Manson Gets Delay in Tate Killing Plea
Wednesday, January 14th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 – Persuasive, bearded Charles Manson, accused killer of actress Sharon Tate and six others, today won a two-week continuance before entering his plea, but was denied the use of a battery of “jailhouse attorneys” to help him.
Manson, resplendent, in a long-sleeve red velour shirt lopped with a tapestry-type vest, convinced Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Dell that he needs more time to “read books and all that stuff” before entering his plea.
He was given until Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. to study the charges facing him and possible plea.
At times arguing and at other times joking with the judge, the long-haired hippie leader brought a roar of laughter from the crowded courtroom with one statement.
When reminded that the prosecution was cooperating very well in his request for aid, Manson laughed, stroked his beard, and said:
“I was just going to ask them to call the whole thing off.”
The cultist brought several motions into court for rulings before entering a plea.
Manson asked for a small tape recorder to use in dictating “because I can’t type and I don’t spell too well.”
Judge Dell delayed his decision on he tape recorder, saying, “I think you’d be better off with a lawyer than a recorder.”
Manson also requested additional telephone time, saying there were so many people in the pro per tank (the section of the jail housing persons serving as their own attorneys) that there is too little telephone time.
The judge said he would look into the situation since Manson admitted more telephones were being installed.
Judge Dell also granted Manson the use of an investigator to be paid by the county.
Manson again complained that photographs were being taken of people coming to see him at the jail, something regularly done by jail personnel.
“The sheriff says he has to take pictures of those odd-looking people,” Manson told Judge Dell, “but those odd-looking people are my brothers. I look odd sometimes myself.
“They sleep in sleeping bags in along the roadsides. They don’t have an address like you have. The camera scares them, and many of them have been in jail and their minds played with.”
After a short discussion with the judge, Manson conceded, “I’d just rather let the sheriff do what he wants to do.”
In one motion which the judge said was the “strangest I’ve ever read,” Manson asked that six of his “fellow guests of the sheriff” be associated with him in a habeus corpus motion. The six apparently are in the same section of the jail with Manson and helped him with the motions.
Manson, denied the help of his friends, said they would have assisted him in his attempt to rule the grand jury unconstitutional and document the fact that he had been without an attorney for 15 days before his first appearance in court. Both points would be used in efforts by Manson to have his case dismissed.
by MARY NEISWENDER