Former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer Leslie Van Houten was released from a California prison on Tuesday, a prison spokesperson told CNN.
Van Houten paroled under supervision, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Mary Jimenez said in a statement. She has a maximum of three years on parole, Jimenez said, with her parole review scheduled for a year later.
Van Houten, now in her 70s, met Manson when she was 19 and joined the murderous cult that came to be known as the “Manson Family.”
Prior to her release on Tuesday, she had been convicted in 1971 of murdering supermarket executive Reno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary in her Los Angeles home, serving a combined seven-year to life sentence.
CNN has reached out to Van Houten’s attorney for comment.
California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said Friday it will not challenge a state appeals court’s panel ruling in May that extended Van Houten’s chances of parole and paved the way for his release. bottom.
“It’s been more than 50 years since the Manson Cult committed these brutal crimes, but the victims’ families are still feeling the effects, as are all Californians,” Governor Newsom said. We have revoked Van Houten’s parole authorization three times since taking office and have defended her challenges to those decisions in court,” the governor’s spokesperson, Erin Mellon, said in a statement Friday.
“The governor is disappointed with the Court of Appeal’s decision to release Mr. Van Houten, but does not intend to take further action because further appeal efforts are unlikely to succeed. California Supreme Court appeals. It is only in a small minority of cases that we admit that we generally do not select cases based on judgments specific to these types of facts,” the statement added.
Van Houten’s attorney, Nancy Tetlow, told CNN on Friday that Van Houten and her team are “thrilled” by the announcement.
After 53 years in detention, Mr. Tetlow told CNN last week that Van Houten will be participating in a temporary housing program, helping with job training, and teaching him how to find work and support himself.
“If you think about it, she never used an ATM and never had a mobile phone,” Tetlow said. She told CNN that she and her client had discussed the possibility of her becoming overwhelmed as she and her client returned to routine routines, such as going to the supermarket.
After being convicted, Van Houten was sentenced to death, but the death penalty was revoked and commuted to life in prison after California abolished the death penalty. She first qualified for parole in 1977, and the California parole board recommended her release for the first time in 2016, after she appeared 22 times before the board, CNN said. reported.
However, the decision Reversed 5 times by Governor – Twice by former Gov. Jerry Brown, citing the horror of the murders and the enthusiastic participation of Mr. Van Houten, and three times by Gavin Newsom.
In 1994, Van Houten spoke about his role in a prison murder. Interview with CNN’s Larry King.
“When I went in, Mrs. LaBianca was lying on the floor and I stabbed her,” said Van Houten, who was 19 at the time of the murder. “About 16 times for the waist.”