Plea Shift By Manson To Innocent
Thursday, July 15th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 15 — Charles Manson, who said Wednesday he wanted to plead guilty to two murders and added “I’ll admit I chopped his head off,” indicated today he’s changed his mind.
“As tired as I was I was prepared to do anything to get this thing over with,” the onetime hippie style clan leader told the court. Jury selection in the case then resumed.
Manson, 36, under sentence of death after being convicted in the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six other persons, said he met Wednesday night with his attorney, Irving Kanarek, and “we didn’t talk about the word guilty.”
The judge in the case said he would not accept a guilty plea without the approval of Manson’s attorney. Manson said he wants a new attorney as he cannot communicate effectively with Kanarek and plans to talk with attorney Howard Beckler about representation.
Manson is on trial charged with murdering Malibu musician Gary Hinman and movie stuntman Donald Shea in 1969. He did not indicate whom he referred to with his “chopped his head off” remark. Shea’s body has never been found, and the state contends he was decapitated.