irving Kanarek, and told Judge Choate:
“Your honor, I don’t think any of this is important.”
Manson declared, “There’s been no justice so far. You showed me no justice — showed me no truth.”
Judge Choate told Manson to be quiet, and the defendant obeyed.