Charles Manson's potential heirs were in Kern County court Wednesday battling for his remains and estate. Manson's body is still at Kern County Coroner's Office since he died at Mercy Hospital in November.
Wednesday morning a judge heard claims from four sides on what should be done with the cult leader's remains. After the hearing 23ABC talked with Jason Freeman, who claims to be Manson's grandson.
“I know his spirit is already, um, up in heaven. And um, now we get a chance to lay his body to rest,” said Freeman
Freeman told us he's the rightful heir and has a positive view of the cult leader, who was convicted of murder and spent almost 5 decades behind bars.
“A kind giving person. I think we all have, you know good and bad in us. It all depends on what we choose to do,” said Freeman.
The battle of who is the legal heir and has the rights to Charles Manson’s remains, name and estate is waging in Kern County. The lawyer for the coroner’s office, Bryan Walters, said hearings like this take place in the county where a person was living or where they died. Since Kern County is closer to Los Angeles than Kings County, the hearing is taking place here in Kern County.
Three different people claim to be the rightful heir; Freeman, his supposed adopted son Michael Brunner, and pen pal Michael Channels.
Freeman said, “You know this is a family situation, so family is stepping up.”
Walters also said he asked for the 30 day extension to review both of Manson’s wills to see if either one is valid. And also to see if Brunner’s adoption impacts Brunner’s rights to be Manson’s heir.
Both of Manson’s claimed son and grandson say the cult leader would like his body cremated and scattered in California. While they would not say where, their agreement could lead to a partnership in court.
“I’m excited to meet him, spend some time with him and have a family member right beside me,” said Freeman.
Brunner’s lawyer, Daniel Mortensen, said his client is open to working with any legitimate family member for Manson’s burial. And they have not discussed whether they will team up with other family members over how to divide Manson’s estate.
“He just wants to be sure that his portion of anything that happens in Mr. Manson’s time on this earth is done in a dignified way if he’s responsible for it,” said Mortensen.
The lawyer for Manson's pen pal Michael Channels, Matthew Chapman, said they have no comment on today's hearing.
The next hearing is scheduled for March 7th where a decision could be made.