Manson follower Leslie Van Houten denied parole

Gov. Brown reverses decision to parole Manson family killer

The governor of California has again denied parole for Leslie Van Houten, the youngest follower of murderous cult leader Charles Manson.

In September, a California parole board recommended that Van Houten, 68, be freed. According to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, a review of legal issues will be conducted during the first 120 days, and because the recommendation stood, it was sent to Brown, who had 30 days to uphold, reverse or modify the decision, or send it back to the full Board of Parole Hearings for a more thorough review.

Van Houten has always been considered among the most likely candidates among Manson "family" members to be paroled, But Brown, like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger before him, has steadfastly refused to let anyone associated with Manson's killings go free.

In his decision, Brown said Van Houten is still downplaying her "central role" in the murders. Van Houten, 68, was part of Manson's "family" and participated in the murders of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca on August 10, 1969, when she was 19.

Van Houten has always been considered among the most likely candidates among Manson "family" members to be paroled.

Van Houten was convicted of the stabbing deaths of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Angeles home.

Van Houten, who was 19-years-old when she was convicted of brutally murdering supermarket executive Leno and his wife Rosemary LaBianca, was arrested a couple of weeks after the incident and later convicted at the Charles Manson trial.

Brown noted that after the murders, Van Houten changed into LaBianca's clothes and drank chocolate milk from the refrigerator before leaving.

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Leslie Van Houten reacts after she was denied parole in Corona, California, June 28, 2002.

Brown wrote that he had weighed a number of factors in his decision, including Van Houten's young age when she committed the crimes, her model behavior in prison and Manson's abusive and manipulative behavior.

They were stabbed a day after other Manson followers killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.

No one who took part in the Tate-LaBianca murders has been released from prison.

"She has never been disciplined for serious misconduct during her incarceration", he wrote.

Despite this, Brown wrote that he viewed the case as extreme.

Supporters have portrayed Van Houten as a misguided teen under the influence of LSD - and the twisted influence of Manson - on the night of the killings. He told the Associated Press on Friday that he planned to appeal Brown's decision.

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