People v. Manson

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtLORING; WOOD, P.J., and HANSON
PartiesThe PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Charles M. MANSON, Defendant and Appellant. CR 21765.
Decision Date23 June 1977

Page 275

139 Cal.Rptr. 275
71 Cal.App.3d 1
The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Charles M. MANSON, Defendant and Appellant.
CR 21765.
Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1, California.
June 23, 1977.
Rehearing Denied July 19, 1977.
Hearing Denied Sept. 22, 1977.

Page 278

[71 Cal.App.3d 10] Kanarek & Berlin, Sheldon Berlin and Irving A. Kanarek, Van Nuys, for defendant and appellant.

Evelle J. Younger, Atty. Gen., Jack R. Winkler, Chief Asst. Atty. Gen., S. Clark Moore, Asst. Atty. Gen., Norman [71 Cal.App.3d 11] H. Sokolow and Howard J. Schwab, Deputy Attys. Gen., for plaintiff and respondent.

LORING, Associate Justice (Judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, assigned by the Chairperson of the Judicial Council).

Charles M. Manson (Manson), Susan Denise Atkins (Atkins) and Bruce McGregor Davis (Davis) were indicted by the grand jury for the murder of Gary Allan Hinman (Hinman) on July 27, 1969, in violation of Penal Code section 187 (Count I); Count II charged that Manson, Atkins and Davis entered into a conspiracy to commit murder and robbery on or about the '25th through the 28th day of July 1969 in violation of Penal Code section 182.1.' Three overt acts were alleged: (a) that on or about July 25, 1969, they 'did travel to the vicinity of 964 Old Topanga Canyon Road, Malibu, in the County of Los Angeles' (b) on or about July 26, 1969, they entered the residence at the same address (c) on or about July 26, 1969, Manson and Davis 'did drive away' from the same address in a Fiat automobile owned by Hinman. Count III of the indictment charged Manson, Davis and Steve Grogan (Grogan) with the murder of Donald Jerome (Shorty) Shea (Shea) 'between the 16th day of August, 1969 and the 1st day of September, 1969' in violation of Penal Code section 187.

The trial of Manson was severed from the trial of the other defendants. 1

Page 279

Manson made a number of motions prior to or during the trial (all of which were denied): (1) to represent himself as his own lawyer or as co-counsel; (2) to disqualify the trial judge; (3) dismissal; (4) to plead once in jeopardy; (5) change of venue; (6) to sequester jury; (7) to [71 Cal.App.3d 12] exclude evidence. He also filed a demurrer to the indictment and challenges to the grand jury which were overruled.

A jury was empaneled after 24 days of voir dire examination. After 43 trial days, 2 the jury returned guilty verdicts on Counts I, II and III and fixed the penalty as imprisonment for life. Manson's application for probation and motion for new trial were denied. Manson was sentenced to state prison for the term of life as prescribed by law on each count, but execution of sentence on Counts II and III was stayed pending completion of sentence on Count I. Manson appeals from the judgment.

FACTS 3

A. The Murder of Hinman

Paul Piet, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff, testified that in response to a call from Michael Erwin he arrived at 964 Old Topanga Canyon Road in Malibu on July 31, 1969. He discovered the body of Hinman lying on the floor of the living-bedroom-type room. It was badly decomposed. Investigation disclosed a bullet hole in the kitchen cabinets. Near the body were Buddist prayer beads known as 'Jizu.' Blood was on the body and clothing and splattered around the inside of the house on the walls and furniture. Written in apparent blood on the living room wall were the words 'Political Piggy' and a drawing that appeared to be like a paw print of an animal.

An autopsy established that Hinman had been stabbed twice in the chest; that the cause of death was a stab wound through the heart. There was a large cut on the left side of the face through the left ear to the left lip of the mouth, which could have been caused by a sword.

[71 Cal.App.3d 13] On and for some time prior to September 1, 1969, Manson was the leader of the so-called 'Manson family.' People v. Manson, supra, 61 Cal.App.3d 102, 132 Cal.Rptr. 265, describes the composition, activities and modus operandi of the Manson family and need not be repeated here.

A fingerprint of Beausoleil, who was a member of the 'Manson family,' was found in Hinman's house on a door frame between the kitchen and the hall. A 9 millimeter bullet was recovered from under the sink which could have been fired from a 9 mm. Radom gun. Hinman's Fiat station wagon was seen at the Spahn Ranch, where the Manson family lived, 4 on July 28, 1969, by Deputy Sheriff George D. Grapp and other officers.

Beausoleil was found in the Hinman Fiat station wagon on Highway 101 in the San Luis Obispo area on August 6, 1969, by Forest J. Humphry of the Highway Patrol. Beausoleil was arrested. After Hinman's Fiat was impounded, officers found a knife in the rear spare tire well under a rubber mat.

Ella Jo Bailey testified for the People that she had known Manson since 1967 and

Page 280

travelled extensively throughout the Southwestern United States with him, Mary Brunner, Patricia Krenwinkel and Lynne Fromme, and that they moved to the Spahn Ranch in 1968 where she met Davis and Beausoleil. Several times during May and June, 1969, Manson talked to Bailey and others about 'going out' to get money to buy dune buggies to go to the desert to live. In July of 1969 Manson talked to several members of the family about the need to get money and names were discussed of various persons from whom they could get money. Hinman's name was discussed and the fact that he owned a house and stocks and bonds. On July 26, 1969, Manson told Bailey and Bill Vance that he wanted them to go to Hinman's house and persuade him to join the 'family' or sign over all of his property and automobiles. Vance said he had better things to do and walked away. That night at about 6:00 p.m. Bailey saw Manson talking to Beausoleil and Davis. Beausoleil had a knife (People's exh. 18) and Davis had a 9 millimeter Radom gun (People's exh. 30). Subsequent investigation by officers established that Davis had purchased the gun under an assumed name. Bailey saw Brunner and Atkins dressed in dark clothes. Bailey saw Brunner, Atkins, Beausoleil and a fourth unidentified person drive off in [71 Cal.App.3d 14] a ranchhand's car which was driven by the fourth person. Davis was still in the parking lot.

Two nights later Bailey saw Brunner and Atkins drive up to the Spahn Ranch in a Volkswagen microbus which Bailey had previously seen in the possession of Hinman. Bailey went with Brunner in the microbus to a eucalyptus grove on the Spahn Ranch. Bailey observed that there was no key in the microbus and the ignition wires had been wired together. On the seat of the microbus Bailey saw a purse with $27.64 in it. With Bailey's help, Brunner wiped off the microbus. The next morning Bailey saw Hinman's Fiat station wagon at the Spahn Ranch. Later that morning Bailey saw Manson in the presence of about six other people carrying a sword. Bailey testified:

'Charles (Manson) stated that after the phone call had come to the ranch asking for help, 5 he and Bruce Davis had gone to Gary Hinman's house, and he stated at the time that they arrived, Mary (Brunner) and Sadie (Atkins) and Bobby (Beausoleil) had gotten the gun back away from Gary Hinman.

'He stated that he had words with Mr. Hinman, and they had a heated argument, and then it became necessary for him to quiet Gary Hinman down, and he stated that he used a sword and cut Gary Hinman from his left ear down to his chin. . . .

'He also said that he had quieted Gary down, and the girls put Gary in bed, and that Mr. Hinman asked for his prayer beads and after that he said that he had left Bobby to finish up. . . .

'He said that two or three shots had been fired at the house. He also said that Bobby was foolish to ever let Sadie hold the gun on Mr. Hinman. . . .

'He said that all they had gained from going to Gary's house were the two vehicles and around $27.'

Alan Leroy Springer testified that he spent a night at the Spahn Ranch about August 10 or 11, 1969. In effect Manson tried to recruit him to join the family. Manson explained how they got things: 'Well, we will go up to the door and knock on the door of their houses, and when they come [71 Cal.App.3d 15] to the door and open it up, . . . we'll just do them in or stick them . . . Everything behind the door is yours, then, . . . for the taking.' Manson said that he had 'whacked a guy's ear off; . . . a Hinman.' Manson said that he took Hinman's truck away from him. Manson said: 'Well, we cut this guy's ear off' and somebody asked 'Who was that?' and Manson said 'That was Hinman.'

On August 10, 1971, while the instant case was on trial, during the testimony of Springer and while the prosecutor and Manson's lawyer were at the bench conferring

Page 281

with the judge, Manson who was seated at counsel table leaned over to Sergeant Paul J. Whiteley, 6 who was also seated at counsel table and said (according to Whiteley's testimony): 'Springer is lying. I've never met the man. He just jumped on.' Whiteley said: 'I didn't put you at the Hinman house. Mary Brunner did.' Whiteley then testified further:

'And then Mr. Manson stated, 'Sure, I went to Hinman's house and got the gun and sliced his ear. I don't deny that. I told Bobby (Beausoleil) how to stand up like a man. He had a woman's thoughts. I told him what to do--no. (Interruption) . . .

'Uh--'I told him what to do. Hinman deserved to die. He was selling bad dope.'

'And then there was a pause, and he said, 'He was greasy.'

'And that's the end of the statement.'

Whiteley's testimony was corroborated by the testimony of Officer Clifford Patrick Blackburn who overheard the counsel table conversation between Manson and Whiteley except that Blackburn testified that Manson said: '. . . I held the gun on him, and--I told Bobby . . . (Bobby Beausoleil)--to kill him. And I even showed him how to do it. . . . it wasn't really a conversation. . . . Manson did all the talking.' When the court was trying to determine...

To continue reading

Request your trial
79 practice notes
  • People v. Hernandez, No. S004559
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 28, 1988
    ...jurors may be aware that publicity exists in a case does not of itself mean they cannot be fair and impartial. (People v. Manson (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 1, 28, 139 Cal.Rptr. In this case the voir dire of prospective jurors reaffirmed that a fair and impartial trial could be had without sequest......
  • People v. Jeff, No. F008620
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 31, 1988
    ...the corpus delicti need not be beyond a reasonable doubt and only a slight or prima facie showing is necessary. (People v. Manson (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 1, 41-43, 139 Cal.Rptr. 275, cert. den. 435 U.S. 953, 98 S.Ct. 1582, 55 L.Ed.2d 803.) Although defendant characterizes this issue as failure......
  • People v. Ruiz, Cr. 21370
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • February 29, 1988
    ...to evaluate the necessity of sequestration in a particular case, and no abuse of discretion appears here. (See People v. Manson (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 1, 27, 139 Cal.Rptr. Defendant argues, however, that sequestration "should be the rule, rather than the exception, in capital cases," where pr......
  • People v. Rome, Cr. 12783
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 13, 1984
    ...233 Cal.App.2d 369, 371, 43 Cal.Rptr. 617. See also People v. Roberts (1953) 40 Cal.2d 483, 487, 254 P.2d 501; People v. Manson (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 1, 47, 139 Cal.Rptr. 275.) There is no question in this case that the information sought to charge, and defendant understood it to charge, the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
79 cases
  • People v. Hernandez, No. S004559
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 28, 1988
    ...jurors may be aware that publicity exists in a case does not of itself mean they cannot be fair and impartial. (People v. Manson (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 1, 28, 139 Cal.Rptr. In this case the voir dire of prospective jurors reaffirmed that a fair and impartial trial could be had without sequest......
  • People v. Jeff, No. F008620
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 31, 1988
    ...the corpus delicti need not be beyond a reasonable doubt and only a slight or prima facie showing is necessary. (People v. Manson (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 1, 41-43, 139 Cal.Rptr. 275, cert. den. 435 U.S. 953, 98 S.Ct. 1582, 55 L.Ed.2d 803.) Although defendant characterizes this issue as failure......
  • People v. Ruiz, Cr. 21370
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • February 29, 1988
    ...to evaluate the necessity of sequestration in a particular case, and no abuse of discretion appears here. (See People v. Manson (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 1, 27, 139 Cal.Rptr. Defendant argues, however, that sequestration "should be the rule, rather than the exception, in capital cases," where pr......
  • People v. Rome, Cr. 12783
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 13, 1984
    ...233 Cal.App.2d 369, 371, 43 Cal.Rptr. 617. See also People v. Roberts (1953) 40 Cal.2d 483, 487, 254 P.2d 501; People v. Manson (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 1, 47, 139 Cal.Rptr. 275.) There is no question in this case that the information sought to charge, and defendant understood it to charge, the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT