Judge David Cowan ruled that Los Angeles Superior Court wasn’t the right venue for the question of who gets Charles Manson’s remains. However, the judge did rule that LA is the correct place for court hearings on his will and other related matters. As a result, the parties need to file their petitions for Manson’s body in Kings County, where the cult leader was in prison for more than 50 years, or in Kern County, where he died in a Bakersfield hospital in November 2017.
The Pasadena Star News reported in its report, “Battle for Charles Manson’s remains, estate will be split between counties,” that another hearing is scheduled in response to a petition filed by Bryan Walters, a deputy attorney in the county. The County wants to know who should take Manson’s remains.
“He was incarcerated in Kings County, not L.A. County,” Cowan said. “It should be Kings County or Kern County, not L.A. County for the venue.”
Because there are competing claims, government attorneys filed a petition for instructions. “If this was the simple case,” Walters told Judge Cowan, “we wouldn’t file a petition for instructions.”
Forty-one-year-old Jason Freeman is the son of late Charles Manson Jr. and the grandson of Manson and his former wife Rosalie Willis. He filed his petition with the probate court to have the hearing in Los Angeles because Manson and his followers lived in Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth before he went to prison.
Freeman’s petition is competing with Manson’s longtime pen pal Michael Channels. Channels visited the mass murderer in prison in 2002 and claims that he has a will signed by Manson. The will, which Channels filed in Kern County, names him the executor of Manson’s estate and gives him control of his remains. But when Channels attempted to gain custody of the body in Kern County, his petition was objected to by Freeman, who argues that Manson’s signature on the will was forged.
In another twist, Attorney Daniel Mortensen represented Michael Brunner, a purported son Manson had with Mary Brunner, a member of his “family.” Mortensen said his client wants to cremate Manson’s remains immediately.
Manson died in 2017 at the age of 83 after spending 50 years in prison for masterminding the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight others.
Reference: Pasadena Star News (January 26, 2018) “Battle for Charles Manson’s remains, estate will be split between counties”