Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten's parole denied by California governor

Monday, 22 Jan, 2018

He also noted that he had to consider Van Houten's young age at the time of the crime.

California Governor Jerry Brown has blocked the parole of the youngest cult follower of Charles Manson, Leslie Van Houten.

Brown's determination came even though Van Houten said at her parole hearing that she accepts full responsibility for her crimes.

He wrote in his decision on Friday that he acknowledges Van Houten's youth at the time of the crime, her more than four decades as a model prisoner and her abuse at the hands of Manson make it worth considering her release.

"However", he wrote in his decision, "these factors are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate she remains unsuitable for parole".

Brown's reluctance comes as no surprise to those familiar with Van Houten's role in the slayings of Los Angeles grocers Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their home in 1969.

Mr. Pfeizzer said he has "dozens of clients who have done much worse deeds than has done and they're out leading productive lives", the Associated Press reported. The outburst started after Leslie Van Houten said she wanted to fire her new lawyer, a replacement for missing Ronald Hughes, and hire a woman attorney. Her supporters would later argue she was under the influence of LSD at the time, in addition to Manson's supposed mind control.

A scowling Charles Manson goes to lunch after an outbreak in court that resulted in his ejection, along with three women co-defendants, from the Tate murder trial, December 21, 1970. "The devastation and loss experienced by the LaBianca family and all the victims' families continues today". Brown recalled Van Houten saying she took responsibility for "Manson being able to do what he did to all of us".

At a 2002 parole board hearing, Van Houten said she was "deeply ashamed" of what she had done, adding: "I take very seriously not just the murders, but what made me make myself available to someone like Manson".