Watson Plea Delayed For Additional Tests
Tuesday, April 13th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 13 — Entering of a plea for Charles “Tex” Watson in the Tate slayings was put off again today to allow for more psychiatric tests of the former high school football player.
Watson’s attorney, Sam Bubrick, said doctors at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute had examined Watson for 25 hours and had requested more information about Watson’s background from his family in Copeville, Texas, before offering an opinion.
Superior Court Judge Malcolm Lucas ordered Watson back to court on May 10.
“He’s rational,” Bubrick told newsmen. “I have no difficulty talking to him and we will be ready for trial by summer.
“Mr. Watson is every bit a gentleman and we won’t have any disruptions in this trial,” the lawyer said, referring to the many outbursts which delayed the trial of Charles Manson and his codefendants.
“The doctors are very concerned about a problem they think exists and they want to explore it further,” Bubrick said.
Watson, his hair close cropped, slouched with his hands on the rail before him and looked around curiously, apparently completely aware of the proceedings.
The 24-year-old Watson was not tried with Charles Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten because at the start of court proceedings he was still fighting extradition.
When he finally was returned to California he was committed to Atascadero State Hospital as insane. However, he later was certified as sane and capable of facing court proceedings.
Manson and the three young women codefendants were condemned to die in the gas chamber for the slayings in August of 1969.
During their trial, Miss Atkins and Miss Van Houten testified Watson led the two murderous forays at the estate of the actress and the home of Leno LaBianca.