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Maxwell Keith, lawyer in Manson case, dies at 87

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Maxwell Keith, an attorney who defended two members of the Manson family during their trials for the 1969 Tate-LaBianca killings, has died in California. He was 87.

His daughter, Hilary Keith, says Keith died Tuesday in the San Luis Obispo County town of Templeton, where he was convalescing after contracting pneumonia.

The Los Angeles Times ( says Keith defended former prom queen Leslie Van Houten during her two trials and also defended Charles “Tex” Watson.

Keith argued that Charles Manson brainwashed them into killing Sharon Tate _ the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski _ grocery owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and four others in Southern California.

Manson, Watson, Van Houten and two other women were convicted. They received death sentences that later were commuted to life.

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