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Breaking news, 3:25 p.m.:

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation released this statement:

Leslie Van Houten was granted parole suitability at her 21st (total) hearing at the California Institution for Women in Corona today. Van Houten was granted parole in 2016, That decision was reversed by the Governor. A 150 day review process will now begin on the suitability finding, during the first 120 days of the process the legal details and factors leading to the suitability finding will being analyzed. If the decision stands, the matter will be sent to office of the Governor who will have 30 days to take one of five options. He may uphold, reverse, or modify the decision. He may also send the matter to the full Board of Parole Hearings, sitting en banc to review the case. He may also choose to take no action, in which case the suitability finding will stand.

Updated story:

Leslie Van Houten reacts after hearing she is eligible for parole during a hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at the California Institution for Women in Corona. (Credit: Stan Lim, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG/pool)

Leslie Van Houten, who was convicted along with other members of Charles Manson’s cult in the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, was granted parole Wednesday by a panel of state commissioners in Chino.

Gov. Jerry Brown must now once again decide whether to release her from prison after 40 years. Brown rejected release last year.

Her attorneys argue that she was only 19 when she took part in the crimes and that she has been a model prisoner. But release has been strongly opposed by the families of the victims as well as prosecutors and many others.

The youngest of Manson’s followers, Van Houten has been considered the least blameworthy member of the group and has been portrayed by supporters as a misguided teen under the influence of LSD on the night of the slayings.

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