Leslie Van Houten, who was convicted along with other members of Charles Manson's cult in the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, was granted parole Wednesday by a panel of state commissioners in Chino.
"State officials will begin a 120-day legal review of the panel's finding, and after the process concludes, the decision goes to Brown". Brown denied her parole a year ago, despite the panel saying she's been a model prisoner.
Being the youngest defendant at the original trial that took place, it was speculated that Van Houten could receive a recommendation for mercy, which she subsequently lost as she giggled during the testimony about the murders. Van Houten was 19 when she and fellow cult member Patricia Krenwinkel fatally stabbed Rosemary LaBianca. "They were all better people than this one, and they don't get a parole or release or get to be with their friends and family again", she said.
Nearly 50 years after committing the murders which resulted in a life sentence, Leslie Van Houten, is up for parole. Almost five decades ago, she said she held Rosemary down with a pillowcase over her head as others stabbed her dozens of times.
Manson, 82, and others involved in the slayings are still behind bars.
After Van Houten was tentatively granted parole, Tate's sister, Debra Tate, coordinated a petition with 140,000 signatures opposing her release.
Relatives of the La Biancas spoke emotionally Wednesday as they argued against parole for Van Houten, saying they don't believe she has really ever accepted responsibility for what she did.
An appellate court overturned Van Houten's conviction in 1976, and a second trial the following year ended in a hung jury. Then, she picked up a butcher knife and stabbed the woman more than a dozen times.
"I don't let myself off the hook". In his 2016 decision, Brown wrote that Van Houten failed to explain her disturbing transformation from "upstanding teen" to cold-blooded killer. "Some people could not leave".