(Reuters) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that he would drop his bid to deny parole to followers of Charles Manson. The murderous “family” of one, cleared the way for Leslie Van Houten to be released from prison after more than 50 years.
In May, the California Court of Appeals overturned Newsom’s ruling and found Van Houten, 83 , entitled to parole for life imprisonment. The governor could have appealed the decision to the California Supreme Court.
“The governor is disappointed by the appeals court’s decision to release Ms. Van Houten, but will take no further action to further the effort,” Erin Mellon, the governor’s director of communications, said in a statement. The appeal is unlikely to succeed.
Van Houten’s attorney, Nancy Tetreault, said she will be released on parole within weeks, according to NBC News.
Van Houten’s murder coincided with 10, making her Manson’s youngest follower. Since 2016 The parole board recommended her early release five times, but Newsom rejected her three times and his predecessor, fellow Democrat Jerry Brown, twice.
Mann Manson died in prison at 83 at the age of 50, becoming 10 One of the most notorious criminals of the century for directing a killing spree that horrified Los Angeles during the 2016 summer.
Mann Sen directed his mostly young and female followers to murder seven people in August, including actress Sharon Tate, in what prosecutors said was part of a plan to incite a race war.
Van Houten was convicted of stabbing to death grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary at their Los Angeles home on Aug. 8 , 83. The words “Death to Pigs” and “Healter Skelter” (a misspelling referring to a Beatles song) were found in bloodstains of victims on walls and refrigerators.
The night before, members of the Manson cult broke into the Tate with her filmmaker husband, Roman Polans, who was in Europe at the time. Roman Polanski lived at his hillside home in Los Angeles.
Tate, who was eight months pregnant, was killed along with four friends of the celebrity couple, including the coffee heiress Abigail Folger and hairstylist Jay Sebring.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, Calif.; Editing by Kim Coghill)