Panel Quizzed on Manson in Hinman Murder Retrial

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 31 – Questions about the “family” of Charles Manson figured prominently yesterday in the examining of prospective jurors for the murder retrial of Robert Kenneth Beausoleil.

Beausoleil is accused of the murder last July 25 of musician Gary Hinman, 34, stabbed to death at his Topanga Canyon home.

Although he is not charged along with Manson and five others in the Tate-LaBianca murders, Beausoleil, 21, has been linked to both Manson and the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, where Manson’s “family” lives.

Under questioning by Superior Court Judge William B. Keene, the first 12 prospective jurors seated in Beausoleil’s retrial said they had read or heard something about Manson and his followers.

However, they asserted what they knew of the Tate-LaBianca case would not influence their verdict in the Beausoleil matter.

Beausoleil was first tried last year in Santa Monica for Hinman’s murder, but the jury deadlocked on a verdict.

Susan Denise Atkins 21 is a co-defendant in the Hinman murder as well as being charged in the Tate-LaBlanca slayings.

She has not been tried yet in either case.

Beausoleil’s attorney Dep. Public defender Leon Salter, asked one prospective female juror if she had formed an opinion “as to what should happen, if anything, to anyone connected with Manson or his family.”

“I find it rather hard to believe, and I felt the news media sort of got carried away,” the woman replied.

Although she did not further explain her answer, she apparently referred to news accounts of the alleged bizarre activities of the Manson group.

Two of the prospective jurors said they had heard of Beausoleil’s case but could not remember specific details.

Jury selection will resume in Judge Keene’s court at the Hall of Justice today at 10 a.m.

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