Manson family member's plea for freedom is answered (+video)
Bruce Davis, a former follower of Charles Manson, was sentenced to life in prison in 1972. On Thursday, after 40 years in prison, a panel recommended his parole.
A former Charles Manson follower imprisoned for 40 years in a double murder engineered by Manson won a recommendation of parole Thursday in his 27th appearance before a parole board panel.Skip to next paragraph
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Bruce Davis, convicted with Manson and another man in the killings of a musician and a stuntman, was not involved in the infamous Sharon Tate murders in 1969.
The answer to his plea for freedom came on the eve of his 70th birthday. He was a young man of 30 when he was sentenced to life in prison in 1972 in a case that was a postscript to Manson's notorious reign as leader of the murderous communal cult known as the Manson family.
Davis long maintained he was a bystander in the killings of the two men, but in recent years he acknowledged his shared responsibility because he was present.
His release was opposed by a Los Angeles prosecutor and by a former Manson family member, Barbara Hoyt, as well as Sharon Tate's sister, Debra Tate. The two women attended the hearing, according to The Tribune of San Luis Obispo.
The recommendation is not the last hurdle in Davis' quest for freedom. The parole grant is subject to a 120-day review period by the entire parole board. If it is upheld, Gov. Jerry Brown then has 30 days to review the decision.
A parole board determined then that Davis was ready for release, saying he had no recent disciplinary problems and had completed education and self-help programs.
However, Schwarzenegger reversed the decision, citing the heinous nature of the crimes and saying Davis was still a danger. Gov. Brown has the final say on decisions by the current parole board. His spokesman Gil Duran declined comment after the hearing, saying the issue had not yet reached the governor's desk.