Charles Manson follower Bruce Davis was recommended for parole on Thursday by a California parole board after imprisonment for 40 years. Convicted in two murders, Davis was previously denied parole 26 times.
According to the Associated Press, Davis, who was 30 at the time of his life imprisonment in 1972, was convicted of killing musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea with Charles Manson and another member of the Manson family. Davis was not involved in the 1969 murder of Sharon Tate.
Following his conviction, Davis remained in the California Men’s Colony at San Luis Obispo. Two years ago the parole board once again found the former Manson follower to be ready for release, but the decision was reversed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor at the time. According to Schwarzenegger, the decision was to be reversed due to the heinous nature of the crimes that were committed. Now two years later, Davis was once again recommended for parole, this time on the eve of his 70th birthday.
The Manson follower had previously stood by his claim that he was just a bystander during the killings. In the past few years, the AP reports that he has now acknowledged his “shared responsibility.”
“While your behavior was atrocious, your crimes did occur 43 years ago,” parole board member Jeff Furguson told the convict on Thursday.
According to the New York Daily News, Bruce Davis initially had a hearing for parole set earlier this year, but the hearing was delayed when he became ill.
Since being imprisoned 40 years ago, Davis has become a born-again Christian, as well as a minister to other inmates. The former Manson follower also has a grown daughter with a now ex-wife he met through the prison ministry. His attorney, Michael Breckman, revealed that while serving time Davis also earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in philosophy of religion. “It’s time for him to go home,” Breckman said before the hearing.
While a panel recommended Bruce Davis for parole, others do not feel that the convicted murderer should be set free.
“Bruce Davis was Charles Manson’s chief lieutenant,” said Stephen Kay, Manson family prosecutor. “Somebody is going to find Bruce Davis is their neighbor. I wouldn’t want to be that person.”
According to NBC, the victims family members do not believe that Davis is a reformed man either. Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra, spoke on behalf of the Hinman family, telling reporters that “Gary Hinman was tortured for three days. This was especially heinous for the Manson Family.” Tate continued that, “In speaking with the (Hinman) family members, they are absolutely devastated.”
Governor Jerry Brown has the final say on the parole board’s decision on Bruce Davis.
Charles Manson was up for parole this past April. Manson was denied parole for the 12th time after the board saw no signs of rehabilitation.
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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