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Marvin, Sr. was charged with murder, but on September 20, 1984, he was allowed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, a plea bargain allowed based on his age (70), the physical assault and the drugs in his son’s system.

He appeared before Judge Gordon Ringer on November 2 for sentencing.

“This is one of those terribly tragic cases in which a young life was snuffed out,” Ringer said. “But under the circumstances it seems to be agreed by everybody, including the very able and experienced investigating officers in this case, that the young man who died tragically provoked this incident, and it was all his fault.”

Marvin, Sr. was given an opportunity to speak. He said, “If I could bring him back, I would. I was afraid of him. I thought I was going to get hurt. I didn’t know what was going to happen… I’m really sorry for everything that happened.”

Ringer ordered a six-year suspended sentence and five years of probation. He banned Gay from drinking or owning a gun.

Gay, Sr. moved into the Inglewood Retirement Home. Alberta divorced him, after 49 years. She died of bone cancer three years after the slaying. Marvin, Sr. died of pneumonia in 1998. Their son Frankie died of a heart attack in 2001.

Gaye died without a will, so his estate was of no benefit to his three children.

He still owed Anna Gordy Gaye $293,000 and the government $1.6 million in back taxes. His record royalties gradually paid down those debts while Motown and CBS fought in the courts over rights to Gaye’s unreleased recordings.

Gaye wrote or recorded more than 200 songs, and 66 of them were Billboard hits. In 1987, he was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Comment (27)

  1. You tube is phenomenal that we are able to see the actual footage ,I can’t believe the wife is by his side ,I probably would be in court my self if that was my son I’m sorry

  2. The father was way wrong from the gitgo. The mother was indirectly to blame for the tragic outcome by staying married to Sr. He was cruel, he was violent and he was involved in his own perversion and fantasies using the cover of religion as justification.

    Had the mother rose up against his tyrannical ways when the children were little chances are Marvin and his siblings would have faired better in this life.

    But a woman who allows a man–the father of her children or not–to reign and rule with fear and domination has to accept partial blame for the difficulties her children suffer as they try to grow up.

    If she was "about anything" she should have stood her ground for the sake of her children and gave Sr. a little "something" to think about. He was a bully.

    Most bullies pipe down once they're confronted. All Sr. needed was a pot of hot hominy grits "seasoned" with a "tech" of old-fashioned lye. One time and it would have been all over but the shouting.

    Blame her? Yes! She did nothing. She allowed her offspring to suffer brutality from a jealous, insecure, mixed up piece of garbage masquerading as a "man of g_d." He was a devil pure and simple.

  3. Makes no sense if its not self defense then its straight up murder. If he was black he'll die in prison lol his lawyer should of gotten jail time for that hair style

  4. Sr. was wrong as two left feet. Jr. was protecting hismother from abuse as he should have. Both father and son had issues before that fateful day and should not have resided in the same household. RIP to Marvin, Jr.

  5. What kind of parent kills their own child!? Marvin had constantly talked about his father’s temper (.i.e. piece of clay) through his music. Marvin was filled with nothing but love and joy. His father on the other hand, what a monster.

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