Women Defendants Ejected for Refusal to Face Judge
Friday, June 12th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 12 – Three women defendants in the Tate-LaBianca murder case were ejected for a second time from court yesterday after they again refused to face a judge.
Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older ordered them out of the courtroom following an impassioned speech by one of the young women, who claimed, “You tie our hands.”
Judge Older was hearing a series of pre-trial motions for the trio, along with Charles Manson 35, alleged mastermind of the August slayings.
Manson was ordered from the courtroom Wednesday for a similar act.
In sympathy with Manson, defendants Susan Akins 21, Patricia Krenwinkel 22, and Leslie Van Houten 19 refused to face the judge this morning and were ordered from court.
After a lunch recess, Judge Older asked defense attorneys if the women were ready to return to court.
Miss Krenwinkel’s lawyer, Paul Fitzgerald said he had spoken with the women and they claimed they had “not intended to disrupt the proceedings” or to personally offend the judge.
Fitzgerald claimed it was a “symbolic gesture for the court ostensibly silencing defendant Manson.”
Fitzgerald said the women requested permission to return to court, but also asked that they not be required to face the judge.
“Either they comply or they don’t,” Judge Older asserted, ordering the bailiffs to bring the defendants back to court from three separate jury rooms one floor above.
When Miss Atkins, Miss Krenwinkel and Miss Van Houten returned to court, they walked past the judge, refusing to look at him.
They gathered briefly around Fitzgerald, and the attorney asked for permission for Miss Krenwinkel to address the judge.
“As long as you don’t respect Manson’s right to be here, there is no respect of me either,” she told the judge.
“Any right taken from him is also taken from me,” added the long-haired young woman.
Referring to the fact that she and Manson have not been allowed to represent themselves, Miss Krenwinkel said:
“You’ve already taken away our voice.”
Judge Older told her he wanted her and the two other women present in court for their “best interests.”
However, the judge said the women must conduct themselves properly while in court.
Judge Older asked the defendants if they would then sit down, but Miss Krenwinkel replied, “No.”
She blurted out, “You tie our hands.”
The women again turned their backs on the judge and he ordered them expelled for the second time.
Judge Older postponed the pre-trial motions until 10 a.m. today.
In other developments in the case, Dep. Dist, Atty. Vincent T. Bugliosi said the prosecution will petition the State Supreme Court in an attempt to bar Irving A. Kanarek from representing Manson in both the Tate-LaBianca case and the Gary Hinman murder case.
Bugliosi said the prosecution will seek an order early mandating Judge Older to next week from the high court hold a hearing on Kanarek’s competency.
Judge Older on Wednesday refused to hold such a hearing. He also declined to prohibit Kanarek from representing Manson.
During yesterday’s proceedings, Manson listened by a loudspeaker at the window of an adjacent courtroom holding cell.
Fitzgerald filed a motion seeking a separate trial for Miss Krenwinkel on grounds the prosecution during the trial intends to use statements of her codefendants in an attempt to implicate her in the murders.
He also said his motion was based upon “widespread public dissemination” of alleged confessions by Miss Atkins.
Kanarek and Miss Van Houten’s attorney, Ira K. Reiner, joined in Fitzgerald’s motion on behalf of their clients.
Each of the three attorneys sought separate trials for their clients.
Bugliosi told the judge the prosecution intends to introduce extra-judicial statements of certain defendants.
But, he said, the prosecution will delete references in the statements to codefendants, as required by law.
Reiner asserted such statements are inadmissible because references to codefendants cannot be effectively deleted.
Bugliosi and Dep. Dist. Atty. Aaron H. Stovitz submitted two statements they intend to use during the trial, with the proposed deletions.
The judge postponed his ruling until today.
The prosecutors made a motion to consolidate for trial the Tate-LaBianca case and the Hinman case. A ruling on this also was postponed.
Hinman, a musician, was stabbed last July at his Topanga Canyon home. Like Manson, Miss Atkins also is charged with that murder.
If the prosecution motion is granted, Manson and Miss Atkins would be tried for a total of eight murders, while Miss Krenwinkel and Miss Van Houten would only be tried in the killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others in August.
Bugliosi said consolidation of the trials would give the prosecution a “better chance” to convict Miss Atkins and Manson, and one trial would save the taxpayers “a lot of money.”
Reiner and Fitzgerald said they believed the Tate-LaBianca trial will actually begin either Monday or Tuesday.
However, Bugliosi said pre-trial motions, from both the defense, and prosecution, could delay the start of jury selection.
Kanarek told newsmen Manson “doesn’t like it” in the holding cell. “It’s very confining,” he explained.