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California governor blocks parole for Charles Manson follower

The governor of California has blocked parole for Charles Manson follower and convicted killer Bruce Davis.

Jerry Brown's rejection is the fifth time Davis has been recommended for parole by a state panel only to see it blocked by a governor, and continues Mr Brown's unflinching pattern of refusing to allow anyone from Manson's "family" to be freed.

On February 1, the parole panel recommended release for 74-year-old Davis, who is serving a life sentence for the 1969 killings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea.

Davis was not involved in the more notorious killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others by Manson's group.

Mr Brown in his written decision acknowledged the factors that led the board to recommend parole for Davis, including his efforts to improve himself, his academic progress and 25 years with no discipline for misconduct.

But he said these things are "outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole".

"These cult murders have left an indelible mark on the public - the Manson Family is still feared to this day," Mr Brown wrote.

"Incredibly heinous and cruel offences like these constitute the 'rare circumstances' in which the crime alone can justify a denial of parole."

Mr Brown added: "His continued minimisation of his own violence and his role in the Manson Family further shows that he remains an unreasonable risk to the public."

The governor's decision came a week before the deadline.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the previous governor, also rejected Davis's parole bid before Mr Brown made a common ritual of it.

Davis is serving his time at the California Men's Colony at San Luis Obispo.

During the half-century since the killings, parole panels decided five times that he is no longer a public safety risk. Officials have cited his age and good behaviour behind bars that includes earning a doctoral degree and ministering to other inmates.

Davis testified at his 2014 hearing that he attacked Mr Shea with a knife and held a gun on Mr Hinman while Manson cut his face with a sword.

"I wanted to be Charlie's favourite guy," he said then.

On Thursday, California officials denied parole for another convicted killer and Manson follower, Patricia Krenwickel.

AP

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