Monrovia Girl Gets Attorney
Saturday, December 20th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20 – A former deputy district attorney was appointed Friday to defend Leslie Louise Van Houten of Monrovia, charged with conspiracy in the Sharon Tate murders and murder in the deaths of a wealthy market owner and his wife.
Marvin L. Part, 38, who also is a former state deputy attorney general, was named to represent Miss Van Houten, 19, after another lawyer reported she and her family were unable to pay for her defense.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William B. Keene, at a special hearing, said he originally had appointed a public defender to the case but because of a conflict of interest he chose Part.
The public defender’s office is involved in another case, the murder of Malibu musician Gary Hinman, a case police say is related to the bizarre slayings of actress Sharon Tate and six others last August.
Keene said Miss Van Houten’s previous attorney, Donald Barnett of Los Angeles, gave up the case when it appeared she was “indigent, unable to pay.”
“It appeared to the court,” Keene added, “that it was the desire of the defendant that Mr. Barnett not represent her.”
Miss Van Houten, wearing a new red, white and blue striped dress brought to Sybil Brand Institute by her parents, said nothing during the brief hearing. She stood before the judge, her hands folded in front of her, and frowned from time to time.
Keene, who previously postponed Miss Van Houten’s preliminary hearing until Monday morning, informed Part that two other defendants also would be present and asked if the arrangement met with his approval. Part said he had no objections.