California Gov. Gavin Newsom has blocked parole for Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, marking the fourth time a governor has halted her release, reports Fox News. A California panel recommended parole in July for Van Houten, who has spent nearly five decades in prison. Newsom reversed her release once previously and his predecessor, Jerry Brown, blocked it twice. Van Houten’s attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, said they will appeal Newsom’s decision. “This reversal will demonstrate to the courts that there is no way Newsom will let her out,” Pfeiffer said. “So they have to enforce the law or it will never be enforced.”
Van Houten is serving a life sentence for helping Manson and others kill Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in 1969. Van Houten was 19 when she and other cult members fatally stabbed the LaBiancas and smeared the couple’s blood on the walls. The day before, other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others. Newsom said “evidence shows that she currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.” Pfeiffer had unsuccessfully requested her release in May due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manson died in 2017 at a California hospital while serving a life sentence.