‘Informer Susan’ Wins Trial Delay
Tuesday, February 3rd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 – Wearing a purple dress with a deep plunging neckline, Susan Atkins, the informer in the Tate-LaBianca murders, today won a delay in her case until March 30 in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Smiling and appearing composed, the raven-haired former hippie commune member told the court through her attorney she needed more time to prepare her case.
“This case has a lot of documents and there are still a lot of witnesses to be interviewed,” the attorney, Richard Caballero, said.
He added that she also has “another matter set for mid-March.”
Caballero admitted to newsmen he purchased the dress for his client himself because “she wanted angel sleeves.” He did not say who’s idea the deep neckline happened to be.
In addition to the Tate and La Bianca killings, Miss Atkins, 20, is charged in the murder of musician Gary Hinman, whose body was found in Topanga Canyon a week before the Tate killings.
Caballero also was granted the right to record his interviews with defendants at the Sybil Brand Institute.
He also requested his name be withdrawn as a court-appointed attorney for Miss Atkins, indicating he would represent her on his own. (Caballero is reported to have shared proceeds with her from a book recently released in which the girl tells of the killings.)
Deputy Dist. Atty. Aaron Stovitz did not object to the delay and said he would try to bring all defendants in the case to trial at the same time. He said another defendant, Leslie Van Houten, has indicated she is changing her counsel, and felt the new attorney would not be ready to go to trial on the Feb. 9 scheduled date.
Stovitz said attorneys for Linda Kasabian, another of the defendants, indicated that they would prefer a late trial date because of their client’s condition. Mrs. Kasabian is eight months pregnant.
The prosecutor told the court that still another defendant, Charles Watson, has an extradition hearing scheduled for Feb. 16 in Texas and he anticipates the circuit judge will turn down his plea against extradition.
Another defendant, Patricia Krenwinkle, is in Mobile. Ala., where an early hearing date was to be asked today to appellate court on extradition proceedings.
Defendant Charles Manson is in Los Angeles County jail and will appear in court Friday on his motion to dismiss charges against him.
By MARY NEISWENDER