Hearing Slated For Immunity Of Kasabian
Monday, August 10th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10 – Linda Kasabian — the state’s prime witness against Charles Manson and three codefendants — may be given immunity today from prosecution in the murder of Sharon Tate and six others. But another important issue will remain her complicity.
At defense attorneys’ request, Superior Court Judge Charles Older scheduled a hearing today on whether to grant Mrs. Kasabian immediate immunity. The defense says the witness, still under cross-examination, might recant her testimony if she is sure of not being prosecuted.
During 10 previews days on the witness stand Mrs. Kasabian said she went along on murder missions Aug. 9 and 10, 1969, but that she was a lookout and didn’t kill anybody. The prosecution promised her immunity in return for her testimony.
Although Mrs. Kasabian may not go to jail as a result of the killings, whether she is judged an accomplice could affect the fate of Manson, 35, Susan Atkins, 21, Leslie Van Houten, 20, and Patricia Krenwinkel, 22.
California law says a defendant can’t be convicted solely on the testimony of an accomplice. But, says one prosecutor in the Tate case, “Corroborating evidence need not be strong enough to convict. It must tie each person into the case.”
To provide such corroborating evidence, the prosecution plans to call at least 40 witnesses.