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Ex-Manson follower Bruce Davis granted parole by board for 3rd time

In this undated photo from the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabiltation, former Charles Manson follower Bruce Davis is shown. (Dept. of Corrections and Rehabiltation)

March 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Bruce Davis, a former Charles Manson follower, was granted parole for the third time Wednesday by a California board.

It was the 28th appearance for Davis, 71, before the Department of Corrections Board of Parole Hearings. The decision is now subject to a 120-day review period. Then Gov. Jerry Brown has 30 days to reverse, modify, affirm or decline to review the board's decision.

Davis has been in prison for nearly 43 years for the murders of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman ranch hand Donald "Shorty" Shea in 1969. For years, he insisted that he was just a bystander in the killings, but recently, Davis has acknowledged his shared responsibility.

He was granted parole by the same board in 2012, but the governor denied parole in March 2013, saying he believes Davis still has not fully accounted for his crimes.

Davis' parole was also rejected by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010.

The Manson family, led by Charles Manson, went on a murder spree beginning in 1969. Davis was not involved in the notorious Sharon Tate-LaBianca killings.

Davis became a born-again Christian in prison and ministered to other inmates, married a woman he met through the prison ministry, and has a grown daughter. The couple recently divorced. He also earned a master's degree and a doctorate in philosophy of religion.

Manson and three of his followers, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles "Tex" Watson, remain in prison for life in the Tate-LaBianca killings. Their co-defendant, Susan Atkins, died of cancer behind bars in 2009.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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