Girls Plan Future In Tate Killings
Sunday, December 7th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 – If they are brought to trial in the Sharon Tate slayings, Linda Kasabian, will plead innocent and Susan Atkins, 21, will plead diminished capacity, their attorneys said Saturday.
Both Miss Kasabian, who is charged in the Tate murders, and Miss Atkins, who is charged with another murder but admits being at the scene of the macabre Tate slayings, belonged to the roving band of young people linked to the deaths of the actress and four others last August.
“If my client has to plead, she will plead not guilty because she is not guilty,” said Gary Fleischman, lawyer for Mrs. Kasabian.
Miss Atkins would plead some form of diminished capacity, her attorney, Richard Caballero, said. Whether it will take the form of temporary insanity, insanity, hypnotism or some other form of mental state will depend, he said, “on how she’s evaluated later on by doctors, if I decide to do that.”
Under California law, a diminished capacity plea contends the accused did not have the mental capacity to reflect and deliberate on his act.
Both Caballero and another attorney for Mrs. Kasabian, Al Matthews, said their clients report being hypnotized and controlled by the will of Charles M. Manson, 35, bearded leader of the hippie-style clan that lived for a time in the desert.
The county grand jury, which heard two hours of testimony by Miss Atkins Friday, is being asked by the district attorney’s office to indict Manson, Miss Atkins, Miss Kasabian and at least three other former members of Manson’s mostly female commune for the Tate slayings and those of a wealthy market owner and his wife the following night.
Miss Kasabian’s attorneys have kept secret her account but Caballero has freely repeated the story of Miss Atkins. He said she gave “all the details” of the Tate and two other killings to the grand jury Friday.
Shot and stabbed at the home of Miss Tate and her film director husband Roman Polanski were Miss Tate, 26; Abigail Folger, 26, San Francisco coffee heiress; Jay Sebring, 35, jet-set men’s hairdresser; Voityck Frokowsky, 37, Polish playboy, and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Miss Tate’s caretaker.
The leader of the clan, Manson, who has not been charged, is jailed at Independence, with bond set at $25,000, awaiting arraignment on a charge of receiving stolen property. Los Angeles authorities are seeking the extradition of Charles Watson, now being held in McKinney, Tex., and Patricia Krenwinkel, in custody at Mobile, Ala., both of whom were served with murder warrants in the Tate slayings.
The grand jury, which heard testimony from six persons Friday, is expected to conclude its investigation Monday when 15 others are scheduled to testify.
Miss Atkins is charged with murder of a Malibu, Calif., musician, Gary Hinman, last summer.