Waives Right To Jury Trial
Tuesday, June 23rd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 23 – A statuesque brunette whose story of the Sharon Tate murders led to the arrests of members of a hippie-style clan said Monday she would waive her right to a jury trial.
The attorney for Susan Atkins, 21, made a motion for a trial by judge as court convened in the trial of Miss Atkins, Charles Manson, 35, Leslie Van Houten, 20, and Patricia Krenwinkel, 22.
Superior Court Judge Charles Older said he would rule on the matter later.
Daye Shinn, Miss Atkins’ lawyer, told newsmen: “Everybody has heard about this case anyway. Where are you going to get 12 jurors?”
As court opened, and the judge quizzed prospective jurors on whether they wanted to be locked up for six mouths bring the trial, Manson’s attorney objected.
“Your honor, on behalf of Mr. Manson I make the motion that there be no sequestering of the jury.”
Irving Kanarek said Manson felt publicity in the case has been so pervasive that “the sequestering would serve no purpose.”
The judge denied the motion, adding it could be renewed later, and Kanarek said he will offer expert testimony in connection with the move.
He said jurors who might be fair and impartial were being excused because of the hardship of being away from home for six months.
“I’d have to weigh that against the possible adverse effect of publicity,” Older said.
It was Miss Atkins, police said, whose tale of the slaying of Miss Tate and six others last August, led to the arrests and indictments of Manson and members of his clan.