Manson Asks Superior Court To Dismiss Multi Slaying Charges
Friday, February 6th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6 – Charles M. Manson, long-haired leader of a hippie-type cult, wants Superior Court to dismiss murder-conspiracy charges against him in seven slayings last summer on grounds there is insufficient evidence to link him to the killings.
In a brief filed Thursday with Judge Malcolm M. Lucas the clan leader maintains the grand jury indictment accusing him in the deaths of actress Sharon Tate and six others was based on “inference” and “guilt by association.”
Manson, 35, is conducting his own defense from County Jail but is permitted out-of-court legal assistance.
The 35-year-old defendant and five members of his communal group are charged in the gunshot-knifing deaths last Aug. 9 of Miss Tate and four visitors to her rented Benedict Canyon mansion.
The same defendants, plus a sixth Manson follower, also are accused in the knife slayings the following night of wealthy grocer Leno LaBianca and LaBianca’s wife, Rosemary.
The district attorney’s office has indicated it will reply promptly to Manson’s brief.
In the document, Manson argues there is nothing in the grand jury transcript to show that he ordered the slayings.
Instead, said Manson’s brief, the transcript shows the other defendants had been told to follow the instructions of Charles D. Watson, 24, the night of the Tate killings.
Watson is currently fighting extradition from Texas in the case.
Manson’s brief further alleges that although he drove the car to the LaBianca home, “nothing was mentioned” in the grand jury proceedings that he directed the couple’s execution.
Then, in true legal form, the document states: “The grand jury transcript is also barren of any testimony that defendant, Charles Manson, positively or tacitly came to a mutual understanding to agree to jointly undertake criminal action.”