Manson Trial Jury Picks Slated Monday
Saturday, June 13th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 13 – The murder conspiracy trial of Charles Manson will begin as scheduled Monday in Los Angeles despite apparent legal snarls surrounding the case, it was indicated late Friday.
Defense attorneys said that Superior Court Judge Charles Older apparently was ready to start jury selection Monday afternoon after an in-chambers session with lawyers to spell out the ground rules for the trial.
If the trial starts Monday, it will be nearly 10 months to the day after Manson and five of his “family” members allegedly murdered actress Sharon Tate and six others.
Facing murder-conspiracy charges are Manson, 35; Susan Denise Atkins, 21; Patricia Krenwinkel, 22; Leslie Van Houten, 19; Linda Kasabian, 20, and Charles “Tex” Watson, 24.
Mrs. Kasabian is expected to testify for the prosecution in exchange for immunity and Watson is still fighting extradition in Texas.
Judge Older’s order to the attorneys to be present at 10 a.m. Monday for the closed door session in chambers came after a brief afternoon hearing during which the jurist removed from a calendar a series of pre-trial motions.
The motions included those by Manson and Miss Krenwinkel to suppress certain evidence the prosecution is expected to introduce and a move by Miss Atkins to have the trial delayed once again.
Manson, Miss Atkins, Miss Krenwinkel and Miss Van Houten were not in the courtroom because they had told their attorneys they would not comply with Judge Older’s order to remain seated.
All four were ejected earlier in the day when they defied the order by standing with their arms outstretched and their heads bowed, a position reminiscent of a crucifixion.
The legal difficulties surrounding the case appeared to center upon:
— The absence of Attorney Daye Shinn representing Miss Atkins who is out of the country because of a family illness.
— The ruling by Judge Older to take motions off calendar regarding suppression of evidence and the jurist saying that they could be renewed after a jury had been selected.
— The question whether the defendants themselves will be present in court for their own trial. Attorneys for both the defense and prosecution have said they want the defendants present during all court sessions for fear they may be denied their constitutional rights.
— An upcoming move by the defense attorney for Miss Krenwinkle, Paul Fitzgerald, to dismiss the case against her. (Fitzgerald tried to make his motion in open court Friday, but Judge Older told him to put it in writing and submit it Monday).