Manson Rants from Cell as Prosecutor Sums Up
Thursday, October 14th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14 — The prosecution began its summation Tuesday in the second murder trial of Charles Manson as the condemned cult leader continued to rant from a detention cell adjacent to the courtroom.
At the start of Dep. Dist. Atty. Anthony Manzella’s closing arguments, Manson was present in the courtroom, but told Superior Judge Raymond Choate:
“I find it hard to obey the court’s orders.”
(Manson has been in the detention cell during most of his trial because he refuses to behave in the courtroom).
The defendant then told the jury trying him, “This is not my counsel. This is not my defense.”
As Judge Choate ordered him from the courtroom, Manson declared:
“It’s your Constitution, not mine. I’ve never had one.”
When Manzella defined first-degree murder for the jury, Manson yelled from his cell:
“That’s why your country is falling apart. You’re all guilty of murder. Every one of you is guilty of murder.”
Manson 36, is on trial over the murders of movie stuntman Donald (Shorty) Shea and musician Gary Hinman in 1969. Shea’s body has never been found.
Manzella told the jury that Hinman’s murder was first-degree because it was premeditated and deliberated, and also because it comes under California’s felony-murder rule.
The prosecutor explained that Hinman was killed during the commission of a robbery.
The prosecution claims Manson and a group of his followers went to Hinman’s home in late July 1969 to get money from the musician in order to retreat into the desert.
Manzella said Manson is guilty of Hinman’s murder because he conspired with cult members to rob and kill the musician.
The prosecutor said evidence showed Manson struck Hinman on the side of the head with a sword. That wound, in itself, would have been fatal, Manzella contended.
Robert Beausoleil 24, one of Manson’s followers, has already been convicted and condemned to the gas chamber for fatally stabbing Hinman in the chest.
Susan Atkins 23, earlier pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Hinman’s slaying and was sentenced to life in prison.
However, Miss Atkins, Manson and two other women are under sentence of death for the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.