Leslie Van Houten, who was convicted along with other members of Charles Manson 's cult in the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, was granted parole Wednesday by a panel of state commissioners in Chino.
The youngest of Manson's followers, Van Houten has been considered the least blameworthy member of the group and has been portrayed by supporters as a misguided teen under the influence of LSD on the night of the slayings.
In recent years, Van Houten's attorneys characterized her as a model inmate, earning bachelor's and master's degrees while running self-help groups for incarcerated women.
He said the “shocking nature of the crimes left an indelible mark on society” and that the motive — to trigger a race war “by slaughtering innocent people chosen at random — is equally disturbing.”
In his statement, Brown said it remained unclear how Van Houten had transformed herself from a smart, driven young woman to “a member of one of the most notorious cults in history and an eager participant in the cold-blooded and gory murder of innocent victims.”
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