Defendant in Tate Murders May Turn State’s Evidence
Tuesday, March 31st, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 31 – An attorney for one defendant in the Tate-LaBianca murders strongly hinted yesterday that his client will turn state’s evidence when the case comes to trial next month.
Gary Fleischman, a lawyer for Mrs. Linda Kasabian, made the comment to newsmen after Superior Court Judge William B. Keene postponed until April 20 trial date setting for the 20-year-old mother of two.
It was believed the move was only a technical one, however, it has been speculated Mrs. Kasabian will be granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.
“We anticipate there will be a disposition in this case other than by trial,” said Fleischman outside Judge Keene’s courtroom after the postponement for Mrs. Kasabian was granted.
Charles Manson, 35, alleged mastermind of the August murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others, is scheduled to go on trial in Judge Keene’s courtroom along with three co-defendants.
Mrs. Kasabian is the fifth co-defendant and a sixth is in Texas fighting extradition to Los Angeles.
Fleischman and Ronald Goldman, Mrs. Kasabian’s other lawyer, said it was anticipated the young woman’s case would be severed from her co-defendants’ on April 20.
A date or her trial was to have been set yesterday, but Judge Keene granted the postponement after a short conference with the lawyers at his bench.
Proceedings were inaudible for court spectators.
The bench conference was held because Judge Keene is impaneling a jury in the murder retrial of Robert Kenneth Beausoleil, 21, an alleged intimate of the Manson “family” who is accused of killing musician Gary Hinman last July.
Beausoleil’s co-defendant, Susan Denise Atkins, 21, also is accused in the Tate-LaBianca slayings, but the young man is not.
By holding the bench conference, Judge Keene did not have to excuse 60 prospective jurors from the courtroom. Mrs. Kasabian was not present in court yesterday. She earlier had signed a waiver of appearance for continuances in her case.