Prosecutor Won’t Tolerate ‘Gag’ On Slaying Data
Wednesday, December 3rd, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Calif., Dec. 3 — Dist. Atty. Evelle J. Younger says he won’t tolerate any court ordered “gag rule” on information in the Sharon Tate slayings despite a precedent in the Sirhan B. Sirhan case.
Younger said Tuesday he reluctantly tolerated the order in the Sirhan case but probably would violate it deliberately if imposed in the Tate case.
He added that he had no idea when a trial would begin.
In the Sirhan case, Judge Arthur L. Alarcon of Los Angeles Superior Court issued an order forbidding Mayor Sam Yorty and others from publicly discussing any information.
The judge said the object was to insure a fair trial. Sirhan was later convicted of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D – N.Y., and remains on death row in San Quentin Prison.
The district attorney said if another such order is issued his office would probably violate it on purpose “to invite the court to find us in contempt and thereby get a true test of a gag order.”
Younger, in a radio interview, said it was a matter of judgment whether to begin a trial in the Tate case before all those wanted are apprehended.
“It’s entirely possible to go to trial with some persons not yet in custody, but whether it’s advisable is something else again,” he said.
The date of the trial will depend largely upon the speed of the investigation and the apprehensions, he said.