Charles Manson's self-proclaimed grandson Jason Freeman's hopes of finally being able to inherit the notorious killer's estate were dashed when a mystery man stepped in at the 11th hour, claiming to be Manson's rightful heir.
The new contender is 62-year-old Daniel Arguelles who says he's the mass murderer's 'biological son', thanks to a one-night stand his mother had with Manson back in 1959.
Freeman, 46, was hoping that at a Los Angeles probate court hearing Friday, Judge Ruben Garcia would declare him sole heir to Manson's estate – his belongings plus potentially lucrative music and artwork rights.
He hoped the judge would reject the claim of his one remaining rival, memorabilia collector and Manson pen-pal Michael Channels, who maintains he has a 2002 will that leaves everything to him.
But that didn't happen.
Instead, faced with the last-minute court petition filed Thursday by newcomer Arguelles, the judge continued Friday's hearing to October 20 when he'll hear details of the new claim.
Jason Freeman, 46, is a former mixed martial arts fighter from Bradenton, Florida, who claims to be Charles Manson's grandson
Notorious killer Charles Manson died aged 83 after spending 47 years on death row for the 1969 murders of seven people, including heavily pregnant Hollywood actress Sharon Tate
Arguelles's petition for 'determination of the existence of parent and child relationship and determination of heirship' shocked those who've been involved for almost five years in the legal battle over who inherits what Manson left behind.
'This took me completely by surprise. I only learned about it an hour ago,' attorney Alan Davis – counsel to the temporary administrator of the Manson estate, Dale Kiken – told DailyMail.com after Friday's hearing.
'I have no idea who Daniel Arguelles is. I have never heard of him before and I have no clue as to what he bases this petition on. It's a mystery.'
In court petition documents obtained by DailyMail.com, Arguelles said, 'There is clear and convincing evidence that he is the biological son' of Manson and he is 'entitled to an equal share' of Manson's estate.'
Daniel Arguelles said his DNA results showed a 'close relative match' with Michael Brunner (pictured) - who was one of the original claimants in the long-running fight over Manson's estate, insisting he also was a biological son
After Manson was released from a five-year jail stint at Terminal Island in San Pedro, California in September 1958, he met up in Los Angeles with Arguelles's mother, Darlene Large Pons, also known as Darlene Large Whitt, according to the court papers.
'Petitioner (Arguelles) alleges that on or around January 25, 1959, petitioner's mother and dependent (Manson) conceived petitioner in a one-night encounter,' said Arguelles, who was born November 1, 1959.
He said that his mother - who died in 2020 – had always told him his father was James Arguelles – until 1981 when his 'mother informed him that James Arguelles was not his father and that she did not know who his real father was.'
Fast forward to July 2015 and Arguelles tried to locate his biological father by sending a DNA sample to Ancestry.com.
The results, said Arguelles, showed a 'close relative match' with Michael Brunner – who was one of the original claimants in the long-running fight over Manson's estate, insisting he also was a biological son.
The DNA evidence showed that Brunner and Arguelles 'have a 99.99998% probability that they share the same father,' he added in the court documents.
Arguelles's daughter Sophia – in a court declaration backing her father's claim – said, 'My grandmother told me that my grandfather was unknown to her….that she never saw my grandfather after the night my father was conceived.
'Looking back at it now, I realize why my grandmother did not give any details about my grandfather.
'The decedent (Manson) was convicted of heinous things. To protect our family, my grandmother took the information to her grave.'
With Arguelles's claim based heavily on his assertion that he's Michael Brunner's half-brother, he has a major hurdle to overcome: three years ago, Brunner dropped out of the race to be Manson's heir, asking a court himself to dismiss his claim that he's the killer's offspring.
Daniel Arguelles, 62, says he's the mass murderer's 'biological son', thanks to a one-night stand his mother had with Manson back in 1959. In court petition documents obtained by DailyMail.com, Arguelles said, 'There is clear and convincing evidence that he is the biological son' of Manson and he is 'entitled to an equal share' of Manson's estate'
Last month, Judge Garcia rejected the claim of Nancy Claasen, of Spokane, Washington who had insisted that she is Manson's half-sister and sole heir.
The dismissal of Claasen's claim on the estate, which came at her own request, followed the court filing earlier in July of a birth certificate that seemed to prove that Freeman is indeed Manson's grandson.
Some of the most valuable of Manson's belongings are the rights to his journals and stories and the songs he wrote
Judge Garcia decided in June that he was satisfied Freeman – a former mixed martial arts fighter from Bradenton, Florida – is the son of Charles Manson Junior, based on an Ohio court's 1986 finding that Manson Jr. was ordered to pay child support to Freeman's mother.
But the judge said he still needed proof that Manson Jr., who committed suicide in 1993, was actually the offspring of Manson Sr., leader of the cult that killed eight-months-pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in a brutal and bloody rampage through LA in 1969.
Last month, lawyers supporting Freeman's claim seemingly sealed the deal by providing exactly what the judge was asking for – Manson Jr.'s birth certificate that they say proves his father was the infamous criminal.
The birth certificate states that Manson Jr. was born April 10, 1956 in Los Angeles to Manson Sr., then 21, and 18 year-old Rosalie Jean Willis.
Charles Manson died of natural causes on November 19 2017 at Corcoran State Prison, CA where he spent 47 years on death row. He was 83.
Some of the most valuable of Manson's belongings are most likely not his clothes and personal jailhouse belongings that currently sit in boxes at a storage facility.
A judge said last month that he accepted that Freeman is the son of Charles Manson Jr., (pictured) based on an Ohio court's 1986 finding that Manson Jr. was ordered to pay child support to Freeman's mother
A birth certificate filed in court last month appears to prove that Freeman is indeed Manson's grandson. Lawyers supporting Freeman's claim provided Charles Manson Jr.'s birth certificate that they say proves his father was the infamous criminal
Freeman now runs a building contracting business and has been seeking Manson's fortune for nearly five years
They're the rights to his journals and stories and the songs he wrote, including Look at Your Game, Girl which was recorded by Guns N' Roses on their platinum 1993 album The Spaghetti Incident.
The Beach Boys and Marilyn Manson also recorded songs written by Manson.
Four people originally filed petitions proclaiming their right to Manson's estate. Two of them, Michael Brunner and Matthew Lentz, each asserted that they were his relatives.
But both their claims were dismissed in 2019, leaving just Freeman and Channels.
Then, in April 2021, Claasen threw her hat into the ring, insisting she and Manson had the same mother – meaning she was 'sole heir-at-law' – and disputing the other claims.
Freeman was the very first to stake a claim by filing birth and death certificates he maintained prove he's Manson's grandson.
He said he learned about his relationship with Manson when he was 11 but his grandmother, Rosalie Willis, who was apparently married to Manson in the 1950s, never spoke about his grandfather.
Memorabilia collector and Manson pen pal Michael Channels claims to have a 2002 will that leaves everything to him
Freeman has always maintained that his father was Charles Manson Jr. who couldn't live with his shameful name so changed it to Charles White, and eventually killed himself in 1993.
Channels says he was friends and pen pals with Manson for 30 years and claims to have a document written by him in 2002 which leaves his remains and estate to Channels and reads: 'I have disinherited both known sons and any unknown children in the present and in the future.'
Channels filed a court motion in 2018 demanding that Freeman submit to a DNA test to prove if he's related to Charlie Manson.
The judge in the case at that time granted the motion, but Freeman appealed and the California Court of Appeals overturned the judge's ruling so Freeman never underwent the DNA test.
Freeman has attacked Channels's assertion that he's the sole beneficiary of a purported Manson will, saying in court papers that the claim should be denied because it was 'a direct result of undue influence exercised by (Channels) over (Manson) and is not, and never was, the will of (Manson).'
Freeman's case for claiming Manson's estate was supported by a March 2018 court decision in Kern County – where Corcoran is located – that awarded him possession of his 'grandfather's' corpse.
Kern County Commissioner Alisa Knight, in Bakersfield, 100 miles north of LA, ruled: 'Freeman is hereby determined to be the surviving competent next of kin of (Charles Manson). No sufficient probative evidence was provided to the court to refute Freeman's claim.'
Five days later Freeman was one of the speakers at a memorial service at a funeral home in Porterville, 50 miles north of Bakersfield, where some 30 people, including Manson's one-time fiancé Afton Burton and former cult member Sandra Good, filed past the open coffin.
Manson – whose body had been in cold storage since his death – was cremated the same day and America's most feared and hated killer's ashes were strewn along a creek bed in a nearby forest.