Jury Selection Begins in 2nd Manson Murder Trial

LOS ANGELES, May. 30 — Jury selection has started in the second murder trial of Charles Manson amid defense predictions that it may take months to choose a panel.

Manson and two members of his cult are charged with the 1969 slaying of musician Gary Hinman and the alleged murder of ranchhand Donald (Shorty) Shea, whose body has never been found.

Susan Atkins, who along with Manson and two others were sentenced to death for the seven Tate-LaBianca slayings, pleaded guilty on Thursday to the Shea-Hinman charges and was sentenced to life in prison.

Defense attorneys said the amount of publicity generated by the Tate-LaBianca trial may make jury selection a long process.

Selection of the 12-member panel began after Superior Court Judge Raymond Choate denied defense challenges against the way prospective jurors are chosen.

Manson 36, and Bruce Davis 21, are charged in both the Shea and Hinman matters, while Stephen Grogan 20, is accused only in the Shea case.

Five men and seven women were the first jurors seated in the box.

However, seven of them indicated it would be a hardship for them to serve during the trial, which Judge Choate told them could last six months. The judge excused the initial 12 and the remaining panel of 53 prospective jurors initially called for the case until Tuesday at 10a.m.

After the jurors left the courtroom, Manson’s attorney, Irving Kanarek, told Judge Choate he would accept the first 12 seated.

Kanarek has told newsmen that he might as well accept the first jurors selected because he does not feel Manson can receive a fair trial in Los Angeles.

The attorney cited the publicity problem from the Tate-LaBianca murder trial.

However, other defense attorneys and prosecutors indicated they want to question jurors before accepting the panel of 12.

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