• High Court Rejects Manson Case Appeals

High Court Rejects Manson Case Appeals

WASHINGTON, Apr. 3 — Charles Manson’s bid to have his conviction and life sentence overturned in the 1969 murders of two California men was turned down by the Supreme Court today.

The justices left intact Manson’s 1970 conviction for the murders of Gary Allan Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea. Police say the two men were killed within weeks of the Tate-LaBianca mass murders.

Hinman’s body was found in his Malibu home in late July 1969. The body of Shea, a handyman who lived at a ranch where Manson and his followers stayed, was never discovered. Prosecutors said he was killed sometime in August 1969.

In August 1969, movie actress Sharon Tate, wealthy industrialist Leon LaBianca and his wife, and four other persons were murdered at homes in a fashionable Los Angeles neighborhood.

Manson was convicted of the Tate-LaBianca murders in a 1971 trial that became one of the most publicized criminal prosecutions in history. He later stood trial for the Hinman and Shea murders, and testimony by former Manson “family” members and others indicated that Manson had ordered both men killed.

Manson, who last April failed to gain Supreme Court review for his Tate-LaBianca murder conviction, raised these points in his newest appeal:

— He said was denied a fair trial by an impartial jury when the presiding judge refused to move the trial out of Los Angeles.

While the murder victims were not as prominent as those in Manson’s first trial, the appeal said. “The defendant’s name had become a household word — one synonymous with the bogeyman.”

— Manson also claimed that “adverse publicity” worked to deny him a fair trial.

Manson lawyer Irving A. Kanarek told the justices that state officials and the news media were guilty of “malicious and vicious invasion” of Manson’s legal rights, making him “a sub-human monster in the public eye

— The appeal said that the damaging testimony of ex-Manson family member Mary Brunner was false and should not have been allowed as evidence.

— Manson’s lawyers said the trial court erroneously excluded all prospective jurors whose employers would not pay them during jury duty

— The defendant’s appeal also claimed there was insufficient evidence, in the absence of a body, to prove Shea’s murder.

“The evidence here is incompetent to show and fails to show that Shea is even dead,” the appeal said.

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