Says Watson Telling Truth About Killings, Drugs Use
Sunday, September 19th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19 — Charles (Tex) Watson is probably telling the truth about drugs he says he took and about the Tate-LaBianca murders, a court-appointed psychiatrist testified on Friday.
Dr. Andre Tweed testified that Watson had no way of knowing medical symptoms of the drugs he took, but his descriptions of their effect on him is accurate.
He also thought Manson’s descriptions of the killings he is accused of is honest because “at the time (of the examination) he wanted to die and was not making self-serving statements,” Dr. Tweed said.
Dr. Tweed said Watson did not tell the story of the murders in a way that would minimize his part in them or that would give him excuses for participating.
He agreed with previous psychiatrists that Watson was incapable of premeditated murder and was suffering from organic brain damage and psychosis at the tune of the slayings.
One more psychiatrist and a police officer are expected as witnesses before the defense rests its case in the courtroom of superior Judge Adolph Alexander.
Another psychiatrist, Dr. Ronald Markman, testified during the afternoon session and gave a somewhat different assessment of Watson.
He said that in his opinion the defendant probably did have the intent to kill when he and other cultists went to the Benedict Canyon home of Miss Tate in August of 1969.
But, Dr. Markman said, he believes Watson had diminished mental capacity at the time and could not “maturely reflect on the consequences” of his actions.
Defense attorneys told newsmen they had one more witness to call before resting their case.
That likely will come on Tuesday. Judge Alexander declared a recess for Monday because of the Jewish holy day of Rosh Hashanah.
The prosecution said it planned to call at least four rebuttal witnesses It was expected that summation arguments could be presented the week of Sept. 27 and the case may go to the jury by the end of that week. The trial has been under way for seven weeks.