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Charles Manson follower, a convicted murderer, closer to freedom

October 4, 2012 |  6:08 pm

Bruce DavisGov. Jerry Brown will ultimately decided whether a convicted murderer and Charles Manson's "right hand man" Bruce Davis should be paroled after a state panel approved his release.

Bruce Davis, 69, imprisoned for the 1969 killings of musician Gary Hinman and ranch hand Donald "Shorty" Shea, was recommended for parole in 2010, but his release was later blocked by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In a news release on Thursday, officials said the panel agreed to parole "because of his positive adjustment, record of no recent disciplinary problems, and for successfully completing academic and vocational education and self-help programs."

PHOTOS: The Manson murders

Davis did not participate in the 1969 Manson family murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. During his 40 years in prison, he became an ordained minister and earned master's degrees in philosophy and religion via a correspondence program.

Davis was convicted in 1972 of the Manson-dictated murders of Hinman and Shea.

The parole must still be finalized by the state after a 120-day review period.

Stephen Kay, a former prosecutor who was on the Manson trials, said Brown will likely weigh in. “He appoints the parole board, and it is him everyone should be calling,” Kay said. “As long as I have been in the business nothing surprises me.”

“Bruce Davis was Charlie Manson’s right hand man -- the man he left in charge when he left the ranch,” he added. “He is very smart and was the brains of the Manson Family. The one Charlie relied on."

Manson was denied parole earlier this year.



Charles Manson's psychological records will be reviewed

Charles Manson parole strongly opposed by prosecutors

Charles Manson has not been model prisoner

-- Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton

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

Photos, bottom: Charles Manson in a 1968 booking photo, left, and at Corcoran State Prison in 2009. Credits: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via KTLA News; Ventura County Sheriff’s Department