Vern was the AWOL Marine who spent time at Spahn from July 1969 to September. He was "recaptured" by Uncle Sam and spent enough time in the brig for prosecutors to identify him as a witness and plan to use him during the trial. He escaped from the brig but was recaptured - again. He brashly bragged about killing 3 people and also said that he witnessed Manson and Grogan killing someone in the desert. He was a master of changing stories, it seems. Plumlee was convicted and sentenced to 5 years to life in an unrelated robbery stabbing.
After parole, he worked as a welder and raised a family.