California Governor Blocks Manson Follower's Parole

One of Charles Manson's followers will be staying behind bars after all.

California Gov. Jerry Brown reversed a parole board's decision Friday to release Leslie Van Houten.

Back in September, the Board of Parole Hearings found Van Houten, 68, suitable for release. Van Houten was the youngest follower to take part in the murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Angeles on Aug. 10, 1969. She was 19 at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"The question I must answer is whether Leslie Van Houten will pose a current danger to the public if released from prison," Brown wrote in his statement, released Friday night.

According to TMZ, Van Houten claims to have been an immature teenager when she was coerced by Charles Manson into committing the murders.

Brown also noted in his statement that Van Houten's behavior has been exemplary during her time in prison, and has taken leadership roles in self-help efforts mong inmates.

However, Brown said, "the aggravated nature of the crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole, even when there is strong evidence of rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness."

This is the second time that Brown has reversed the parole board's decision in regards to Van Houten. The first time, according to the Los Angeles Times, was in 2016. Before that, the state parole board denied Van Houten's attempt at winning release 19 times since she was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Brown also cited Van Houten's tendency to place all the blame for the murders on Manson, while downplaying her role and responsibility for the crimes.

Van Houten will continue to serve her life sentence in federal prison. Manson died in prison in November. Another participant, Susan Atkins passed way in 2009.

The Los Angeles Times writes that Van Houten was part of the group that stormed into the LaBiancas' home in Los Feliz. Van Houten testified to stabbing Rosemary LaBianca in the back at least 14 times.

0comments

The group wrote messages in blood on the walls, and Van Houten, Brown noted, drank some chocolate milk from the refrigerator before leaving.

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."