Former Manson Family Member Denied Parole(CBS) LOS ANGELES A former Manson Family member convicted in connection with two 1969 killings was denied parole Monday.
The state parole board decided Bruce Davis should remain behind bars, according to Sandi Gibbons of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He was denied parole for the next year.
Davis, now 63, was convicted along with others in the stabbing death of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home, and the slaying of Donald "Shorty" Shea.
Shea's remains were later found buried near the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth, where Manson and his gang lived.
Davis, who has now been denied parole 24 times, was not involved with Manson and some of his other followers in the 1969 murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, grocery store chain owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, and four other people.
Manson and most of his co-defendants have repeatedly been denied parole.
Parole denied for Manson follower Bruce Davis
SACRAMENTO - A state prison board denied parole Monday for a follower of cult leader Charles Manson who was convicted in two 1969 slayings.
The unanimous decision by the California Board of Prison Terms was the 24th time parole had been denied for Bruce Davis, who is serving two life terms.
Davis' supporters told the board he was a reformed man who deserved to be freed. Now 63, he earned a doctorate in theology and became a prison minister. He even married in prison and fathered a daughter who turns 13 next week, friends told the parole board.
"He's a changed man, and he deserves an opportunity," said Jeffrey York, who ministers to inmates and has visited Davis in prison for 16 years.
Others said Davis should be paroled because questions surround how deeply he was involved in the murders for which he was convicted.
"He didn't kill anybody," Donald Miller, a paralegal who has known Davis for 15 years, told the board. "Bruce said, 'No.' ... He later did stab a victim superficially - not deep enough to draw blood."
Prosecutors and family members of the Manson Family's victims said there was no question about Davis' guilt and argued he should remain imprisoned.
They recounted in graphic detail his role in the murders of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home and the later slaying of former stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea. The stuntman lived at the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth where Manson had his commune.
Manson Family member Barbara Hoyt, sometimes in tears, recalled how she awoke to Shea's "loud, bloodcurdling scream" as he was killed.
"It was not a gentle murder," Hoyt told the prison board. "There were chop marks and hash marks in his bones."
She testified against Davis and other Manson followers during their trials and was not charged in the Manson Family deaths.
Los Angeles County prosecutor Patrick Sequeira told the board that Davis held a gun to Hinman's head as Manson nearly cut off the musician's ear with a sword. Others later stabbed Hinman to death, but Davis was not present.
Davis was not involved in the cult's most famous slayings on consecutive days in August 1969. Yet he was "one tentacle of a unified monster," testified Sharon Tate's sister, Debra Tate, who lives in the Los Angeles area and is the last surviving member of her immediate family.
On Aug. 9, actress Sharon Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, was killed along with four others at her Hollywood Hills estate. The next night, grocery store chain owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, were killed in their Los Feliz home.
Davis' wife, Beth, said outside the hearing that while her husband was involved in the slayings, he now views Manson as "a very sick and evil person."
Manson and others convicted in the Tate-La Bianca killings have routinely been denied parole. But a Manson follower convicted with Davis in Shea's murder, Steve Grogan, was paroled after leading police to the victim's body.
Davis, imprisoned at California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo, did not attend Monday's hearing. He will be eligible for parole again next year.