A member of cult leader Charles Manson’s infamous “family” has been granted parole by a California board, raising the prospect that she will leave prison for the first time in decades.
Leslie Van Houten, 68, was approved for parole Wednesday, with the board saying she had served her time for the grisly murder of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca in 1969.
California Gov. Jerry Brown now has 120 days to affirm, reverse or take no action against the move to end her life sentence.
The Democrat denied her parole last year despite the parole panel saying that she had been a model prisoner.
Van Houten was 19 when she and other “Manson Family” members killed the La Biancas, the night after other followers of the cult’s creepy leader terrified the Los Angeles area by killing actress Sharon Tate and four of her friends.
Manson, an 82-year-old who reportedly believes himself to be immortal, suffered a health scare earlier this year remains cofnined in Corcoran State Prison.
Others found guilty in the killings, many of them young women, have also repeatedly failed in bids for parole, with 69-year-old Patricia Krenwinkel becoming her state’s longest-serving inmate.
Van Houten said at her parole hearing that she held down Rosemary La Bianca while she awas stabbed, later taking a knife and attacking the victim herself.
Another Manson follower, Catherine Share, told a Los Angeles court last week that some members “could not leave” the cult because of manipulation by its leader and threats to hunt them down if they left.
With News Wire Services