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Parole Approved For Ex-Manson Family Member

(AP) - A California panel has granted parole to former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten more than four decades after she went to prison for the notorious killings of a wealthy grocer and his wife.

The decision will now go to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has the final word on whether the now-66-year-old Van Houten is released from the California Institution for Women in Chino.

A panel of the California Board of Parole Hearings made the decision Thursday after Van Houten's 21st parole hearing.

Van Houten, a one-time homecoming princess, participated in the killings of Leno La Bianca and his wife Rosemary a day after other so-called "Manson family" members murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in 1969.

Van Houten was the youngest Manson follower to take part in one of the nation's most notorious killings after she descended into a life of drugs and joined Manson's cult in the 1960s.

Since then, she has completed college degrees and been commended for her behavior as a model prisoner.