The Latest: Manson victim relative: Probe 'mind-boggling'

AP News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2016 11:37 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a parole hearing for Patricia Krenwinkel, an accomplice of cult killer Charles Manson and the longest-serving female inmate in California (all times local):

8:40 p.m.

Anthony DiMaria, the nephew of victim Thomas Jay Sebring, said a Los Angeles County prosecutor who attended the hearing told him that the parole officials want to research whether Krenwinkel was a victim of intimate partner battery.

'For this investigation to be initiated at this point is mind-boggling," said DiMaria, who attended the hearing but left before a decision was postponed. "I don't understand where we go from a murder, the killing of eight people (including Tate's unborn child) to an intimate partner battery victim. It's absurd....It seems like the world is turned upside down. How do you kill eight people and now you're the victim?"

Jean Guccione, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, said prosecutors would not comment until the parole panel makes its recommendation after the investigation.

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8:20 p.m.

After a daylong hearing, the panel from the California Board of Parole Hearings postponed a decision on whether to free Patricia Krenwinkel "because they felt information discussed at the hearing was cause for an investigation," spokeswoman Vicky Waters said in an email.

The hearing will be continued once the investigation is concluded, she said

Sharon Tate's sister, Debra Tate, said the parole officials told her the hearing was likely to be postponed about six months while they research to see if Krenwinkel meets the criteria for having battered women's syndrome.

Krenwinkel's attorney, Keith Wattley, did not immediately return telephone and email messages.

"She totally minimized her action and blamed everything on other people the whole hearing," Tate said.

Tate said she didn't buy the concept that Krenwinkel was a victim because she was free to leave at any time and participated in murders two nights in a row.

"We all have to be accountable for our actions. I don't buy any of this stuff. She was there because she wanted to be there. Nobody held a gun to her head," Tate said.

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7:50 p.m.

A two-member parole panel has delayed making a decision on whether to release Patricia Krenwinkel, an accomplice of cult killer Charles Manson and the longest-serving female inmate in California.

The decision to delay Thursday by the panel came after the 69-year-old Krenwinkel was previously denied parole 13 times, most recently in 2011.

Krenwinkel helped kill pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people at the urging of Manson 47 years ago.

The hearing was held at the California Institution for Women, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, where Krenwinkel is imprisoned.

She has a clean record behind bars, earned a bachelor's degree and taught illiterate inmates to read.

Gov. Jerry Brown has the power to block the release of inmates if parole is granted. He previously stopped the parole of two other Manson followers.

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10 a.m.

A parole hearing has started for Patricia Krenwinkel, an accomplice of cult killer Charles Manson and the longest-serving female inmate in California.

The hearing Thursday comes 47 years after Krenwinkel helped kill pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people, including grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.

The 69-year-old Krenwinkel has been denied parole 13 times since her conviction in the 1969 slayings.

Los Angeles County prosecutors say she carved the word "war" into Leno LaBianca's stomach then wrote "Helter Skelter" in blood on the couple's refrigerator.

Krenwinkel contended at her previous parole hearing in 2011 that she's a changed woman.

She has a clean disciplinary record, earned a bachelor's degree behind bars, taught reading to illiterate inmates and trained service dogs for disabled people.