The remains of Charles Manson will go to his grandson after a months-long court battle among several people who tried to claim the cult leader’s body, a court has decided.
Kern County Superior Court Commissioner Alisa Knight said in her ruling Monday that the court determined Jason Freeman is Manson’s "surviving competent adult next of kin," giving the 41-year-old Florida man the right to determine what happens to Manson’s remains.
Manson died on Nov. 19, 2017 while serving a life sentence in California for masterminding the killings of seven people.
His remains were stored in Kern County as at least three people fought for his body, with each claiming they had a legal right.
A man named Michael Channels submitted a will he claimed was written by Manson in 2002 that named him sole benefactor of his estate, but the court found some aspects of the document required further proof, court documents showed.
A man named Michael Brunner, claiming to be Manson’s son, also stepped forward for the body, but it was found he was legally adopted by his grandparents and his claim was therefore disqualified.
Freeman’s father, the late Charles Manson Jr., was the son of Manson and his first wife, Rosalie Willis. Manson Jr. changed his name to Jay White after his parents divorced. He killed himself in 1993, while he was in his late 30s.
Freeman told InsideEdition.com he was always aware of his grandfather’s identity, and the pair connected over the phone several years ago.
“We’ve had many conversations and we had the opportunity to create the best bond we could for the situation he was in and I was in," Freeman said in January.
After learning of Manson's death, Freeman traveled to California to prove his next-of-kin status and to claim his paternal grandfather’s body.
“I'm just doing what's right; I'm doing what any grandson should do, regardless of who their grandfather is,” he said.
Freeman hopes to cremate Manson and scatter his ashes in a private ceremony.
After the court’s ruling, Freeman took to social media to thank his and his grandfather’s supporters and rail against those he said had come out of the woodwork looking to attach themselves to his journey.
“Where were they or where are they while we’ve already been going through this?" he said. "This was the hard part, but now it’s behind me and now here I have people going, ‘But where’s mine? But I’m this or that.’ Well, go to the courthouse. I’m the last man standing for this. I call it an opportunity to put my grandfather’s body to rest... This has been a very hard four months for me and my family. Now that the hard part’s over, let’s see who all wants to come out for the easy part.
"I’m trying to grow closer to the Lord so there will be less of me and more of him," Freeman continued. "[The Lord has] helped lead me to make the right choices... I’ve paid for my wrongs — so did my grandfather — this is it.”