Lawyer wants California court to parole Manson follower


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A lawyer for a Charles Manson follower who was convicted in the 1969 murders of a California couple said Thursday he will ask a court to overturn Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to deny her parole.

Attorney Rich Pfeiffer said he will file a petition Friday seeking the release of 66-year-old Leslie Van Houten after a parole board found she posed no threat to society.

The board had recommended her release but Brown said last week that Van Houten had committed “extraordinarily brutal crimes” and failed to explain her transformation from an upstanding teen to a killer.

Pfeiffer says denying her release solely because of the heinousness of the murders of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca by members of the “Manson family” would effectively be changing her initial 7-years-to-life prison sentence.

Pfeiffer also wants the Los Angeles court to compel prosecutors to turn over taped interviews with another former cult member that the lawyer believes will show how Manson controlled his followers.

Van Houten participated in the La Bianca killings a day after other cult members killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four other people.

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