LOS FELIZ—The attorney representing former Manson “family” member Leslie Van Houten, 70, pushed a states appeal court for her release on her own recognizance or bail on Monday, May 11 after an inmate in her personal quarters tested positive for the coronavirus.
Van Houten has been serving a life sentence after being convicted of murder and conspiracy, alongside fellow Manson followers Charles “Tex” Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel in the August 1969 death of Leno La Bianca, 44, and his wife, Rosemary Biance, 38, who were stabbed to death at their Los Feliz home.
Van Houten did not participate in the murder of actress Sharon Tate and others in the Benedict Canyon home.
Lawyer Rich Pfeiffer sent the order to California’s 2nd District Court of Appeals, who received the request back in February 2020 for Van Houten’s release based on her age and risk of contracting the virus.
“Today I learned that an inmate in Ms. Van Houten’s housing unit tested positive for COVID-19 and she is presently being quarantined,” said Pfeiffer. “Due to her advanced age, this puts Ms. Van Houten at a high risk.”
Pfeiffer tried to request parole for Van Houten on three occasions, all being denied twice by former Governor Jerry Brown and recently by Governor Gavin Newson in 2019.
Newson denied parole stating:
“When considered as a whole, I find the evidence shows that she currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison at this time.”
Pfeiffer continues to fight for the release of Van Houten and indicated she is willing to be ordered home confinement.
No decision has been determined by the court.