Schwarzenegger denies parole for former Charles Manson family member
June 28, 2010 | 4:35 pm
A convicted killer described as a top assistant to mass murderer Charles Manson has had his parole recommendation denied by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Bruce Davis, 67, imprisoned for the 1969 killings of musician Gary Hinman and ranch hand Donald "Shorty" Shea, was recommended for parole in January by a two-member Board of Prison Terms panel.
But in a letter released Monday, Schwarzenegger reversed the decision. "I believe his release would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society at this time," the governor wrote, pointing out the gruesome nature of the crimes. "The first-degree murders for which Davis was convicted were especially heinous because both victims were abused, tortured and mutilated."
Davis did not participate in the 1969 Manson family murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. Nonetheless, he "occupied a major role in the Manson family hierarchy," Los Angeles District Atty. Steve Cooley said in May.
Cooley wrote Schwarzenegger in May asking that Davis not be paroled. Davis, according to Cooley, had continued to "minimize, rationalize and offer excuses" for his role in the murders.
Davis had been denied parole 25 times before the panel recommended he be released. While in prison, he became an ordained minister and earned master's degrees in philosophy and religion via a correspondence program.
-- Robert J. Lopez