California court blocks bid to free Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten
The California Supreme Court denied a push to free Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, who is serving a life sentence for helping the cult leader and other cult followers kill a couple in 1969.
The court on Wednesday refused to take up Van Houten’s appeal after a lower court blocked her petition for a review last year. The petition alleged that she was denied due process after California Gov. Gavin Newsom reversed a parole recommendation in 2020 to release Van Houten from prison.
The petition also alleged Newsom did not provide documents showing when the parole board sent the case to him and claimed he may have exceeded a 30-day cap to review the recommendation.
Van Houten is serving a life sentence for helping kill Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary LaBianca, in 1969.
A California panel in 2020 said Van Houten showed remorse and “does not pose an unreasonable risk to public safety.” But Newsom reversed the move for the Manson follower, marking the fourth time a governor barred her release.
Newsom reversed her release once before, and former California Gov. Jerry Brown blocked it twice.
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A parole board also recommended Van Houten be freed from prison in November, but the move is still under review.
The day before the killings of the LaBiancas, Manson cult followers killed actress Sharon Tate and four others, though Van Houten was not involved. Manson died in 2017 of natural causes in California while serving a life sentence.
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Contributing: Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bid to free Charles Manson follower blocked by California court