Hippies May Be Bound, Gagged At Murder Trial
Saturday, June 13th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 13 – Despite raucous disruptions, ejection of defendants from court and a clutter of legal tangles, the long-delayed trial of four members of a hippie-type clan charged with the Sharon Tate murders remains scheduled to begin Monday.
Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older ordered clan leader Charles Manson and three shapely women followers removed from court Friday when they became unruly and indicated he’ll do the same during the trial if they act up.
Then the judge disposed of the last pretrial motions which could have delayed the trial, refusing to act on some, including a motion for a continuance. The trial date was set in April.
Manson and the three women were ejected for the third time Friday when they came to court and stood in a pose of crucifixion — arms extended at sides and heads bowed. The judge ordered bailiffs to put them in their seats, and a commotion ensued.
Manson — once called “God” and “Christ” by his followers — wrestled with three bailiffs as they held his wrists, tugged on his long mane of hair and tried to handcuff him. Red-faced and howling, he was led from court.
The three other defendants — Susan Atkins, 21, Leslie Van Houten, 20, and Patricia Krenwinkel, 22 — followed. But first, the colorfully clad women shouted at the judge and spectators.
The judge has indicated he will continue invoking rights outlined in a recent Supreme Court decision which allow an unruly defendant to be barred from court or bound and gagged during trial.
They are charged in the macabre murders of blonde, pregnant Miss Tate and six others.
Manson and the members of his “family” were arrested in an isolated commune near Death Valley.
One of the accused — Linda Kasabian, 21 — won’t go to trial with the others. Her lawyer says she’ll probably testify for the state in return for immunity. Another Manson “family” member charged in the slayings, Charles Watson, 24, is fighting extradition from Texas.
Manson’s attorney asked for — and was refused—a psychiatric examination of Mrs. Kasabian which he said was aimed at challenging her credibility as a witness.
She is expected to tell how the band of black-clad Manson followers went to Miss Tate’s Bel Air mansion last Aug. 9, killed her and four visitors, then went on another murder mission the next night, killing a wealthy market owner and his wife.
The killings, says the prosecution, were motivated by a grudge against the wealthy.