Charles Manson's grandson is now entitled to claim the body of the cult leader from the morgue four months after his death.
Manson, who became known as one of America's most prolific serial killers, died in the hospital at the age of 83 in November after serving 46 years in prison. He was serving nine life sentences for the murder of actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969.
Charles Manson's Remains To Be Given To Grandson
After a prolonged battle over Manson's body that has been put on ice at the Bakersfield morgue since the cult leader's death, Alisa Knight, a commissioner at Kern County Superior Court, ruled on Monday, March 12, that Manson's body will be handed over to his grandson, Jason Freeman.
"Freeman is hereby determined to be the surviving competent adult next of kin of the decedent. No sufficient probative evidence was provided to this court to refute Freeman's claim," Knight said in her ruling.
Freeman, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter from Florida, is the son of Charles Manson Jr., who committed suicide in 1993. After Knight's ruling, Freeman says he intends that his grandfather's body will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered in a private ceremony.
The 4-Month Battle
Freeman was involved in a bizarre four-month battle over Manson's remains with two other people. These are Michael Brunner, who claimed he is Manson's biological son, and his prison pen pal Michael Channels, who collected and sold Manson's memorabilia. The latter filed what he claims was the notorious serial killer's only valid will that was filed in 2002.
Although Knight found that there was enough evidence to prove that Brunner was Manson's son, he gave up his right as an heir after being adopted by his maternal grandparents. Channel's claims were also dismissed as the will presented by him in court failed to meet California's legal requirements.
A fourth individual, a Los Angeles musician named Matthew Lentz, also came forward to side with Brunner claiming that he was also Manson's son. Lentz claimed that Manson fathered him during a Wisconsin orgy and was named as the sole beneficiary in a 2017 will that the cult leader apparently signed.
However, since Lentz was adopted a week after he was born, he forfeited any relationship with his biological parents, according to Knight.
While Knight's ruling settles the dispute over Manson's remains, what happens with his estate, including music royalties, and commercial rights to his writings, drawings, and other memorabilia is yet to be decided in a Los Angeles court later this week.