Single Trial Planned In Tate Murder Case
Thursday, December 11th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11 – Prosecutors say they will seek a single trial for the bearded leader and five members of a nomadic clan charged with murder and conspiracy in the killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
They add that they expect the defendants to seek separate trials and to try to sever the case of the slayings of Miss Tate and four others from those of a wealthy market owner Leno LaBianca, and his wife who were killed the next day.
Deputy Dist Attys Aaron Stovitz and Vincent Bugliosi made their comments in an interview Wednesday after three young women defendants waived arraignment on the charges and a judge issued an order sharply limiting pretrial statements to the press by principals in the case.
The central figure in the investigation, Charles M Manson, 35, God and Satan to the hippie-style clan, was to be arraigned today.
“We will attempt to try them together,” Bugliosi said of the six defendants, and “we will try to have them tried at the same for the Tate and La Blanca killings. We fell a common thread runs through both cases.”
The defense will probably move to sever each defendant from the others and sever the Tate case from the LaBianca case. We are going to resist that
Susan Atkins, 21, Linda Kasabian, 20, and Leslie Louise Van Houten, 19 were impassive during the court proceedings. Dec 16 was set for a plea of guilty or innocent for Miss Atkins and Dec 22 for Miss Van Houten and Mrs Kasabian. Miss Van Houten gave the alias Leslie Sankston when arrested and was indicted under that name.
Others charged, besides Manson, are Patricia Krenwinkel, 22, held in Mobile, Ala. and Charles Watson, 24, held in McKinney, Tex.
Bugliosi said Miss Van Houten might have to be tried alone because she is charged with murder only in the LaBianca killings.
Miss Tate and four visitors to her estate were shot and stabbed to death Aug. 9 and the LaBiancas were stabbed the following night.
Police have said Manson had a grudge against the wealthy and had a near hypnotic influence over members of his “family.”
By LINDA DEUTSCH