Tate Murder Trial Goes To Jury Next Week

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 9 – Charles Manson’s attorney has finally finished his final arguments in the Tate-LaBianca murder case and the seven-month-old trial may reach the jury by the middle of next week.

Irving Kanarek concluded his summation Friday with the exhortation that the jurors find Manson and his three female defendants innocent since nothing could be “more beautiful” for America’s reputation.

“Charles Manson is not guilty of any crime,” he told the jury.

Kanarek said there was a confrontation between different life styles in the country today but that a criminal court was not the place to resolve it.

“What could be greater than to get through a message across the world that the American system of law and justice is such that you bring in verdicts of not guilty against these defendants?” he asked.

Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and Susan Atkins are the defendants in the slayings. They face a maximum penalty of death if convicted.

Friday’s session opened on a controversial note when Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older asked Kanarek if he intended to wind up his summation during the day.

Kanarek replied that he fell he should continue into next week.

“No,” replied the judge. “You will finish today.”

Kanarek, who began his presentation since last Dec. 29, protested that Older’s directive was a violation of due process of law. But, when the afternoon session began, he surprised those in the courtroom by speaking only a few minutes before sitting down.

All that remains now is for Maxwell Keith, the attorney for defendant Leslie Van Houten, to present his final arguments and for the state to present its final rebuttal. Then the case goes to the jury, probably by Wednesday or Thursday.

During the morning session, Kanarek reviewed his attack on the testimony of key prosecution witness Linda Kasabian and again accused her of actually helping Charles “Tex” Watson commit the seven Tate-LaBianca killings while in a “drug crazed” condition.

He also attempted to suggest to the jury that police had planted a wallet belonging to Mrs. Rosemary LaBianca in a service station washroom.

Mrs. Kasabian had testified she hid the wallet there after Manson took it from the LaBianca home.

Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi protested there was nothing in the record to support such an implication and Older sustained his objections, ordering the jury to disregard Kanarek’s remarks.

By JACK V. FOX

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