- The Washington Times - Monday, October 14, 2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Even Ira Einhorn laughed at the rambling testimony of a defense witness who generated giggles at his murder trial. Now, his lawyer says, it's up to the former hippie guru to convince a jury that he should go free instead of to prison for the 1977 slaying of his girlfriend.
"He has a humongous job; the circumstantial evidence in this case is extremely damaging," said defense attorney William Cannon. "It ultimately rises or falls upon Ira's testimony.
"He's going to win this case or lose this case by himself."
Mr. Einhorn, 62, intends to take the stand today and testify that the CIA killed his girlfriend, Holly Maddux, and framed him for the murder because of his research into "psychic warfare."
Some of the witnesses who have testified in his defense so far have elicited stifled giggles or outright laughter from the jury, the audience and in one case, the defendant himself.
A woman who never met Mr. Einhorn but said she once stayed at his apartment took the stand and instantly caused giggles when Mr. Cannon greeted her with a "Good morning" and she looked heavenward, asking "Who's talking to me?"
"It's my throwing-my-voice trick," replied an exasperated-sounding Mr. Cannon.
Dorothy McComb said she spent a weekend alone in Mr. Einhorn's apartment in 1978 a time when prosecutors maintain Miss Maddux's body was decomposing in a trunk on Mr. Einhorn's porch to attend an event held by her guru. She described unusual happenings like three jars of a mysterious brown liquid that disappeared from a shelf overnight and about how she opened a trunk on Mr. Einhorn's back porch and found only newspapers inside.
At one point, she appeared mixed up by her own testimony. "I have to go chronologically," she said.
How was she able to open the trunk, which she said was locked?
"It was a big lock," she offered.
Why did she look in the trunk in the first place?
"I thought there might be bedding," she testified. "When I was growing up we kept our bedding in a trunk, so that's why I looked in it."
Mr. Einhorn started to snicker and shook his head. Several jurors burst into laughter.
Assistant District Attorney Joel Rosen doesn't view Mr. Einhorn's testimony as the key element that will tip the scales one way or the other in his murder trial.
"The defense is counting on him as their last gasp to save the case," Mr. Rosen said.


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