Manson Yells at Attorney; Claims He’s Hurting Case
Monday, January 5th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 – Charles Manson told his attorney to sit down yesterday, claiming the portly lawyer was hurting his case instead of helping it.
The 36-year-old Manson hollered at the lawyer, Irving A. Kanarek, as the attorney was in the middle of his closing argument to the seven-man, five-woman jury trying the hippie chieftain and three female followers for the Tate-LaBianca murders.
Manson was not in the courtroom, but in a small cell adjacent to where the trial is being held. He and his co-defendants were removed from the courtroom two weeks ago after numerous outbursts.
“I’m not confessing to any murder,” Manson shouted at Kanarek through a screened opening in his cell door.
“Why don’t you sit down? You’re just making things worse,” Manson declared.
Kanarek, after late-afternoon recess, attempted to explain Manson’s outburst.
Yesterday’s shouting at Kanarek to sit down was merely one in a chain of comments Manson has made during the trial.
“This type of unusual conduct in the courtroom has nothing to do with guilt,” said Kanarek.
He urged the jury not to use “the unhappy incidences in this courtroom in deciding this case.”
“The only way any trial should be decided is upon the evidence, upon the law. There’s no substitute for truth,” Kanarek told the jurors.
Trial Judge Charles H. Older admonished the jury to disregard Manson’s comment and Kanarek went on talking.
The lawyers had been telling the jury about testimony from prosecution witness Juan Flynn, who claimed that in August 1969 Manson grabbed him by the throat and said, “don’t you know I’m the one whose doing all those killings?”
Kanarek was interrupted by Manson when the attorney claimed the statement was not a “confession” to the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
Manson, the attorney said, might have been talking about the killings in Vietnam.
Earlier, Kanarek claimed the case had been turned into a “political trial” with Manson as a symbol of the unrest in the United States.
Kanarek claimed the district attorney’s office, without any real evidence against Manson, had tried him for the murders for political reasons.
“This trial is a political trial, no matter which way we look at it,” the portly attorney argued.
Manson, Kanarek said, “is merely a symbol…of one of the confrontations that’s going on in this country today.”
The defense attorney apparently referred to the life style of Manson and his followers.
Manson, according to testimony given at the seven-month-old trial, is the chieftain of a group of nomadie hippie young people who call themselves “The Family.”
Kanarek’s argument was merely an extension of the claims he had been making since he became Manson’s attorney last spring.
In the past, the attorney charged former District Ally. Evelle J. Younger, now attorney general, arrested Manson and the others for publicity purposes in seeking higher political office.
And only last week, Kanarek claimed the district attorney’s office was attempting to “commit murder” in the Tate-LaBianca case.
Kanarek told the jury that the “X” Manson carved on his forehead last summer, after the trial began, was merely “a form of free speech.”
“Rightly or wrongly, Mr. Manson doesn’t approve of some of our procedures,” Kanarek contended.
He said the “X” on Manson’s forehead is “a protest of the way he feels he’s being treated.”
The attorney told the jury it would show a “greater respect for our law” if it acquitted Manson, because the evidence in the case showed “he’s not guilty of anything.”