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Governor denies parole to ex-Manson follower

Governor denies parole to ex-Manson follower

March 2nd, 2013 in News

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday reversed a parole board and denied release of a former Charles Manson follower who has served more than 40 years in prison.

The board had recently approved the release of 70-year-old Bruce Davis but left the final decision to the governor.

Brown gave his decision to The Associated Press at the downtown Los Angeles County courthouse after a meeting with District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

"I find the evidence ... shows why he currently poses a danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Davis," the written decision said.

Davis would have been only the second Manson-related murder defendant to be granted parole since Manson's killing spree began in 1969.

Davis was not involved in the notorious Sharon Tate-LaBianca killings but was convicted with Manson and others in the murders of a musician and a stuntman.

Steve Grogan, another participant in those murders, was released many years ago after he agreed to lead police to where the bodies were buried on a remote movie ranch in the San Fernando Valley.

Davis was 30 when he was sentenced to life in prison in 1972 in the 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 that he was a bystander in the killings of the two men, but in recent years, he has acknowledged his shared responsibility

Davis became a born-again Christian in prison and ministered to other inmates, married a woman he met through the prison ministry, and has a grown daughter. The couple recently divorced. Davis also earned a master's degree and a doctorate in philosophy of religion.

Manson and three of his followers, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles "Tex" Watson, remain in prison for life in the Tate killings. Their co-defendant, Susan Atkins, died of cancer behind bars in 2009.