Follower of Charles Manson recommended for parole

Charles Manson

US authorities recommended parole Thursday for a follower of infamous US mass murderer Charles Manson, more than four decades after he killed two people who were tortured and mutilated.

Bruce Davis, 70 on Friday, was already recommended for parole once in 2010, but then-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected the recommendation, saying Davis would pose a danger to society.

Davis won a new release recommendation Thursday at his 27th California Parole Board meeting since his conviction over the 1969 deaths of musician Gary Hinman, who was stabbed, and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.

Six months after the January 2010 parole green light, Schwarzenegger rejected it, saying in an eight-page review that releasing Davis would pose an “unreasonable risk of danger to society at this time.”

The killings for which Davis was convicted were “especially heinous because both victims were abused, tortured and mutilated,” wrote the former Hollywood film star, who is returning to the big screen after leaving office last year.

“Indeed, some murders are so atrocious that the gravity of the murder, by itself, evidences current dangerousness. I believe this is such a case.”

Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors will evaluate the parole panel’s recommendation before deciding how to proceed.

Manson himself was refused parole in April, in what could be the 77-year-old’s last review for release after more than 40 years behind bars, since he will not be eligible for parole again for another 15 years.

Manson headed an apocalyptic cult and hatched a plot to commit murders in upscale, mostly white neighborhoods of Los Angeles and then blame the crimes on African Americans, in hopes of sparking a race war.

He was sentenced to death with four of his disciples for having led the 1969 killing of seven people, including Sharon Tate, the wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant. – AFP