SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA — A parole panel has recommended the release of a former Charles Manson follower who is serving a life sentence for the 1969 slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.
Bruce Davis, 74, had his 31st parole hearing at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday.
Davis was not involved in the more notorious killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others by the Manson Family the same year.
Five past parole panels have said Davis is no longer a public safety risk after considering his age and good behavior behind bars, which includes earning a doctoral degree and ministering to other inmates.
Governor Jerry Brown will have about five months to consider the latest recommendation.
Davis testified at his 2014 hearing that he attacked Shea with a knife and held a gun on Hinman while Manson cut Hinman’s face with a sword because he “wanted to be Charlie’s favorite guy.”
Davis’ attorney Michael Beckman has been fighting for his client’s release for years, and says he is the most rehabilitated prisoner he represents.
But Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey objected to the possible release of Davis. She said in a statement that he “continues to exhibit a lack of insight and remorse” and “remains a public safety risk.”
Gary Hinman’s cousin, Kay Martley, gave the parole board details of how Hinman was tortured for three days, and reiterated that she believes Davis should die in prison.
Martley and Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, also objects to Davis’ release and said that opponents of his parole are gathering signatures online to present to Brown.
Davis was convicted with Manson and another follower, Steve Grogan, who was paroled in 1985 after he led police to Shea’s buried body.
Manson and followers Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Charles “Tex” Watson remain behind bars. Susan Atkins died of cancer in 2009.
Main photo: Bruce Davis [48 Hours/Facebook]