Stephen Grogan’s Motion to Fire His Lawyer Denied
Tuesday, September 14th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 14 — Manson family member Stephen Grogan lost another motion yesterday to fire his court-appointed attorney, who he claims has “sewn me up for the gas chamber.”
After denying Grogan’s motion to dismiss attorney Charles Weedman, Superior Judge James G. Kolts ordered jury selection to begin today in Grogan’s retrial over the 1969 murder of movie stuntman Donald (Shorty) Shea.
Shea’s body has never been found. The prosecution contends Grogan chopped his head off.
Last month another judge declared a mistrial in Grogan’s case on grounds of “inflammatory” questioning of witness by Dep. Dist. Atty. Burton S. Katz.
Grogan has had a longstanding feud with Weedman on how his defense should be handled.
Yesterday Grogan claimed that Weedman “acts like a prosecutor, not as a defense attorney.”
Grogan told Judge Kolts that if Weedman stays on the case, “you might as well sentence me today — I won’t proceed in this trial whatsoever.”
Judge Kolts asserted, “I am satisfied Mister Weedman is not a prosecutor and that he will give you the best possible defense.” The judge also denied a motion by Grogan for the defendant to act as co-counsel in his own defense.
Grogan was so miffed at the judge’s ruling that he walked from the courtroom into a jail lockup while Judge Kolts was still talking. Two bailiffs persuaded Grogan to return until the judge finished the proceedings.
Weedman told Judge Kolts that today he will enter an additional plea for Grogan.
Besides the plea of innocence, Weedman said, he will enter a “once in jeopardy” plea, on grounds that Grogan can’t go on trial a second time because of the earlier mistrial.
Charles Manson 36, is on trial in another courtroom for the alleged slaying of Shea and in connection with the 1969 murder of Topanga Canyon musician Gary Hinman.
Bruce Davis 27, another “family” member who is also charged with both the Shea and Hinman killings, currently has his case before the state Appellate Court. His first trial is scheduled for Nov. 1.