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California governor reverses parole for Charles Manson associate Bruce Davis

By Ed Payne, CNN
updated 3:27 PM EDT, Sat August 9, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gov. Jerry Brown had up to 150 days to nullify or modify a parole board's decision
  • The governor has reversed a board's decision to grant Davis parole before
  • Bruce Davis has been serving a life sentence since 1972
  • An associate of Charles Manson, Davis was convicted of murder in a pair of killings

(CNN) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown has reversed a parole board decision and denied the release of Bruce Davis -- a former associate of Charles Manson and a convicted murderer himself.

"I find the evidence shows that he currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison," Brown said in his decision released Friday night. "Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Davis."

Davis was sent to state prison for life on April 21, 1972, for the first-degree murders of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea in 1969.

Saturday, August 9, marks 45 years since the murder of Sharon Tate and four others at the Los Angeles home of Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski. The murders led to the arrest and trial of Charles Manson along with his followers, who physically committed the crimes. Saturday, August 9, marks 45 years since the murder of Sharon Tate and four others at the Los Angeles home of Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski. The murders led to the arrest and trial of Charles Manson along with his followers, who physically committed the crimes.
Manson Family murders
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This image is the most recent photo of infamous inmate Charles Manson, taken in 2011. This image is the most recent photo of infamous inmate Charles Manson, taken in 2011.
Charles Manson: The infamous inmate
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Charles Manson: The infamous inmate Charles Manson: The infamous inmate

In March, the state Board of Parole Hearings granted parole for the 71-year-old Davis following his 28th parole suitability hearing.

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Brown had up to 150 days to nullify or modify the decision.

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In reversing the board, Brown cited the viciousness of the killing.

"The exceptional brutality of these crimes and the terror the Manson Family inflicted on the Los Angeles community 45 years ago still resonate," he said.

It is the third time a California governor has refused to release Davis.

In January 2010 and October 2012, the parole board granted him parole. In the second case, the board explained it made such a recommendation because of Davis' "positive adjustment, record of no recent disciplinary problems, and for successfully completing academic and vocational education and self-help programs."

Both times, the sitting governors -- first Arnold Schwarzenegger and later Brown -- reversed that decision.

"When considered as a whole, I find the evidence ... shows why he currently poses a danger to society if released from prison," Brown wrote in 2013 to explain his reversal.

No Manson "family" member has been freed solely for good behavior.

The group's gruesome killings inspired the best-selling book "Helter Skelter" and made their undisputed ringleader Manson a cult figure.

The 1969 spree ensnared several victims, including 8-months-pregnant actress Sharon Tate.

Manson is serving a life sentence for his role in nine murders. He was denied parole for the 12th time in 2012; his next such hearing is set for 2027, at which time he'd be age 92.

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CNN's Greg Botelho and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.

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