The governor’s office said the state’s high court was unlikely to consider an appeal of a lower court ruling that Van Houten should be freed. That means Van Houten will likely be released after serving 53 years for participating in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, who were killed in 1969 at their Los Feliz home.
The murders came two nights after actress Sharon Tate and four others were murdered in Benedict Canyon. Van Houten had no part in the Tate Mansion murders.
“More than 50 years after the Manson cult committed these brutal murders, the families of the victims are still feeling the impact,” the statement said.
Van Houten, now 70, was serving a life sentence. She could be released in two weeks from the California Institution for Women in Corona, her attorney, Nancy Tetreault, said.
She has been recommended for parole five times since 2016, but Newsom and former Governor Jerry Brown have rejected all of those recommendations.
Van Houten will be released into a halfway house to learn basic life skills.
“She has been in prison for 53 years. … She just needs to learn how to use an ATM, not to mention a cell phone, not to mention a computer,” her attorney said.
“My family and I are heartbroken because we once again remember all the years we didn’t have my dad and stepmom with us,” said Cory LaBianca, Leno’s daughter. LaBianca, to The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday.
“My children and my grandchildren never got to know them, which was a huge void for my family,” said Cory La Bianca, 75.