Refuses To Drop Murder Charge Linked to ‘Family’
Friday, January 16th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 – A Superior Court judge yesterday refused to dismiss a murder charge against Robert Kenneth Beausoleil, who has been linked with the “family” of accused Tate-LaBianca slayer Charles Manson.
Judge William B. Keene continued until today proceedings on a defense move to get Beausoleil a change of venue because of extensive publicity in the Tate-LaBianca case.
Beausoleil, 21, is charged with the murder last July 25 of musician Gary Hinman 34, who was stabbed to death in his Topanga Canyon Home.
Also charged in the Hinman case is Susan Denise Atkins 21, who, in addition, is accused of conspiracy and murder in the deaths of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
Beausoleil is not accused in the Tate-LaBianca murders. However, he has been connected with the Manson family and Spahn Ranch, where Manson, Miss Atkins and four others accused of the Tate-LaBianca killings lived.
Beausoleil was in custody in the Hinman case two days before the murder at the Tate home last Aug. 9.
Beausoleil was tried once, last November in Santa Monica, for the Hinman murder, but the jury deadlocked on a verdict. Miss Atkins’ trial in the Hinman case is set for March 11 at Santa Monica.
Dep. Public Defender Leon Salter, representing Beausoleil, told Judge Keene the motion for a change of venue would be based on “excessive coverage” by news media of the arrests of Manson and other members of his “family.”
Salter said that in Beausoleil’s first trial a witness testified about statements Beausoleil made concerning Manson.
The deputy public defender estimated the change of venue motion, to transfer Beausoleil’s trial outside Los Angeles County, would last two or three days.
However, Judge Keene said, he did not want the court’s time wasted on a lengthy motion.
Judge Keene is presently set to try the Tate-LaBianca defendants.
In the Beausoleil matter, the judge suggested that Salter and Dept. Dist. Atty. Burton Katz, the prosecutor, come up with a stipulation by today about the extent of the publicity and submit it, along with magazine and newspaper articles, to him.
Salter and Katz immediately went into conference with members of the news media, whose articles and videotapes had been subpoenaed for the change of venue motion.
Salter had asked that the murder charge against Beausoleil be dismissed on grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove its case in the first trial.
To try Beausoleil a second time, the deputy public defender asserted, would subject him to “double jeopardy.”