Marvin Gaye’s Dad Was Accused Of Killing Him, But Here’s The Rare Court Video That Set Him Free

Posted On : August 20, 2021

[L] Marvin Gay Sr.; [R] singer, Marvin Gaye (birth name, Marvin Gay II)
Most people have heard the story behind the horrific shooting that led to the untimely death of Marvin Gaye. On April 1, 1984, the “Sexual Healing” singer was shot twice by his father, Marvin Sr., after he attempted to intervene during an argument between his parents. The shooting took place at his parents’ home in the West Adams district of Los Angeles, CA.

Marvin Gaye Jr.’s mother, Alberta, recounted the horrific 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.”

Approximately 20 minutes later, Marvin was rushed to the California Hospital Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival just one day before his 45th birthday. Not only were fans shocked about his sudden death, but how he died also created a media firestorm.


Marvin Gaye with his parents, Marvin Gay Sr. and Alberta Gay

Despite the horrific murder, Marvin Gaye Sr. only received a six-year suspended jail sentence for his son’s death. Although Marvin Sr. admitted to killing his son, there were aspects of the shooting that ultimately led to the judge’s ruling in his favor. In the months that followed, more details emerged surrounding the shooting that have been largely either overshadowed are not shared with the public at all…until now…*SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO*

Marvin Gay Sr. being taken into police custody after murder of son, Marvin Gaye

Marvin Jr. and Sr. didn’t just have an argument, there’s other ‘proof ‘that Marvin Jr. was the aggressor?

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 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.

Stevie Wonder (center) standing by Marvin Gaye’s casket at funeral service, 1984

During an interview with the LA Times, the retired pastor, Marvin Gaye Sr., expressed remorse for shooting his son and also shared his side of the story. He also argued that his son abused cocaine, which was reportedly confirmed by the autopsy findings. ”I’m sorry and I regret what happened to this moment,” Marvin Gaye Sr. said in the 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.”

“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.” -Marvin Gaye Sr.

Throughout the trial several of Marvin Jr.’s siblings, as well as his mother were by his Pops, Marvin Sr.’s side during the trial and I always wondered why. Now, after watching this court footage, it helps to bring a bit more clarity to the matter and into their mindset at that time.


The rare court footage and detailed account of the murder trial does not negate the fact that Marvin Gaye Sr. should have clearly found another option to getting his son off of him, other than shooting than man. But it does shed knew light on the situation for those of us who were unaware of the actual details of what really went down on that sad day for music and humanity. Rest on Marvin Gaye.