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Manson family member likely to seek freedom again, attorney says

March 2, 2013 |  8:53 am
Bruce Davis

After Gov. Jerry Brown Friday blocked parole for Manson family member Bruce Davis, the killer's attorney vowed to fight on for Davis' release.

Davis' lawyer, Michael Beckman, said Friday that he will probably appeal again. Davis is eligible for another parole hearing as soon as October.

Beckman said Brown's decision was political and his stated rationale for continuing to keep Davis, now 70, behind bars would be "laughable if the consequences for my client weren't so devastating."

In rejecting freedom for Davis, Brown wrote: “Until Davis can acknowledge and explain why he actively championed the Family’s interests, and shed more light on the nature of his involvement, I am not prepared to release him."

Davis, 26 at the time of the killings, was convicted and imprisoned in 1972 for his role in the murders of two men, ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea, who also worked as a Hollywood stuntman, and aspiring musician Gary Hinman.

Details of Shea’s killing have always remained murky, muddied more by Davis’ recent account that the ranch hand was taken to a different location and killed, not the night that prosecutors claimed, but the following morning.

Another Manson family member, Steve “Clem” Grogan, allegedly cut off Shea’s head. Grogan, the only Manson family member convicted of murder to be set free, won parole in 1985 by leading law enforcement to Shea’s body.


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-- Paige St. John in Sacramento

Photo: Bruce Davis. Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.