TOPANGA CANYON—Manson family ex-member Bruce Davis has been found eligible for parole after being incarcerated for more than 40 years.
Davis, now 72, was convicted in 1972 for first-degree murder of musician Gary Hinman and involvement in the stabbing of Hollywood stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea, both of which took place in 1969.
The murder of Hinman took place in Topanga Canyon, while Shea was killed at Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, where Manson and his followers lived in 1968 and 1969.
In Shea’s death, family ring leader Charles Manson received a life sentence, while fellow member of the cult Steve Grogan received a death sentence. It was later decided by Judge James Kolts that “Grogan was too stupid and too hopped on drugs to decide anything on his own,” and his sentence was reduced to life behind bars. Grogan was released on parole back in 1985, becoming the first and only suspect in the killings to be granted parole.
Manson, who is currently being held at California State Prison, Corcoran, will not be eligible for parole again until 2027.
Davis was not involved in any of the other Manson murders, including Hollywood actress Sharon Tate and four others in Benedict Canyon. At the time, Tate was married to film director Roman Polanski and pregnant.
Davis was also not involved in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, who were murdered the night after Tate was murdered.
This is the first time after 28 attempts that Davis has been successful in seeking parole. Should the parole decision be finalized by the Board of Parole Hearings, the ultimate decision to release Davis would lie in the hands of Governor Jerry Brown.
This is the third straight year where Davis’ parole release will depend on the decision of Governor Brown. The other two attempts, in 2013 and 2014, were blocked by Brown, who has said to believe that Davis is still a dangerous individual. Previous California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also blocked Davis’ parole back in 2010.
Governor Brown will have 30 days to uphold or reverse the decision.