Claim Former Manson Aide Suffers from Brain Damage

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 9 — Another physician testified Tuesday that former Manson lieutenant Charles (Tex) Watson is suffering from organic brain damage, probably brought on by drug use.

Dr. Richard Walter, a neurologist at UCLA, said his tests on Watson showed the 25-year-old defendant’s motor performance and mental status were abnormal, although his sensory reaction was normal.

Dr. Walter, who testified for the defense, said although he believed he damage was caused by drug use, his opinion was not conclusive because “I don’t know the amount or the type or the mixture of drugs taken.”

The neurologist’s testimony followed that of a psychiatrist who testified last Friday that he believed Watson’s brain was damaged by drug usage. The psychiatrist added he felt Watson was psychotic at the time actress Sharon Tate and six others were killed two years ago.

Watson, who testified in his own defense last week, admitted the killings, but said he was under the influence of both drugs and cultist Charles Manson.

He has pleaded innocent and innocent by reason of insanity.

Manson 36, and three women follower already have been convicted and condemned to death for the murders.

Dr. Walter said Watson showed a “disturbance in recent memory” and was unable to perform several tasks that required good coordination.

He added that a brain wave test given Watson was considered abnormal by himself and several other doctors at the UCLA clinic.

“It would have been impossible for him to have such damage while in college – it is inconsistent with achievement in college,” Dr. Walter said.

He testified there was no evidence Watson was pretending to be unable to perform the test properly.

The case which began Aug. 2, is being heard by a six-man, six-woman jury in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Adolph Alexander.

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