Jan 25, 1979 • 1850 • Georgetown-State • 0373

0 251850Z JAN 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8816
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 0373

E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, GY (JONES, STEPHAN) (BEIKMAN, CHARLES), PEOPLES TEMPLE)
SUBJ: W/W ARRESTS: STEPHAN JONES; CHARLES BEIKMAN
REF: GEORGETOWN 0338

1. JAN 23 SESSION OF PRELIMINARY INQUIRY INTO DEATHS OF LINDA SHARON HARRIS (A.K.A. SHARON AMOS) ET AL., OPENED WITH THE STATE CLOSING ITS CASE IN THE VOIR DIRE (REFTEL). SENIOR DEFENSE COUNSEL MCKAY THEN CALLED STEPHAN JONES TO TESTIFY CONCERNING CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH BEIKMAN’S SECOND STATEMENT WAS GIVEN. MAGISTRATE PERSAUD INFORMED BOTH SIDES THAT JONES’ TESTIMONY WOULD BE ALLOWED ONLY TO DETERMINE WHETHER BEIKMAN’S STATEMENT COULD BE ADMITTED AS EVIDENCE. JONES WAS CROSS-EXAMINED BY PROSECUTING COUNSEL [CARLTON] WEITHERS.

2. FOLLOWING JONES’ TESTIMONY, BEIKMAN MADE A STATEMENT FROM THE DOCK, IN WHICH HE SAID THAT HE MADE THE STATEMENT AGAINST HIS WILL AND ON THE PERSONAL INDUCEMENT OF STEPHAN JONES, ON WHOM HE LOOKED AS A LEADER. MCKAY THEN SUMMARIZED THE CASE FOR THE DEFENSE ON THE VOIR DIRE. COUNSEL CONTENDED THAT THE STATE HAD FAILED TO PROVE, AS REQUIRED BY LAW, THAT THE STATEMENT WAS MADE FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY. FURTHERMORE, MCKAY CONTINUED, THE STATE HAD FAILED TO EXPLAIN THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THE STATEMENT WAS TAKEN, AND THUS, THE STATEMENT SHOULD NOT BE ADMITTED.

3. COURT WAS ADJOURNED AT THE END OF MCKAY’S SUMMARY AND IS SCHEDULED TO RESUME JAN 24 WITH SUMMARY BY WEITHERS OF STATE’S CASE IN THE VOIR DIRE.

DWYER [Richard Dwyer, Deputy Chief of Mission, American Embassy, Georgetown]

Originally posted on October 21st, 2020.

Last modified on November 15th, 2020.
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