• Kasabian, 11 Others Held By Authorities

Kasabian, 11 Others Held By Authorities

NASHUA, N.H., Apr. 19 – Linda Kasabian, the former Charles Manson cultist who is now known as Linda Christian, was arraigned today in Nashua District Court, along with 11 other defendants, on charges of rioting and interfering with fire apparatus in Litchfield.

The charges stemmed from an incident last night involving a bonfire all started without a permit on land leased by Carl Peterson Jr., 31, on Route 3-A in Litchfield. Fire fighters were summoned to put out the fire, Police Chief David Campbell said, and when they arrived, the four fire fighters were allegedly driven off by a large group of persons.

Police officials stated fire fighters returned to the scene in the company of local police, but they too were driven back by the threatening group.

Local police then called for assistance, and eight state troopers along with six local officers went to the area where the 12 arrests were made. Police officials said a number of persons fled from the scene and were not apprehended.

Officer Kevin O’Leary reportedly sustained a leg injury in the fracas, and one of the defendants displayed a broken finger from the prisoners’ dock in the courtroom, although police officials said he had not indicated he had been injured earlier.

Police charged that Mrs. Christian, 26, along with the 11 other defendants caused a disturbance by shouting obscenities and threatening the fire fighters and police officers of the town of Litchfield with bodily harm. And police further charged that she and the other defendants interfered with the Litchfield Fire Department in the performance of its duties by preventing fire fighters from extinguishing a fire.

In addition to the felony counts of rioting and interfering with fire apparatus, Miss Kasabian, who resides on Old Milford Road, Mont Vernon, also was charged with resisting arrest to which she pleaded guilty. She later changed her plea to innocent and requested the court to appoint counsel.

Justice J. Colin Lizotte of the Milford District Court who presided at the arraignments, ordered bail of $1,000 cash or bond posted by Miss Kasabian.

Peterson was also arrested on the charges of rioting and interfering with fire apparatus and entered an innocent plea to a charge of kindling a fire without a permit. Bail was set at $1,100.

Armand Trottier, 20, of 40 Whitney St., Nashua, was arraigned on the charges of rioting and interfering with fire apparatus as well as escape from custody. Police charged that Trottier, who had been placed under arrest and put in the police cruiser escaped from custody, but was recaptured a short time later.

Trottier was also charged with criminal threatening to which he pleaded innocent. The complaint alleged Trottier threatened to shoot Trooper John Healy. Bail was set at $1,750.

Joseph Stevens, 25, of 1 Highland St., Hudson; Frederick Ralph, 18, of 142 Canal St., Nashua; Deborah Carlson, 24, of 40 Whitney St., Nashua; Roger Davidson, 27, of 3 Blossom St., Nashua; Richard Garstang, 27, of 1 Highland St., Hudson, and David Houle, 27, of 88 3/4 Palm St., Nashua, were arraigned on charges of rioting and interfering with fire apparatus. Bail was set at $1,000 each.

Anthony Arbour, 21, of 435 Walnut St., Manchester, was arraigned on charges of rioting and interfering with fire apparatus, and also entered an innocent plea to a charge of assaulting Officer O’Leary. Bail was set at $1,100,

Following the arraignments, Justice Lizotte advised the twelve, of their rights, and explained they could not he tried in the District Court on the felony charges, but they could have hearings to determine probable cause. If probable cause is found, or if they waived the hearing, the cases would be bound over to Hillsborough County Superior Court for trial. The misdemeanors would be tried in District Court.

Eleven of the defendants requested the court to appoint counsel to defend them with the exception of Joseph Stevens. He said he would obtain his own attorney.

Probable cause hearings for the 12 defendants was set for May 6 by Justice Lizotte, and they were to be transferred to the Hillsborough County Jail at Manchester to post cash bail or bonds.

Linda Kasabian Christian, whose name had been splashed across front pages of newspapers during the 1970 Manson murder trial, drew special attention in New Hampshire.

She had been extradited from this state to California as the prosecution’s key witness. She had been living in Lyndeboro at the time.

A pregnant Linda Christian won immunity to turn state’s evidence against Manson in the Tate-LaBianca murders during August of 1970. She was later freed and returned to New Hampshire.

After the trial, her name remained out of public spotlight until recently.

In 1972, she reportedly moved from Lyndeboro to Mont Vernon. At that time, her name was legally changed to Linda Christian.

Her name resurfaced during the recent visits to New Hampshire by President Gerald Ford. It was alleged that she was being kept under surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the Ford visits.

Then, earlier this month, the television movie “Helter Skelter” which was based on the best-selling book concerning the Manson murders and trial, brought her name out again.

The movie especially focused on her during its second part which dealt with the courtroom scenes.

Mrs. Christian had spent several days on the witness stand during the trial.

This past March 14, the Boston Globe reported that the seven first degree murder charges lodged against her had never been dismissed as “faulty and unprovable.”


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