August 14, 2009 / 4:14 PM / in 9 years

Woman who tried to kill Ford released from prison

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975 and was a follower of mass murderer Charles Manson, was released from a Texas prison on Friday after serving her sentence, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said.

Fromme, 60, had been serving a life sentence for the assassination attempt but was eligible for parole almost 25 years ago. She had waived her right to parole previously and chose to remain in prison.

Ford was unharmed when a Secret Service agent grabbed the handgun that Fromme aimed at the president in Sacramento, California, on September 5, 1975.

Fromme had been a follower of Manson, who was convicted of orchestrating the murders of actress Sharon Tate and eight others in California in 1969 and is still serving time in prison. Fromme was never implicated in those crimes.

Fromme was released from the Federal Medical Center Carswell near Fort Worth, bureau spokeswoman Felicia Ponce said. The facility provides specialized medical and mental health care to female offenders, the agency said on its website.

Fromme had told her defense attorney she staged the attack on Ford because she “wanted to get some attention for a new trial” for Manson and members of his group.

Fromme wrote to Manson from a prison in Alderson, West Virginia, where she briefly escaped in 1987 before being recaptured by federal agents.

Reporting by Chris Baltimore; Editing by Eric Beech

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