Mary Brunner Indicted: Ex-Librarian Asks To Defend Herself
Wednesday, June 17th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 17 – Mary Brunner asked Tuesday to act as her own attorney when she was arraigned in connection with the Gary Hinman murder case. She was a one-time key prosecution witness.
Miss Brunner, 26, a native of Eau Claire and a former librarian at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Library, was stripped of her immunity from prosecution by the district attorney’s office after contradicting her testimony that Robert Kenneth Beausoleil, 22, killed Hinman. Beausoleil was convicted and sentenced to death.
She was indicted by the county grand jury and minutes later arraigned before Superior Court Judge Malcolm M. Lucas. The judge ordered her held without bail and continued until June 22 her motion to represent herself.
At the time of Hinman’s slaying last July, Miss Brunner and Beausoleil were members of the hippie-style “family” of Charles Manson, accused with two others of his group in the seven Tate-LaBianca slayings.
During his trial, Miss Brunner testified Beausoleil stabbed Hinman because the Malibu musician would not join Manson’s band. She later recanted her testimony under questioning by Beausoleil during a hearing in which the defendant was seeking a new trial.
Later during the hearing, when questioned by the prosecution, she again said Beausoleil killed Hinman. But at Beausoleil’s formal sentencing to the gas chamber, Miss Brunner screamed, “Bobby isn’t guilty.” During the trial and hearing, Miss Brunner had been granted immunity to testify.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Burton Katz, who asked for the indictment, said Miss Brunner “did not abide by her agreement regarding immunity and we don’t feel bound by it.
“She made a deliberate attempt to undermine the integrity of the Beausoleil prosecution.”