Prosecutor Plans to Ask Tate Jury To Condemn Manson to Gas Chamber
Thursday, March 18th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 18 — The prosecutor in the Sharon Tate murder trial said he would ask jurors in final arguments today to condemn Charles Manson and three women codefendants to the gas chamber.
Opening of summations might be delayed until mid-day, a source said. Attorneys spent Wednesday in the judge’s chambers arguing about instructions to jurors, and had not concluded by the end of the session. They were expected to finish talks this morning.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi said his remarks would be brief. Defense attorneys then will take over, pleading with jurors to spare the defendants’ lives and decree life imprisonment.
A defense source said Manson’s attorney, Irving Kanarek, will argue first, and his comments may take more than a day. He will be followed by Susan Atkins’ attorney. Dave Shinn, who says he will speak for about a half hour.
Leslie Van Houten’s lawyer, Maxwell Keith, said his argument should take about two hours, and chief defense attorney Paul Fitzgerald, representing Patricia Krenwinkel, said he expects to argue last, for about 2 1/2 hours.
Should the prosecutor choose to give a rebuttal argument, all four defense attorneys would have the right to speak again. Bugliosi said he hasn’t decided whether to rebut.
Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older has estimated the case could go to the jury by next Tuesday.
Both sides rested their cases Tuesday after nearly eight weeks of testimony in the penalty phase of the trial.
The defense called 29 witnesses, including the three women defendants who took the stand and confessed their participation in the killings of Miss Tate and six others.
The state called three witnesses, among them a musician who said Manson once shot him and that he still carries the bullet in his spine.
Among the defense witnesses were still-loyal members of Manson’s hippie-style clan who offered an alibi for him. They said he was camping with a new girl friend on the nights of the slayings in August 1969.
Four psychiatrists testified — one of them saying the three women defendants are mentally ill. The doctors agreed that the combination of LSD and Manson’s influence on the women could have led them to kill.
By LINDA DEUTSCH