November 16, 2011 / 11:01 PM / 8 years ago

Manson accomplice denied parole in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Charles “Tex” Watson, imprisoned for his role in the Manson family Tate-LaBianca killings of 1969, was denied his latest request for release on parole on Wednesday, prison officials said.

The Texas-born Watson, who was described as a former “right hand man” of criminal mastermind Charles Manson and was denied in over a dozen other parole board appearances, has become a born-again Christian during his time in prison.

On August 9, 1969, Watson and three female accomplices murdered actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, and four guests at Tate’s 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 physically committed most of the murders at both homes, shooting and stabbing his victims.

Susan Atkins, who was with Watson at both scenes, died in prison in 2009 after repeatedly being denied parole. Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, two other murder accomplices to Watson, also remain in prison.

Linda Kasabian, who was present at both murder sites, was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying against Manson and his other followers.

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

He will be considered for another parole review in five years, prison officials said.

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. His next parole hearing could occur in 2012.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jerry Norton

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