Attorney Says Chance Still Exists Texan Could Be Tried With Manson
Friday, June 19th, 1970
AUSTIN, Tex., Jun. 19 – The attorney for Charles Denton Watson says there is still a chance the 24-year-old Texan could stand trial with the rest of the “Manson Family” in California for the Sharon Tate murders.
Therefore, Bill Boyd is trying to delay Watson’s extradition to Los Angeles as long as possible.
“Until that trial is completed out there, there’s always the possibility that a mistrial will be declared and that the trial will be started over and Watson tried with the others,” Boyd said Wednesday.
Boyd went before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday asking them to reconsider the decision to extradite Watson. The court was expected to hand down a final decision within a week.
Boyd said if the Texas court turns him down, he may appeal to a federal court.
Boyd said publicity surrounding the ritualistic killings of the beautiful actress and four other persons in Miss Tate’s fashionable California home is so “spectacular” that Watson had no chance of getting a fair trial.
Boyd also said Watson was not like the other persons standing trial in California for the killings.
“There’s no evidence in this case that he had anything to do with the seven murders with which he’s been charged except the testimony of one hippie who said she was there,” Boyd said.
Susan Denise Atkins, one of the defendants, said Watson was the one who actually stabbed Miss Tate to death.
“Charles Watson is a completely different individual from the other people that are being tried out there,” the attorney said. “It’s much more difficult to believe that he has involvement in this matter or that it would be possible for him to do the things that they’re saying he has done.”
Boyd said Watson stood a much better chance of getting a fair trial if he is tried separately from Charles Manson and his followers. Manson’s trial began Tuesday in Los Angeles.