Charles Tex Watson, jailed for his role in the Manson family Tate-LaBianca killings of 1969, appeared before a parole board on Wednesday to seek release after being denied over a dozen times before, officials said.

The Texas-born Watson, who has been described as a former right hand man of criminal mastermind Charles Manson, has become a born-again Christian during his time in prison.

On August 8, 1969, Watson and three female accomplices went to the Los Angeles home of actress Sharon Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, and murdered her and four guests at the house. Polanski was not home at the time.

The following night, Watson and his accomplices killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca at their Los Angeles home.

Watson was convicted in 1971 of seven counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.

Family members of Watson's murder victims attended the hearing on Wednesday at Mule Creek State Prison in rural Ione, California, where he is held on a sentence of life with the possibility of parole, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Charles Manson remains in prison after being denied parole 11 times before. His next parole hearing could occur in 2012.