Eight Members Of Hippie Style Family Will Be Called To Testify When Charles Manson Goes On Trial In March
Tuesday, February 10th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 10 – At least eight members of a hippie-style “family,” still loyal to their jailed leader Charles M. Manson, have been ordered to testify when he goes to trial on murder and conspiracy charges in the slayings of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
The trial date was set Monday for March 30, and five girls and three young men were subpoenaed when they showed up in court to watch the colorfully clad Manson act as his own attorney.
In gypsy-like tattered lace, satin and fringes, the group formed a ragged gallery in the front rows of the spectator section at his court appearance. One girl, called Gypsy, cuddled a 4-month-old baby she called Elf. A couple held hands and nuzzled
When the prosecution subpoenaed the group, Manson objected, “They’re my witnesses.”
The trial may be delayed by the birth of a baby to one of the defendants.
Linda Kasabian, 20, who came to court in a white maternity smock, is expecting a child the first week in April, her attorney said. However, Superior Court Judge William B. Keene set the March 30 trial date for her, Manson and Leslie Van Houten, 19, saying he would consider Mrs. Kasabian’s physical condition then.
Manson and four followers are accused in the slayings Aug. 9 of Miss Tate and four visitors to her home. Manson and five followers are charged with killing Mr. and Mrs. Leno LaBianca, wealthy store owners, the following night. The prosecutor wants a joint trial.
Manson, in gold velvet trousers and white Edwardian shirt, told the judge he wants a change of venue. The judge set next Monday for arguments on that and other motions. He denied another Manson motion to dismiss charges, but granted a motion for discovery of prosecution evidence — making it available for defense review.
After the hearing, the Manson clan members met with attorneys for various defendants, held a news conference and read parts of a letter Manson wrote to Dist. Atty. Evelle Younger. In it, Manson complained of poor legal facilities in the jail, said he was on a 25-day hunger strike to protest, and claimed his friends were being harassed.
The “family’ still lives communally in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles. They are frequent visitors to the jail, running errands for Manson and raising funds for his defense.
By LINDA DEUTSCH