Grogan Under Oath Denies Murdering Movie Stuntman
Sunday, October 17th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14 — Steven Grogan, a member of Charles Manson’s cult, has denied under oath that he murdered movie stuntman Donald (Shorty) Shea.
Grogan 20 took the stand on his own behalf Friday before the jury of eight men and four women trying him in the 1969 murder of Shea, whose body has never been found.
Defense attorney Charles Weedman asked Grogan, “Did you participate in any way in the killing of Shorty Shea?”
Grogan replied, “No, I did not.”
The defendant also denied any participation in an assault on Shea. Grogan said he does not know where Shea is, or whether the stuntman is dead or alive
The prosecution contends that Grogan, Manson, and other members of the cult stabbed and beheaded Shea because the stuntman was trying to get them off the Spahn Movie-Ranch in Chatsworth.
Shea’s body is supposed to be buried somewhere on the ranch.
Grogan admitted he knew Shea, but said he never had any arguments or fights with him.
Dep. Dist. Atty. Burton Katz will cross examine Grogan tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge James G. Kolts.
Preliminary testimony from Grogan was about how he met Manson and the rest of the clan in September 1968.
Grogan said he was working as a handyman on the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth when Manson and the others moved in.
Manson has been convicted and condemned for the Tate killing and now is standing trial in another courtroom in connection with Shea’s alleged murder and the death of Topanga Canyon musician Gary Hinman in July 1969.
Manson’s trial is in its final argument stage and probably will go to the jury this week.
Grogan originally was to have been tried with Manson, but the cases were severed.
His first trial last summer ended in a mistrial when a judge ruled the prosecution was asking a witness improper questions.