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Manson Follower Leslie Van Houten Recommended for Parole, But Gov. Brown Has Final Say

A panel on Wednesday recommended for the second time that Leslie Van Houten, a follower of Charles Manson, be granted parole.

The decision now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, who denied Van Houten’s parole in 2016.

A former Monrovia homecoming princess, Van Houten was 19 when she took part in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in 1969. Van Houten is now 68, and has spent the last 47 years behind bars. She has now appeared for 21 parole hearings.

Van Houten was the youngest member of the Manson family, which was also responsible for the murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others the day before the LaBianca killings.

In recommending parole in 2016, the Board of Parole Hearings found that Van Houten had been a model prisoner, had taken responsibility for her crimes, and had taken steps to better herself behind bars.

But Brown overruled that decision, finding that Van Houten had yet to fully account for her willingness to participate in the murders and remained a danger to society. Van Houten’s attorneys argued that Brown was bowing to political pressure.

Brown has also denied parole on four occasions to Bruce Davis, another Manson follower.

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