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After more than 40 years in prison, one of Charles Manson’s former followers just got the okay for possible parole. Leslie Van Houten, who was convicted of murdering Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in 1969, was deemed "suitable for parole" by two members of the California Board of Parole Hearings at the California Institution for Women in Chino, NBC News reports.
However, that doesn’t mean she’s a free woman just yet. The entire parole board has about 120 days to review the decision and give the go-ahead. Then, Gov. Jerry Brown will have another 30 days to approve or deny parole, or have the case sent right back to the board for another hearing.
On August 10, 1969, the then 19-year-old took part in the LaBianca murders which included stabbing Rosemary LaBianca 14 times. Later on, she admitted she was high on LSD at the time. The day before, members of Manson’s cult sans Houten murdered five people including actress Sharon Tate, who was married to director Roman Polanski.
She has since called her actions "unforgivable" and expressed deep shame for what she’s done during multiple parole hearings, after which she had been denied freedom. "I can create a world where I make amends," she said during her most recent hearing in 2013. "I'm trying to be someone who lives a life for healing rather than destruction."
This time, things might go a different way for her. The same can't be said for Manson, who is serving nine life sentences.