Manson Chats With Judge On Defense
Thursday, January 15th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15 – “You know, judge, like sometimes I wonder if you know what is going on,” said Charles Manson.
“Sometimes I wonder, too.” said Superior Court Judge George M. Dell.
It was a storybook setting in the Hall of Justice Wednesday as the bearded, shaggy-haired Manson chatted for 50 minutes with the judge about acting as his own attorney in the Sharon Tate murder case.
“You don’t just become a lawyer overnight, you know,” said Manson.
“Well, there is an old proverb that you probably have heard a thousand times,” Dell replied. “It is that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. I think that also applies to laymen who choose to represent themselves.”
Manson, 35, clad in red velour blouse and tapestried vest, grinned as spectators chuckled at his sallies.
Manson complained about the inconvenience of preparing his defense from jail and there were these exchanges:
Manson: “We are living, you know, like in an age of computers but you give me some paper and pencils and a stack of books and tell me — ‘You’ve got it made.'”
Dell: “The district attorney is being lenient in approving a tape recorder being brought in by your investigator.”
Manson: “Yes, I was going to ask him to call the whole thing off.”
Dell: “You speak at a high level of understanding but some of your concepts are a little esoteric.”
Manson: “I may surprise you.”
Dell: “I don’t think you will surprise me. We in our black robes do our own thing too, Mr. Manson.”
Dell granted Manson a continuance until Jan. 28 to enter a plea to charges he masterminded seven murders.
By JACK V. FOX