LOS ANGELES — A California panel on Wednesday recommended that Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten be paroled after serving more than four decades in prison.

After a hearing at the women’s prison in Chino, California, commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings found for the third time that the 69-year-old Van Houten was suitable for release.

If her case withstands a 150-day review process, it will rest in the hands of California’s new Gov. Gavin Newsom. Van Houten was recommended for parole twice previously, but then-Gov. Jerry Brown blocked her release.

Van Houten was among the followers in Manson’s murderous cult who stabbed to death wealthy grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in 1969. Van Houten was 19 during the killings, which came a day after other Manson followers killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in Los Angeles.

Tate’s sister attended Wednesday’s proceedings and said afterward that she vehemently disagrees with the parole recommendation.

“I just have to hope and pray that the governor comes to the right decision” and keeps Van Houten behind bars, Debra Tate said.


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