Mr. Manson’s followers committed a string of highly sensationalized murders in Los Angeles in 1969. They were convicted of killing the actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant, and four people at her home in the early morning hours of Aug. 9, 1969. The next night, they killed a married couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, at their home.
Mr. Davis and other followers of Mr. Manson were convicted of killing Gary Hinman, a musician, in July 1969, and Donald Shea, a stuntman, a month later.
The victims were shot, beaten, suffocated, or stabbed with knives or forks. Their blood was used to write messages — such as “rise” or “political piggy” — on the walls at the crime scenes.
Mr. Manson told his followers that the killings were intended to ignite a race war that would bring about the end of civilization, which Mr. Manson called “Helter Skelter.”
Mr. Beckman, the defense lawyer, said Mr. Davis had taken responsibility for the crimes committed by Mr. Manson and his followers — even those in which he did not participate — and deserved to be freed. He said the next parole hearing for Mr. Davis could take place next year.
But the governor wrote on Friday that Mr. Davis “currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.” It is the fourth time Mr. Brown has denied parole for Mr. Davis, who is incarcerated at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo. Mr. Brown’s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, did the same in 2010.
Mr. Davis said at his parole hearing in February that, at the time of the killings, he “wanted to be Charlie’s favorite guy,” referring to Mr. Manson, according to the text of the governor’s decision.
Mr. Davis’s case is one of several in recent years that has forced officials to wrestle with a difficult question: whether Mr. Manson’s followers should be granted leniency because of their relative youth at the time of the murders, or because they may have been under the sway of Mr. Manson, who was considered a charismatic and ruthless leader.
Others who participated in the 1969 killings, but sought release as they aged behind bars, include Susan Atkins, who was ultimately convicted on eight counts of first-degree murder and lived in prison until her death at 61 in 2009; Patricia Krenwinkel, 69, who was denied parole for a 14th time on Thursday after officials considered whether abuse by Mr. Manson had affected her state of mind at the time of the killings; and Leslie Van Houten, 67, who was convicted in the LaBianca murders and sought parole 19 times before a board recommended it in April 2016. Three months later, Governor Brown blocked her release, as well.
Mr. Manson, 82, is incarcerated at the California State Prison in Corcoran. Records show that he has been denied parole a dozen times, most recently in 2012. His next parole hearing is scheduled for 2027.
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