Manson Shouts Objections to Questioning of Linda Kasabian by Own Attorney at Trial
Tuesday, August 11th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 – Charles Manson yesterday objected to his attorney’s relentless cross examination of star prosecution witness Mrs. Linda Kasabian.
“Your honor, I’d like to object to my attorney,” shouted Manson as Irving A. Kanarek, was questioning Mrs. Kasabian about the murders a year ago of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
“He’s not speaking for me,” Manson said. “You’ve got me locked in with this guy”
Manson was not the only one who objected to Kanarek’s questioning. Paul J. Fitzgerald, representing one of Manson’s three female co-defendants, also interposed numerous objections to the cross examination. In an unusual move, the prosecution joined in the defense attorney’s objections to Kanarek’s questioning.
Manson’s outbursts prompted trial Judge Charles H. Older to warn him to keep quiet.
“You’re not to say anything more, sir,” the judge told the 35-year-old cult chief, “you’re disrupting the trial.”
At issue was Kanarek’s showing Mrs. Kasabian photographs of the bodies of coffee heiress Abigail Folger and Polish playboy Voityck Frykowsky, two of those murdered at Miss Tate’s Benedict Canyon estate Aug. 9,1969.
Mrs. Kasabian viewed the same pictures last week and broke into tears. She appeared to be fighting her emotions yesterday afternoon, however, and did not break down.
The witness admitted that although she saw Frykowsky being stabbed to death and saw Miss Folger being chased across the lawn by 22-year-old co-defendant Patricia Krenwinkel, she did nothing to help the victims.
“There was nothing I could do,” she said.
Kanarek has been cross-examining Miss Kasabian since the middle of last week in an attempt to break her story of the murders.
Earlier, the 21-year-old mother of two was formally granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.
Kanarek’s cross-examination also brought at least two objections from Judge Older, who termed the defense attorney’s questions “ambiguous.”
At one point, Kanarek tried to introduce into evidence the photograph of Frykowsky’s body, so the seven-man, five-woman Superior Court jury trying Manson and the others could look at it while Mrs. Kasabian was testifying.
Fitzgerald objected to introduction of the picture, which depicts the numerous stab wounds in Frykowsky’s body, on grounds it was “prejudicial and inflammatory.”
The photo apparently was not introduced as evidence because after a brief session at Judge Older’s bench, no more mention was made of it.
Mrs. Kasabian, during the course of her questioning by Kanarek, said she was grateful to co-prosecutors Aaron H. Stovitz and Vincent T. Bugliosi because “they’ve given me an opportunity to tell the truth.”
Earlier, Superior Judge Charles H. Older denied a request for a mistrial.
Kanarek based his motion for a mistrial on the fact that Mrs. Kasabian had not yet been granted immunity from prosecution been on the witness stand for two full weeks.
Mrs. Kasabian has testified she was an eyewitness to two of the seven murders a year ago for which Manson and the others are charged. Attorneys for the three female codefendants joined in Kanarek’s motion for a mistrial.
Judge Older, however, pointed out that he had signed a petition granting Mrs. Kasabian immunity from prosecution before the trial resume yesterday morning.
He then denied the motion for a mistrial without comment.
Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten are accused in the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. Manson is the alleged mastermind of the murders.
Kanarek, during his argument, claimed that Mrs. Kasabian’s testimony to the present time was “tainted” because she, too, was a codefendant.
The 21-year-old woman was promised immunity before she began her testimony, but the court had not been formally petitioned at that time.
Chief Prosecutor Aaron H. Stovitz pointed out that the District Attorney’s office had felt it best for Mrs. Kasabian to remain in custody until she finished testifying.
Stovitz apparently referred to alleged threats on Mrs. Kasabian’s life should she testify against Manson and the others.
He also pointed out Mrs. Kasabian would have to fulfill – her “agreement” with the prosecution by testifying at the trial of Charles Watson 24, another codefendant who is fighting extradition from Texas.
Kanarek , however, claimed the defense believed Mrs. Kasabian was lying about the events of Aug. 9 and 10, 1969, when the murders occurred.
He charged the prosecution erred in not petitioning the court for immunity for Mrs. Kasabian “because of their blind desire for a conviction at any price.”
Manson’s attorney also charged that Mrs. Kasabian, the mother of two, was “a witness on the witness stand (who is) trying to bury a codefendant.”
He claimed that Mrs. Kasabian was testifying merely to save her own life.
Stovitz, in the meantime, countered, saying:
“We feel that whether she is given immunity or not given immunity she will…continue to tell it as it is.”
Although Mrs. Kasabian received the grant of immunity, she will remain in custody until the charges against her are formally dropped.
Attorneys explained a grant of immunity is a two-part proceeding which entails protection from prosecution and then the dropping of the charges. It was believed the second part would be fulfilled after Mrs. Kasabian finishes her testimony in the Manson case.
As cross-examination of Mrs. Kasabian resumed, Kanarek asked the judge to adjourn the court to Miss Tate’s estate at Benedict Canyon to examine the evidence.
Judge Older, after a brief argument at his bench, denied the motion and told Kanarek to use a diagram of the Tate residence during his cross examination of Mrs. Kasabian.
By SANDI METTETAL