Grandson vs. companion: Who is Charles Manson’s true heir?


(NewsNation) — An unusual legal battle continues over control of cult leader Charles Manson’s estate.

More than half a century ago, Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people.

1969: Police mug shot of American cult leader and murderer Charles Manson. Information about the Tate-LaBianca murders is detailed below the photo. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

At the time of his death, in 2017, most experts valued the estate at about $400,000, but some believe it could be worth millions.

On Monday, the half-sister of Manson dropped her claim to permanently run the estate, leaving just two people left in the battle.

Jason Freeman claims to be the son of Charles Manson Jr., and Michael Channels says he has a signed will from 20 years ago that grants full control over the estate.

During an appearance Tuesday night on NewsNation’s “Banfield,” attorney Tim Lyons said that since 1992, Channels was a pen pal of Manson’s as well as a consistent jail visitor.

“He really was one of his only friends for the last 20-25 years of his life,” Lyons said. “It was hundreds of hours of visits in the state prison.”

Lyons, who is representing Channels, says he doesn’t believe Freeman to be Manson’s grandson.

“Mr. Freeman had nothing to do with Mr. Manson, and Mr. Manson didn’t even know he existed. So whether or not he’s the grandson, which we don’t believe, my client was basically Charles Manson’s only family for the last amount of decades that he was in prison.”

Lyons added that it’s important to remember that the American legal system doesn’t require you to leave anything behind for your family.

“Michael Channels was Charles Manson’s chosen family, and so he wrote him into his will, because he knew he could best carry for his legacy.”

Seven deputies escort Charles Manson from the courtroom after he and three followers were found guilty of seven murders in the Tate-LaBianca slayings.

“It should be very simple. If the will stands, and I believe it will, then my client inherits, and Mr. Freeman is out. If the will doesn’t stand then, and Freeman is determined to be the grandson by the court, then he will inherit,” Lyons added.

A hearing to determine the control of Manson’s estate is scheduled for next month.

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