Manson Follower Watson Denied Parole in California

Reuters/October 11, 2001
By Daniel E. Martin

Los Angeles -- Charles Watson, who was convicted with cult leader Charles Manson and three young women for the brutal 1969 murders of seven people in Southern California including pregnant actress Sharon Tate, has been denied parole, officials said.

A panel from the California Board of Prisons threw out Watson's 13th bid for parole on Wednesday following a three-hour hearing, at which Tate's sister, Debbie Tate, and the sister of another murder victim, testified, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Stephen Kay, who helped prosecute Manson and his followers.

"They felt that he still posed an unreasonable risk of danger to society,'' Kay told reporters after the hearing.

Kay and Tate traveled from Los Angeles to the Mule Creek State Prison near Sacramento for the hearing.

Watson was convicted with Manson and his hippie followers Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten of first degree murder for the deaths of Tate and four others at a Benedict Canyon home in the hills outside Los Angeles in August 1969.

The group was also convicted of killing businessman Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their Los Angeles area home. All five defendants have repeatedly been denied requests for parole.

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