District Attorney Steve Cooley urged the governor today to reject parole for 67-year-old Bruce Davis, the reputed second in command of the Charles Manson family who was convicted of murdering two people in 1969.
Although Davis was never charged with the killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others, he was tried and convicted of the murders of a musician in Topanga Canyon and a Spahn Ranch hand around the same time in 1969. He was sentenced to two life terms. A Board of Parole hearing panel in January found him suitable for parole.
“I strongly oppose the release of inmate Bruce Davis and believe that he is an unreasonable parole risk and a danger to the public…,” said Cooley in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The governor can accept or reverse the hearing panel’s decision on the proposed Davis parole.
Cooley noted that Davis “continues to minimize, rationalize and offer excuses” for his roles in the July 1969 murder of musician Gary Hinman in Topanga Canyon and the killing about a month later of Donald “Shorty” Shea, a stuntman who worked as a wrangler at the Spahn Ranch in Santa Susana Pass north of Chatsworth. Charles Manson and his clan lived at the ranch.
“The viciousness of the Gary Hinman and Shorty Shea murders, the relationship of those murders to an effort to incite a race war…and Bruce Davis’s attempts to minimize his criminal responsibility make him an unreasonable risk of danger to society,” Cooley told Schwarzenegger. “I strongly urge you to reverse the decision to grant Bruce Davis parole.”