Says Manson Witnesses Are Mentally Crippled
Monday, March 22nd, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 22 — Charles Manson’s attorney charged today that the witnesses against his client were “mentally crippled” and that the hippie leader should not be sent to the gas chamber on that kind of evidence.
Irving Kanarek, in his third day of final summation in the penalty phase of the Tate-LaBianca murder trial, claimed the witnesses’ minds have “been saturated with LSD.”
“They were on the wings of LSD dreams,” Kanarek charged, “and you can’t send people to the gas chamber on that kind of evidence.”
He also defended his client’s conduct in court, claiming it was not consistent with a guilt feeling. Manson has not been in court since he was ejected for being disruptive several weeks ago.
“He’s hurl himself in this courtroom, but it doesn’t mean he’s guilty,” Kanarek said. “He has a feeling against society and he’s just unhappy with these proceedings.”
Kanarek also was unhappy with some proceedings — but they were outside the courtroom as news media detailed the story of a renewed search for missing attorney Ronald Hughes.
Armed with a copy of a Los Angeles newspaper, Kanarek, backed up by other defense attorneys, asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Older to question the jurors to see if they had seen the article and had been influenced by it.
Kanarek claimed the article linked Hughes’ disappearance and believed death with the Manson family and would therefore predujice the jury against Manson.
Judge Older dismissed the motion, asking that it be put in writing and formally presented to the court. Defense attorneys said they will renew the motion.
Kanarek also complained of a letter from Life Magazine to Judge Older regarding arrangements to photograph the jury before a penalty has been decided upon and interview them at the trial’s conclusion.
Judge Older ruled the magazine’s arrangements were proper.
In Inyo County, meanwhile, authorities searched the Barker ranch for the remains of Hughes.
A man identifying himself only as “John” called sheriff’s deputies in Los Angeles Friday, saying Hughes was buried on the Death Valley ranch where the Manson clan made its “last stand” before being arrested.
Hughes disappeared last November in the Sespe Hot Springs area of Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County.
By MARY NEISWENDER