A judge ruled Charles Manson’s remains would be given to his grandson, Jason Freeman, almost four months after his death.
Commissioner Alisa R. Knight, a court commissioner of Kern County, ruled that Freeman was “determined to be the surviving competent adult next of kind of the decedent,” according to Bakersfield.com.
Freeman will be responsible for Manson’s funeral and burial, according to the outlet. Manson died in November at the age of 83. He was serving nine life sentences in California’s Corcoran State Prison at the time of his death.
The oil rig worker, 41, told PEOPLE in November that he has long believed he is Manson’s grandson, though PEOPLE was unable to independently verify the relationship.
Freeman said he first learned about his alleged family history when he was a teenager, and later, fought to have a relationship with the man he believed was his grandfather by speaking to him by phone for years.
During one conversation, Freeman said, “He kept asking me what I wanted. ‘What do you want from me?’ I said, ‘I just want to get to know my grandfather.”
Freeman, who is working on a documentary tentatively titled Manson’s Bloodline, produced multiple birth and death documents that he says prove his heritage.
According to Freeman, Manson asked for a sample of his DNA to confirm that the two were related, but Freeman says he never heard back about the results.
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According to Manson biographer Jeff Guinn, author of Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, Manson, then 20, married 15-year-old Rosalie Willis in 1955. On March 10, 1956, while Manson was in prison on charges related to a car theft, Willis gave birth to a son, Charles Manson Jr.
While Manson was in prison, Willis took up with another man, leaving Manson “jilted,” says Guinn.
Freeman, who says Willis is his grandmother, once asked her about Manson before she died of lung cancer in 2009. But “she made it known it was the last thing she wanted to talk about,” he says.
Charles Manson Jr., who later changed his name to Jay White, killed himself in 1993.
Manson Jr., says Freeman, was a “major victim in this whole story” and he was tormented by his family name before his death.