*Marvin Gaye was fatally shot by his father in 1984 while the music icon attempted to intervene in a fight involving his parents.
As reported by I Love Old School Music, Marvin Gaye Jr.’s mother, Alberta, recounted the final moments of her son’s life during an interview with local police.
“I was standing about eight feet away from Marvin, when my husband came to the door of the bedroom with his pistol,” she said. “My husband didn’t say anything, he just pointed the gun at Marvin. I screamed but it was very quick. He, my husband, shot – and Marvin screamed. I tried to run. Marvin slid down to the floor after the first shot.”
Marvin was rushed to the California Hospital Medical Center where he was pronounced dead one day before his 45th birthday.
Marvin Gaye Sr. received a six-year suspended jail sentence for the killing.
Here’s more from ILOSM:
It was brought out during the trial of Marvin Gaye Sr. that his son, Marvin Jr. reportedly charged at him and attacked him, delivering blows to his body and head. That alleged attack led to what Marvin Sr. had told his attorneys all along- that he had several injuries and bruises on his body as a result of Marvin Jr. being the aggressive force during the attack…
Ultimately Marvin Sr. took a plea of manslaughter. However, after the witness accounts, the details that were shown within the trial- including the multiple injuries Marvin Sr. reportedly sustained during the final altercation with his son- along with the autopsy finding, which confirmed there were drugs in Marvin Jr.’s system at the time of his death, the judge did not even find cause to issue Marvin Sr. a sentence under his manslaughter plea. The judge instead allowed Marvin Gaye Sr. to walk free.
”I’m sorry and I regret what happened to this moment,” Marvin Gaye Sr.said in an interview, conducted in the Los Angeles County Jail. ”I do know I did fire the gun. I was just trying to keep him back off me.”
He continued, “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. I loved him. I wish he could step through this door right now. I’m paying the price now.”
Rare court footage below shows the legal team for Marvin’s dad speaking about his ailing health at the time, and describing his son as a “tragic singer.”
“This is one of those terribly tragic cases in which a young life was snuffed out,” Judge Gordon Ringer said during the sentencing hearing. “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 at the hearing and 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.”