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California Parole Board Denies Charles Manson’s Bid For Freedom

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CORCORAN, Calif. (AP) A California prison panel has denied parole to mass murderer Charles Manson parole in his 12th bid for freedom.

The panel acted Wednesday after a parole hearing.

Manson, now a gray-bearded, 77-year-old, did not attend the hearing.

Under current law, inmates can be denied the chance to reapply for parole for up to 15 years. Another rejection could make Manson 92 before he would get another opportunity to make his case.

“At his age, I think he doesn’t care,” said Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira, who will argue Wednesday against Manson’s release. “He would be lost if he got out. He’s completely institutionalized.”

Manson has said he would not attend the hearing and has not appeared since 1997. His most recent hearing was in 2007.

If Manson had attended, it would be his first time meeting his state-appointed attorney, DeJon Ramone Lewis. Manson declined a meeting a month ago when Lewis went to Corcoran State Prison to prepare for the hearing.

Manson, however, is anything but a recluse. He has a steady stream of visitors who submit requests to see him, including college students writing papers about him, said Theresa Cisneros, spokeswoman for Corcoran State Prison.

Manson must approve all requests.

“He has a large interested public,” she said, adding that Manson receives more mail than most prisoners.

Manson has been cited twice for having smuggled cellphones. Authorities found he had been talking with people in California, New Jersey, Florida, British Columbia, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Indiana.

The phone numbers were traced, but Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said she could not disclose who received the calls.

Manson also was cited in October for having a homemade weapon in his cell.

Manson’s notoriety stems from one of the most gruesome mass murders in American history, the 1969 slayings of actress Sharon Tate and six others. Manson’s trial with three women acolytes was a spectacle that drew international attention.

Manson was depicted as the evil master of murder, commanding a small army of young followers. He and the three women were sentenced to death. But their lives were spared when the California Supreme Court briefly outlawed the death penalty in 1972.

One of them, Susan Atkins, died in prison. Two others, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, remain incarcerated.

Manson also was convicted of two unrelated murders. An assortment of his followers are being held in California prisons.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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