Parole Granted for Former Manson Family Member Bruce Davis
One of Charles Manson's associates convicted with two counts of first-degree murder was recommended for parole today. The decision by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole Hearings comes for 67-year-old Bruce Davis after spending 38 years in jail, the majority of it without incidents prompting discipline. Davis is serving two life sentences at California Men’s Colony prison in San Luis Obispo prison for the murder of Gary Hinman on July 25, 1969, and for the murder of Donald "Shorty" Shea sometime between August 16 and September 1, 1969. However, some believe he's responsible for at least one other death.
In 2009, a theory posited by the British Daily Mail March 20 stated that the unsolved 1969 murder of Joel Pugh was a Manson-ordered hit. "Fact: Pugh was an ex-boyfriend of Manson follower Sandra Good," explained Elise Thompson in the LAist story. "Fact: Bruce Davis, convicted of killing Gary Hinman for Manson, was in London at the time of Pugh's murder. Fact: a letter was found in an apartment rented by Sandra Good after the Tate-LaBianca arrests stating, 'I would not want what happened to Joel to happen to me.'"
Today's action is not final as it is just a step towards Davis' possible freedom (by the way, today’s decision was the result of Davis’s 26th parole suitability hearing). Here's how the process goes, according to the CDCR:
The tentative suitability finding is pending a review by the Board of Parole Hearings. The review is to determine if there are any errors of law or fact and can take up to 120 days. If after 120 days the decision still stands, the case goes to the Governor of the State of California for review. The Governor has up to 30 days to review the decision. Under California law, several options are available to the Governor. He can allow the decision to stand by taking no action or choosing not to review it within the 30 days. He can actively approve the decision to parole or modify it. He can refer the decision back to the Board so that all of the commissioners can reconsider the panel’s decision. Or he can reverse it.