Van Housten, now 69, was sentenced to life in prison when she was just 19 after participating in the horrific LaBianca murders at Charles Manson’s behest on August 9, 1969. Those took place the night after Sharon Tate and her friends were slaughtered in Beverly Hills.
She was initially sentenced to death, but the jury later revoked the death penalty and sentenced her to life in prison, with the possibility of parole.
“I’m disappointed that the court didn’t have the courage to rule in Leslie’s favor,” Van Houten’s lawyer Rich Pfeiffer told Radar.
“This is a Catch-22 and the Governor can’t have it both ways,” Pfeiffer said immediately following the decision. “If she doesn’t recognize Manson’s control, she has no insight and others could potentially control her if released. If she does describe that control, the Governor says she’s not accepting responsibility.”
Radar broke the news that Van Houten was granted parole in Apr. 2017, but her joy was short-lived when California Governor Jerry Brown quickly reversed the decision. Van Houten was granted parole again in Sept. 2017, but Gov. Brown again reversed the decision.
She filed an appeal, but Judge William C. Ryan noted her “crimes were among the most abominable committed in California in the second half of the 20th century” and her “motive for the crime was also inexplicable and monstrous .”
Judge Ryan also wrote that there is “some evidence” that Leslie poses an unreasonable risk of danger to society as he denied her request for parole.
During her trial, Van Houten admitted her full participation in the LaBianca murders. The killings terrorized and horrified the people of SoCal and captured national media attention.
Manson died in prison on Nov. 12, 2017 at age 83.
Pfeiffer told Radar he planned to file an appeal to the decision.
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