CORONA , Calif., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A California parole board postponed a decision on freeing Patricia Krenwinkel, convicted murderer and member of Charles Manson's cult, after her lawyer said she was the victim of battery.
Krenwinkel, 69, was convicted by a California court in 1971 of murdering actress Sharon Tate and six others in a two-day killing spree demanded by Manson, who led a cult-like group. California commuted her sentence and those of six others to life imprisonment when the state abandoned the death penalty in 1972. Thursday's appearance before the two-person panel of the state Board of Parole Hearings was Krenwinkel's 13th attempt to obtain a release.
A source with knowledge of the closed-door, all-day hearing told the Los Angeles Times that Krenwinkel's lawyer, Keith Wattley, said in his closing statement that she was a victim of "intimate partner battery." He referred to a psychological condition similar to battered spouse syndrome, a condition experienced by those who endured prolonged physical or mental abuse by a partner. The abuse came from Manson or another person in the cult, Wattley said.
In a statement, the panel said it "felt information discussed at the hearing was cause for an investigation." An investigation into the allegation could take several months, the source said.
Krenwinkel is the longest-serving female inmate in California's prison system.