Prosecution Claims Motive In Manson Murder Trial
Thursday, August 5th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5 — Charles Manson thought Donald “Shorty” Shea was responsible for his trouble with the law and that was the motive for the movie stuntman’s alleged murder, the prosecution claimed yesterday.
Dep. Dist. Atty. Anthony C. Manzella. in Manson’s second murder trial, told the jury in a low keyed opening statement that the cult chief and two of Ms followers stabbed Shea to death some time between August and September of 1969.
Shea’s body has never been found, but Manzella claimed it was buried somewhere on or near the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, then a stronghold of the Manson “family.”
Manzella told the eight-man, four-woman jury that evidence would show Manson is guilty of both Shea’s alleged slaying and that of Topanga Canyon musician Gary Hinman. He also said the evidence would show the murders are of the “first degree.”
Manson 36, is charged with two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy. The latter charge alleges that he conspired to kill and rob Hinman, who was found dead in his home in late July 1969.
Manzella said Hinman was slain when he would not turn over money to the Manson “family” so they could move into a desert retreat
“Manson thought Hinman had money, but Manson was wrong,” the prosecutor said.
“Hinman was killed for two small cars and $27 in cash,” he added.
One of Manson’s followers, Steve Grogan 20, already is on trial in another courtroom for Shea’s alleged murder.
Bruce Davis 27, another Manson clan member, is accused of both the Hanman and Shea murders, but will not be tried until later this year.
Susan Atkins 23, already pleaded guilty to Hinman’s murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Robert Beausoleil was convicted of Hinman’s murder last year and sentenced to death.
Manson, Miss Atkins and two others are also under death sentences for the Tate-LaBianca murders, which occurred in August 1969.
Irving A. Kanarek. Manson’s attorney, temporarily waived opening argument.
Manzella explained that the owner of property next to the Spahn Ranch had hired Shea to keep the Manson “family” off his land.
The prosecutor noted that on Aug. 16 and Aug. 24, 1969, authorities had made arrests of Manson and some of his followers at the ranch. Manson, he said, believed Shea was responsible for this.
(The arrests stemmed from suspicions that Manson and part of his clan were involved in a stolen car ring).