New Trial Of Manson Will Drag
Saturday, April 3rd, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 3 — Charles Manson and Susan Atkins, condemned to death last Monday, came smiling to court Friday on additional murder charges and heard that their new trial in Los Angeles may last longer than the marathon Sharon Tate murder trial.
Dep. Dist. Atty. Burton Katz, saying that he intends to call more than 100 witnesses, said the trial could last from nine months to a year. The Tate trial lasted more than nine months.
Katz, arguing to keep the two crimes consolidated for trial, gave the first public description of the method in which the state alleges the Manson clan killed Donald “Shorty” Shea, a stuntman.
Manson is charged in the killing along with Bruce Davis, 27, and Stove Grogan, 19. Shea’s body was never found.
Manson, Miss Atkins and Davis are also charged with the slaying of musician Gary Hinman. Miss Atkins confessed on the witness stand at the Tate trial that she stabbed Hinman to death.
“Charlie started stabbing Shea,” said Katz, “and Shea said, ‘Why, Charlie, why.’ And Charlie said, ‘You know why.’ The other defendants then got into a little circle. They started to savagely stab Shea. When he reached a certain point, Manson said, ‘Now,’ and ordered Grogan to cut off Shea’s head and the body was then dismembered.”
Katz said in a brief submitted to the court that Manson held a grudge against Shea because the stuntman had married a Negro woman and because he worked as a guard for the owner of property next door to the Manson Family’s commune at the Spahn Ranch. He also said, “Manson feared Shea knew too much about the family’s activities.”
Katz said later the trial would be “interminably long” because the Shea case is “highly circumstantial” and must be proved without the victim’s body.