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. […]
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.
Charles “Tex” Watson, 65, was ordered to continue serving his life sentence after a hearing at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, in the Sierra foothills 50 miles southeast of Sacramento. […]
Four relatives of Watson’s victims asked that his parole be denied for killing actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and four others at her Beverly Hills home on Aug. 9, 1969. The next night, he helped kill grocery owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
“There’s no question these were some of the most horrific crimes in California history in terms of the brutality, the multiple stab wounds, the gunshots, the large number of victims over a two-day period,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira said. “For a group of people to just slaughter strangers in hopes of igniting a race war is extremely horrifying.” […]
Sequeira said he believes Watson still is a public safety risk because “he’s a man who is at the center of the Manson family. He was aware of all the crimes that all the Manson family members were involved in.” […]
[Watson] did not attend his last parole hearing in 2006 but was portrayed in a psychiatric evaluation at the time as “a very devout fundamentalist Christian … a young, naive and gullible man (who) got into drugs and bizarre company without appreciating the deviance of the company he was keeping.”