Postponement Seen For Manson Trial
Friday, April 17th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 17 – The Sharon Tate murder trial is set to begin Monday but there is virtually no chance of it starling on schedule because of the almost daily legal maneuverings.
Court attaches said the trial could be postponed as long as hippie cult leader Charles Manson and his co-defendants continued to change lawyers and submit motions.
Manson, accused mastermind of the seven killings, has appeared in court almost weekly since his indictment to seek a number of requests. He at first represented himself, then was ordered to accept a court-appointed attorney who he fired and now is represented by a lawyer of his own choice.
While Manson went into court today to seek yet another continuance, a jury deliberated on the murder trial of Robert K. Beausoleil, another member of the “Manson Family.”
Beausoleil, 22, is accused of the torture slaying of bagpipe musician Gary Hinman last July. The seven-woman, five-man superior court jury began deliberations Thursday to consider allegations that Beausoleil stabbed Hinman to death on orders from Manson.
In a nearby courtroom on Thursday, Manson, 35, and Susan Denise Atkins, 21, were arraigned for the same slaying.
Prosecution witnesses testified Manson sent Beausoleil, Miss Atkins, Mary Brunner, 26, and Bruce Davis, 27, to Hinman’s Topanga Canyon home to force him to turn over a $20,000 inheritance Manson believed he had.
The prosecution said when Hinman refused Manson ordered Beausoleil to kill him, Beausoleil, whose first trial ended in a hung jury, testified in his own defense that it was Manson who administered the fatal knife thrusts.
Manson’s name was mentioned during Beausoleil’s first trial, held prior to his indictment in the Sharon Tate killings, but he was not charged in the Hinman slayings until a secret grand jury indictment was issued earlier this week. When arraigned on the Hinman indictment, Manson requested he be allowed to defend himself.
“I don’t have a lawyer. I don’t want a lawyer and I won’t accept a lawyer. You can’t send a mouse to represent a lion,” Manson told Superior Court Judge George M. Dell, who denied the request.