Showing posts with label Aaron Stovitz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aaron Stovitz. Show all posts

Monday, May 9, 2011

Before "Bug"... there was Stovitz
Aaron Stovitz, was the original prosecutor in the Charles Manson murder trial in 1970, but was removed from the case after a dispute with his boss (Evelle J. Younger) over out-of-court comments.
 
Mr. Stovitz was a veteran Los Angeles prosecutor and head of the trial division when the actress Sharon Tate and six other people were killed in the summer of 1969.  He had mapped out the state’s case against Mr. Manson and three of his followers and was ready for trial.

The judge had ordered the participants not to comment on the trial, and after Mr. Stovitz gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine, he was warned by the district attorney, Evelle J. Younger, to make no further comments.

Mr. Stovitz then told reporters that remarks by the defendant Susan Atkins complaining about her health were “a performance worthy of a Sarah Bernhardt.”

He would say years later that he had thought he was speaking off the record.  But Mr. Younger heard about the comment and removed him from the case.  He was replaced by a younger colleague, Vincent Bugliosi, who went on to win convictions in the case and write a best-selling book about it, “Helter Skelter.”

Stovitz was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Aug. 1, 1924. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during World War II at the age of 17.  He flew 34 combat missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He moved to Los Angeles, graduated from Southwestern University Law School with honors in 1950 and joined the district attorney's office in 1952.  He retired in 1981 but went on to head the Ventura County district attorney's office.  He also served as a municipal court commissioner and a judge in small claims court.
Stovitz died January 25, 2010 of  leukemia.  He was 85.