A judge said Friday that the weight of legal authority appears to favor a 43-year-old Florida man who said he is Charles Manson's grandson and so far has resisted voluntarily submitting to a DNA test to determine paternity.
Jason Freeman told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Clifford Klein in December that he would not voluntarily agree to the DNA test requested by longtime Manson pen pal Michael Channels. Channels' lawyers reiterated during a hearing today that they still plan to seek such an order, but the judge said he will have to be convinced that current law allows him to grant it.
Klein acknowledged that the Manson case is atypical.
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"This case has unusual facts because the decedent was in prison all this time," Klein said.
A hearing on the DNA motion is scheduled for July 17. Meanwhile, Klein extended until then attorney Dale Kiken's role as temporary special administrator role over the mass killer's estate.
Kiken originally was appointed to the role in August 2018, giving him authority to protect Freeman's interests, but the term was scheduled to expire Friday.
Kiken is tasked with recovering property, on behalf of Freeman, that the cult leader left behind in prison when he died at age 83 on Nov. 19, 2017, at Bakersfield Mercy Hospital of heart failure triggered by colon cancer that had spread to other parts of his body.
Kiken's lawyer, Alan Davis, said after the hearing that Kiken received a handwritten inventory of items from prison employees at Corcoran State Prison, where Manson was an inmate when he died. But Davis said the documents were difficult to read and that he has yet to fully review them.
Davis said in December that Kiken had obtained boxes of Manson's belongings from Corcoran State Prison.
Channels was present in court Friday, but Freeman was absent. Freeman won a significant court victory when a Kern County commissioner ruled in March 2018 that he was entitled to Manson's remains. Freeman and Kiken maintain that a 2002 Manson will Channels alleges he possesses is a forgery.
Channels said Manson's 2002 will, filed in Kern County in November 2017, names him the executor of Manson's estate.
A trial on the competing petitions by Kiken and Channels to be the estate's permanent administrator has not yet been set.