A California parole board on Thursday recommended Charles Manson follower Robert Beausoleil be freed after serving nearly 50 years in prison.
Beausoleil , 71, had been denied parole 18 times for his conviction in the 1969 murder of musician Gary Hinman, who was tortured for three days before his death. He was not involved in the Manson family’s most notorious killings, the slaying of actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969.
Manson directed his cult of mostly young females to commit the murders as part of a bigger plan to incite a race war. He died in prison in 2017 at age 83.
California’s incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom can either allow Beausoleil to go free or block the parole panel’s decision. Hinman’s cousin, Kay Hinman Martley, attended Thursday's hearing and said Beausoleil was already lucky when an appeals court in 1973 reduced his death sentence to life in prison.
"I constantly have hope that they'll do the right thing and keep these people in prison, and now my hopes have to go with the governor," she said, adding she plans to reach out to Newsom to tell him "this man does not belong outside the walls of prison."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.