• Manson, “Family” Due For Another Trial Date

Manson, “Family” Due For Another Trial Date

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 18 – Charles Manson and five members of his hippie-style “family” have a new date with a new judge for their trial on charges of murder-conspiracy in the slayings of actress Sharon Tate and six others

The trial was set for June 15 at a hearing Friday after Superior Court Judge William B. Keene said he was stepping out of the case.

Keene, who has presided in the case since the six were indicted last December, acceded to a peremptory challenge motion filed by the shaggy-haired Manson, who often clashed with Keene in courtroom exchanges. Such a challenge normally is filed when the judge is first assigned.

Keene said he accepted the motion late because he felt Manson — who acted as his own lawyer at first — was unable to understand the law governing such motions.

The case was reassigned to Judge Charles H. Older who has been on the criminal court bench for three years.

Postponement of the trial, which had been set for Monday, came over Manson’s repeated objections.

But Manson’s attorney, Ronald Hughes, said he would be unprepared to go to trial Monday. He joined in a request for continuance filed by Paul J. Fitzgerald, attorney for another defendant, Patricia Krenwinkel, 22.

Miss Krenwinkel, wearing a lavender dress with lace trim, came to court with two other defendants, Susan Atkins, 21, in floor-length white cotton dress, and Leslie Van Houten, 20, in a blue satin mini-dress. They agreed to the postponement. Two defendants, Linda Kasbian and Charles Watson, were not present.

Judge George M. Dell, in charge of the court calendar, said, “This continuance will be the last one, I assure you.”


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