Manson Gets Life Sentence in Shea Killing
Tuesday, December 14th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14 — Cult leader Charles Manson — described by the judge as a “whining, complaining delinquent and small-time car thief with an aversion to work” — was sentenced Monday to life in prison for the 1969 slayings of Gary Hinman and Donald (Shorty) Shea.
Superior Judge Raymond Choate pronounced sentence after denying a defense motion for a new trial based on alleged misconduct by the jury. It convicted Manson, 37, of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and robbery last month.
The action cleared the way for Manson’s return to San Quentin’s Death Row within hours of his sentencing to await execution for the seven Tate-LaBianca killings.
However, if the Tate-LaBianca convictions ever are reversed and Manson is acquitted at another trial, he still would have the life sentences to serve.
They also would have some effect on future proceedings if Manson’s death sentences ever are commuted and he becomes eligible for parole.
Choate labeled Manson a danger to society and recommended that he never be released from prison.
Before Manson was sentenced, juror Emilio J. Rico testified that he and Daniel Hunt, the jury foreman, engaged in a brief fist fight at the hotel where the panel was sequestered during its deliberations — after the verdicts were announced in court.
Rico attributed the scuffle with Hunt to a “personality conflict” and explained it had nothing to do with his vote on the matter of Manson’s guilt or innocence.
Though he voted for conviction, Rico said he presently believes the prosecution failed to prove its case and that he now would vote for acquittal.
Defense attorney Irving Kanarek called Rico to testify in support of his motion for a new trial and his allegation that during its deliberations on Manson’s guilt, the jury improperly discussed the Tate-LaBianca case.
The jury had been instructed by Choate not to consider the matter.
Dep. Dist. Atty. Anthony C. Manzella presented evidence during the trial that Manson ordered the death of Hinman because the victim refused to provide funds to finance a move by the Manson group to the Inyo County desert and that he and his followers killed Shea because Shea was believed to he an informer.
By RON EINSTOSS