Kasabian in Court, Sees Cult Leader
Thursday, June 18th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 18 – Linda Kasabian 20, one of Charles Manson’s “girls,” made a surprise appearance at his murder trial yesterday and faced the cult chieftain for the first time since it was disclosed she might testify against him.
The petite young woman, with her short, blonde hair in braids, was the courtroom only for about 10 minutes.
The long-haired Manson, 35, smiled at Mrs. Kasabian, a mother of two, as she entered.
Both Manson and his co-defendants, three other members of his so-called “family” of hippies, were kept separate from Mrs. Kasabian and had little opportunity to speak with her.
The trial for Manson and the others is in the jury selection stage. Mrs. Kasabian was in court to agree formally upon Aug. 17 as the date to appear in court to have her trial set.
Irving A. Kanarek, Manson’s attorney, objected vehemently to the move which effectively severs Mrs. Kasabian’s trial from the others.
“If she’s a witness, we wish to speak to her,” Kanarek said. “All Mr. Manson wants is a fair trial.”
He claimed Mrs. Kasabian was “neither fish nor fowl – she’s neither a true defendant nor a true witness.”
Trial Judge Charles H. Older denied Kanarek’s motion.
After agreeing to the new date, Mrs. Kasabian wearing an ankle-length white, sleeveless dress — was led out of the courtroom.
She spoke only twice, once to co-defendants Susan Atkins 21, Patricia Krenwinkel 22, and Leslie Van Houten 19, and once to give her consent to the postponement.
Manson and the others are accused in the August murders of actress Sharon Tate and six additional victims.
Also facing the charges is Charles Watson 24, who is fighting extradition in Texas. The Texas Court of Appeals yesterday took under submission Watson’s plea to stay in his home state and not be returned to Los Angeles.
Jury selection resumed after the brief session for postponement of Mrs. Kasabian’s case.
Fourteen jurors have been excused in the past two days.