A court official has made a decision on the body of Charles Manson—almost four months after the 83-year-old cult leader completed his life sentence and was put on ice at a California morgue. Kern County Superior Court Commissioner Alisa Knight ruled Monday that grandson Jason Freeman can take Manson's body from the Bakersfield morgue, USA Today reports. The move follows months of legal battles over the body and the Manson estate involving Freeman, other purported Manson relatives, and a pen pal. Freeman, a 41-year-old former mixed martial arts fighter and a father of three, is the son of Charles Manson Jr., Manson's son from his first marriage. Manson Jr. changed his name and eventually killed himself.
The coroner's office said it wanted to get rid of Manson's body quickly because it needed space for the victims of the opioid and meth epidemics, the AP reports. Freeman has said he wants to cremate his grandfather and scatter the ashes of "this so-called monster, this historical figure that shouldn't have been blown up as big as it was for all these years." He has said he reached a place of "forgiveness" with his notorious relative after reaching out by phone eight years ago. He has denied having plans to sell photos of the body. His attorney says there will probably be a public ceremony in which Manson's ashes are scattered over a body of water. (GoFundMe pulled the plug on a fundraiser to help Freeman with his expenses.)