THE COMPULSIVELY CURIOUS ONLOOKERS AND PRESSING NEWSMEN AT THIS SEEMINGLY CELLULOID TRIAL GREETED THE ARRIVAL OF CHERYL, THE 14-YEAR OLD ACCUSED, AND HER JUDGE...
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Background: THE COMPULSIVELY CURIOUS ONLOOKERS AND PRESSING NEWSMEN AT THIS SEEMINGLY CELLULOID TRIAL GREETED THE ARRIVAL OF CHERYL, THE 14-YEAR OLD ACCUSED, AND HER JUDGE...SUPERIOR JUDGE ALLEN T. LYNCH...AS THOUGH THEY WERE THE SUPPORTING PLAYERS. INTEREST HEIGHTENED WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE GIRL'S FATHER. BUT THE REAL EXCITEMENT WAS RESERVED FOR THE ARRIVAL OF LANA TURNER AND HER MOTHER. AND IN ALL THIS WILD CONFUSION THE DECISION OF THE COURT SEEMED STRANGELY INCIDENTAL. MISS TURNER'S MOTHER IS AWARDED TWO MONTHS TEMPORARY CUSTODY OF CHERYL, ALREADY CLEARED BY A CORONER'S JURY OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE BUTCHER KNIFE SLAYING OF JOHNNY STOMPANATO, THE MOVIE STAR'S BOY FRIEND. NEWS THAT THE GIRL WILL REMAIN A WARD OF THE JUVENILE COURT UNTIL A NEW HEARING TWO MONTHS HENCE WAS GREETED DOURLY BY THE GIRL'S FATHER, STEPHEN CRANE. HER MOTHER, PROMPTED BY ATTORNEY JERRY GIESLER EXPRESSED HER FEELINGS THUSLY:
AS MISS TURNER LEFT THE SCENT, THE SEQUEL ALREADY WAS BEGINNING THREE PROCESS SERVERS, ACTING ON BEHALF OF STOMPANATO'S SON, SERVED THE ACTRESS WITH PAPERS IN THE 750,000 DAMAGE SUIT OVER THE HOODLUM'S DEATH.
The cameraman were at the Santa Monica courthouse two hours early --to be sure-- and their hunch paid off. 14 year old Cheryl Cristina Crane arrived an hour and 45 minutes early. For a quick dash to the private juvenile court hearing - at which the Judge decided that Cheryl will live with her grandmother for two months instead of with her mother.
After two months, Superior Judge Allen T. Lynch ruled a new decision will be made. Already cleared of criminal responsibility by a coroners jury, in the bedroom slaying of Miss Turner's underworld boy friend, John Stomponato, the decision today was whether Cheryl should go with her mother, her father Stephen Crane, her grandmother, or to a reform school and foster home....
Miss Turner, smilingly at ease, told reporters she was happy with the decision. Even as a process server served her with a summons in the $750,000 damage suit over John Stomponato's death.