Charles Manson, now 77, gets chance at parole

LOS ANGELES — Charles Manson is not expected to attend his parole hearing next week, officials said.

A parole board will consider Wednesday whether Manson should be released from Corcoran State Prison, though the chance of that happening is slim. The board has rejected parole for Manson 11 times.

A prison spokeswoman told The Associated Press Thursday that Manson has informed local prison officials that he will not be at the hearing.

Nonetheless, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said it would vigorously oppose Manson’s release. “We consistently (opposed parole) and will continue to do so,” said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman.

At his last parole hearing, in 2007, the board concluded that Manson “continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with.”

Manson, 77, refused to participate in that hearing, describing himself as a “prisoner of the political system.” He also declined to participate in any psychological evaluations in 2007.

“He refused to cooperate, so the conclusion they drew from the reports is he still remains a danger to the public,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira said at the time. “He was convicted of nine horrible murders. He has expressed no remorse or empathy for any of the victims.”

A new photo released by the California prison system shows Manson with long, gray hair and a beard.

Manson and other members of his so-called family were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area in August 1969. Prosecutors said that Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war that he believed was prophesied in the Beatles song “Helter Skelter.”

Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8 { months pregnant when she was killed at the couple’s hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Polanski was out of the country working on a film. Besides Tate, four others were stabbed and shot to death, including Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32; Abigail Folger, 25, a coffee heiress; and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Tate’s caretaker. The word “Pig” was written on the front door in blood.

The next night, Manson rode with his cohorts to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three of them to commit the murders.

Manson was also convicted of the earlier murder of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home, and the slaying of former stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea at the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth, where Manson had his commune.

Manson initially was sentenced to death. A 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court found the state’s death penalty law at the time unconstitutional and his death sentence was changed in 1977 to life in prison.

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