Judge Rules Man is potentially an heir to Charles Manson
By BILL HETERMAN
LOS ANGELES — A Florida man who says he is the grandson of mass murderer Charles Manson — a claim disputed by a former Manson correspondent as well as Manson’s professed sister — is potentially an heir to the late leader of the sect, but its claim is subject to further litigation, a judge has ruled.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ruben Garcia said the claim of kinship to Jason Freeman, 45, of Bradenton, Fla., boils down to whether Charles Manson Jr can be proven — who was also known as Charles Jay White and killed himself in June 1993 — was indeed the son of the infamous criminal.
Garcia said he was convinced Freeman was the son of Manson Jr., based on a February 1986 finding from an Ohio judge in which Manson Jr. was ordered to pay child support. Freeman’s mother.
Alan Davis, an attorney for Dale Kiken — an attorney and current temporary special administrator of Manson’s estate who is defending Freeman’s kinship claim — said during oral argument on May 3 that in March 2018, a Kern County commissioner ruled that Freeman was entitled to Manson’s remains. , further establishing that Freeman was Manson’s grandson.
Davis said the Ohio order went unchallenged for decades until current challenges from former Manson correspondent Michael Channels and Nancy Claassen of Spokane, Wash., who alleges in her court documents that she and Manson had the same mother and that she is therefore his “sole legal heir”.
Freeman, Channels, and Claassen all vie to administer the late cult leader’s estate. Garcia took the case into submission after May’s arguments and ruled on Friday.
“This court finds that Freeman is potentially an … heir to (Manson) assuming he is deceased (without a will) and petitioner Kiken can prove that Charles Manson Jr. is the son of Charles Manson,” Garcia wrote.
Manson Jr. was determined to be Freeman’s father by the Ohio court, Garcia wrote. Under the state’s probate code, “Freeman’s natural parentage is established by the Ohio Paternity Judgment Order. Whether Charles Manson Jr. is Charles Manson’s son remains up for debate, however.
Freeman also addressed the court in the May hearing, saying he was a freshman in high school when his father died and the only reason he could continue playing sports in high school was because of the child support payments his mother was receiving in excess of $600 a month.
Lawyer Timothy Lyons, on behalf of Channels, said during oral arguments in May that Judge Clifford Klein, who had previously presided over the case and has since retired, gave no weight to the court’s decision to Ohio. He also said there was no evidence that Manson Jr. paid Freeman spousal support.
Attorney Dilair Nafoosi, on behalf of Claassen, said the Ohio decision was about child support, not whether Freeman was an heir to Manson.
Klein signed an order in 2019 ordering Freeman to take a DNA test, but his decision was overturned by a three-judge 2nd District Court of Appeals panel in 2021. Freeman once told Klein that he would not voluntarily agree to DNA testing, but would. obey a court order to do so.
Chains had requested Freeman’s DNA test. In his court documents, Channels said Manson’s 2002 will, filed in Kern County in November 2017, named him executor of Manson’s estate.
Garcia disputed Lyons’ arguments.
“Channels’ attempt to undermine the probative value of the children’s payment history by noting that there is no explicit evidence that Charles Jay White was the one who paid child support is unconvincing,” said writes the judge. “The court wonders who else would feel obligated by the Ohio judgment to make the payments, but Charles Manson Jr.”
Claassen’s arguments were largely based on inadmissible hearsay, Garcia said.
Freeman, acting as his own attorney, filed court documents stating that the chains’ certification should be denied because it was created “as a direct result of undue influence exercised by (the chains) on (Manson ) and is not, and never was, the will of (Manson).
Manson suffered from heart disease and other ailments before he died in November 2017 at the age of 83.
Manson and members of his outcast supporter ‘family’ were found guilty of murdering actress Sharon Tate – who was eight months pregnant – and six others during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area in August 1969.
Prosecutors said Manson and his supporters were trying to incite a race war he dubbed “Helter Skelter,” from the Beatles song of the same name.
The Manson clan also stabbed grocery magnate Leno La Bianca and his wife Rosemary La Bianca to death the night after the Tate murders.
Manson was found guilty of seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Tate, the La Biancas and four others at the Tate residence – the cafe heiress Abigail Ann Folger, photographer Wojciech Frykowski, hairdresser Jay Sebring and Steven Earl Parent, who was shot dead in his car while driving to the home of an acquaintance who lived in a separate guesthouse on Tate property.
Manson and his followers Charles “Tex” Watson, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, and the late Susan Atkins were all convicted and sentenced to state prisons in 1971. Manson was also convicted in December of that year of murder in the first degree for July 25. 1969, death of Gary Hinman and death in August 1969 of Donald Shea.
Manson and the others were originally sentenced to death, but a 1972 state Supreme Court decision commuted all death sentences in California to life in prison. There was no life sentence without parole at the time.
Manson has been denied parole a dozen times.