Psychiatric Testing Sought For Manson
Wednesday, March 18th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 18 – Charles Manson’s attorney said Tuesday he will request a psychiatric examination for his client, the prime defendant in the Sharon Tate murder case, because of his bizarre conduct in court.
Charles Hollopeter, Manson’s court-appointed lawyer, said the defendant’s antics in court and his demeanor when they conversed privately “have raised a doubt” in his mind as to Manson’s sanity.
In a notice of intention to file the motion, Hollopeter recounted how Manson, 35, babbled incoherently and threw a pair of glasses across the counsel table during his most recent court appearance last week.
Hollopeter also said that on at least one occasion Manson spoke “in an irrelevant fashion” and “appears to be suspicious” of his attorney.
Manson at first won the right to represent himself but it was revoked after a series of outlandish motions and Hollopeter was appointed to represent him over his strenuous objections.
Hollopeter said the psychiatric examination was necessary so he could advise Manson whether to plead insanity or to prepare a defense strategy based on the mental or emotional condition of the hippie cult leader.
Hollopeter also said he would present two other motions: To continue the trial from March 30 for at least 30 days so he could prepare a defense, and to separate Manson’s trial from that of his codefendants.
Hollopeter said that although he was seeking a general severance of Manson’s case, he specifically was concerned with separating the trial from that of Susan Denise Atkins, 21.
She was the informer whose testimony before a grand jury led to the indictments of Manson, herself and four other suspects.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William B. Keene will hear arguments on the motions Thursday.