‘Family’ State Witness Reneges, Won’t Testify
Friday, April 10th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 10 – One of the chief prosecution witnesses in the murder trial of Manson family member Robert Beausoleil – the girl who allegedly participated in the torture-killing of musician Gary Hinman – has decided not to testify, the Independent Press-Telegram learned Thursday.
Mary Brunner, who together with Beausoleil and Susan Atkins, the “Informer” in the Tate-LaBianca killings, allegedly participated in the three-day torture and subsequent stabbing death of the 34-year-old musician, is being held in protective custody in the Sybil Brand institute, family members said.
“They (the police) took her baby when they raided the Spahn Ranch and made it a ward of the court indefinitely. They’re holding that over her head to try to get her to testify against Bobby, but she hasn’t anything to say,” two female members of the family said as they waited outside the superior courtroom where Beausoleil is being tried for the murder.
According to Manson family members, the 26-year-old Miss Brunner was working in the Wisconsin University Library and flew to the West Coast to talk with her attorney when she felt she might be subpoenaed in the murder case.
The attorney, Hugh Manes, has refused to comment on the case.
The trip, although reported to her probation officer, violated her probation and she is now being held at the women’s prison on the violation.
“The prosecuting, attorney said Mary disappeared. She never did. They picked her up when she went back to Wisconsin and brought her out here a few days ago,” the girls said. “As of now, she will not testify for the prosecution. She has nothing to say.”
The family members subpoenaed as witnesses in the Beausoleil trial thereby excluding them from the courtroom, have been in attendance almost every day since the trial began last week.
On the Stand Thursday, Randy Starr, cowboy-movie stuntman and a resident of the Spahn Ranch, indentified as his own the knife allegedly used to murder Hinman and subsequently found hidden in a car driven by Beasoleil.
Starr said he gave the knife to Charles Manson, leader of the hippie cult, who in turn gave it to Beausoleil.
The trial will begin its 10th day this morning. It is expected to end next week
By MARY NEISWENDER