Kern County Superior Court Commissioner Alisa Knight awarded the body of notorious cult leader Charles Manson to his grandson Jason Freeman, according to Southern California Public Radio.
Manson died at a hospital in Bakersfield, California, on Nov. 19 at age 83. He was serving consecutive life sentences for his role in a 1969 two-night killing spree carried out by his followers in 1969. Manson’s followers killed seven people, including actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time. His body sat in the coroner’s office for four months while the courts heard arguments on where it would go.
Kern County Superior Court Commissioner Knight heard claims from Freeman, Michael Brunner, who claimed to be Manson’s illegitimate son, and Michael Channels, a memorabilia collector who was a friend of Manson’s who produced a will dated to 2002 that named him sole beneficiary. Knight said that the 2002 will was not valid, partly because the witness signature was dated four days before the will was executed.
“All I wanted to do was take the dude’s ashes and dump them in the desert where he wanted,” Channels said, according to The Seattle Times. The paper also reported Channels was upset that Freeman won over Brunner, who he believes is the legitimate son of the cult leader. “I’m irate. That Jason Freeman, he just pulled the wool over the whole system’s eyes.”
Knight ruled that Freeman is Manson’s “surviving competent adult next of kin.”
“I can finally say this part is over,” Freeman told CNN. “I never looked at it as being a battle between anybody.”
Freeman did not announce his plans for disposing of the body, but previously said he would cremate the body and spread the ashes.
A coroner’s office attorney said there is still a possibility one of the other plaintiffs could file a motion that would delay the turnover.