Manson Loses New Motion to Fire Defense Lawyers
Wednesday, January 6th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 – Charles Manson and his three female followers lost another bid to have their attorneys fired yesterday.
Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older, presiding at the Tate-LaBianca murder trial, denied the motion.
It was filed with the court by Manson, who said he was also speaking for his codefendants.
The motion claimed the four defense attorneys were in the case only because of “publicity.”
Manson and his codefendants are accused of slaying actress Sharon Tate and six other persons in August 1969.
Manson asked for two things: The right to relieve the four defense attorneys and the right to call witnesses to testify for the defense.
There has been a running feud between the defendants and their lawyers since last November, when the defense rested without calling a single witness.
The motion, apparently issued by Manson himself, pointed out he wanted to “announce to the world and to this court that he has been ‘missued’ for a stepping stone of the district attorney’s office so that they can let the world know what is their own thoughts and not of his and his codefendants.”
Manson said the defendants also felt their lawyers “are simply using the ‘Family Name’ to claim publicity for themselves, not caring what happens to the defendants or their honest names.”
“For a defendant to be represented by counsel with this attitude, they cannot even begin to receive a fair and impartial trial. And that is just what this court is doing, denying the defendants a fair trial,” Manson claimed.
No comment was made on the motion and Manson’s attorney Irving A. Kanarek continued with his closing argument before the jury of seven men and five women.
Kanarek earlier declared that the prosecution has dominated the witnesses in the trial.
He said the prosecution would argue that Manson dominated his “family” to the extent that he could order the death of seven people.
“We suggest that the prosecution has dominated these witnesses,” Kanarek said.
Kanarek claimed at least one witness, Juan Flynn, a Panamanian-born ranch hand, was “programmed” to testify against Manson.
The attorney also commented about the “X” which Manson and his three female codefendants scratched into their foreheads early in the trial.
The “X” was first displayed by Manson, and then by girls, one day later.
“If people have a similar philosophy of life, does that mean that any one particular person is dominating?”
Manson and his codefendants Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten recently were excluded from the courtroom because they refused to behave.
They listen to the court proceedings by way of a public address system hookup in rooms adjacent to the court
The trial began last June and the case may go to the jury by sometime next week, depending upon when Kanarek finishes his argument.
After Kanarek, Miss Van Houten’s attorney Maxwell Keith will give his summation. He will be followed by prosecutor Vincent T. Bugliosi, who will do the final presentation of the case before it goes to the jury.
By SANDI METTETAL