Manson Refused New Plea; Trial With 2 Girls Set

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9 – Trial for three more defendants in the murder of actress Sharon Tate and six others has been set for March 30 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The accused mastermind behind the killings, hippie leader Charles Manson failed in his attempt to win an immediate trial. He cited a court ruling that a defendant must go to trial within 60 days of the time of his indictment.

Judge William Keene, quoting an appellate court decision, said, however, the trial must be within 60 days from the date the plea was entered. The court entered a plea in Manson’s case Jan. 29.

Two other defendants, Linda Kasabian, seven months pregnant, and Leslie Van Houten, both waived their rights to a speedy trial and asked that they be tried jointly with Manson.

The long-haired cultist, wearing gold pants and a flowing white shirt made several motions. His motion for discovery, to determine prosecution evidence, was granted. A change of venue requested by Manson will be argued Feb. 16 in Los Angeles Superior Court Dept. 106.

Eight witnesses, all members of Manson’s “family,” present in court today were issued subpoenas to appear for the March 30 trial date.

Following the short hearing, Manson, through an attorney friend, distributed to members of the press an open letter to Dist. Ally. Evelle Younger.

In the letter, Manson charged he was being unfairly treated and harassed while attempting to handle his own defense.

By MARY NEISWENDER

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