In a surprising turn of events, Leslie Van Houten, a follower of Charles Manson and convicted participant in two killings, has been released from prison, Your Content is learning.
As Your Content readers know, the decision comes after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that he would no longer challenge her release on parole at the state supreme court, ending years of legal battles.
“She’s thrilled,” Van Houten’s attorney Nancy Tetreault said, revealing her client’s reaction to the parole decision. After spending a staggering five decades behind bars, Van Houten, now 73, is expected to be released within the next several weeks, according to NBC News, who were first to break the story.
Leslie Van Houten, a former member of the Manson family, has been granted parole and released from prison after serving over four decades. On Tuesday, Van Houten walked out of a California facility following her successful parole hearing earlier this month.
Governor Gavin Newsom, despite previously challenging her release three times during his tenure, decided not to oppose it this time.
Van Houten was convicted in 1971 for her involvement in the brutal 1969 LaBianca murders, where Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were fatally stabbed in their Los Angeles home. She was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
Van Houten admitted to holding down Rosemary while someone else stabbed her, and she also confessed to stabbing her after Rosemary had died.
Throughout the years, Van Houten’s attorneys argued that she was young and under the influence of cult leader Charles Manson, contending that she had undergone rehabilitation. They emphasized that she no longer posed a threat to society.
Despite serving a life sentence, several parole boards supported her release.
Governor Newsom consistently opposed Van Houten’s release, citing the heinous nature of her crime as a reason for her permanent incarceration. However, following her appeal of his last rejection, the court ruled in her favor.
The governor’s office recognized the futility of further resistance and chose not to pursue the matter.
Now 73 years old, Van Houten finds herself reintegrating into society, and her future endeavors are of great interest. Initially, she will be sent to a halfway house to acquire essential skills and familiarize herself with technological advancements since her imprisonment.
Over the years, Van Houten has been regarded as a model prisoner, having discovered faith and displaying enthusiasm for teaching and learning. She has expressed remorse for her role in the murders.
Van Houten’s release marks a new chapter in her life, and the transition promises to be swift, according to TMZ.