Hearing Postponed For Man Charged With First-Degree Murder

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A case hearing was held Monday at 11:20 a.m. in Payson Superior Court for 35-year-old Thomas Georgatos, a man charged with first-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 20 discovery of the body of Roger Patrick Watson, found in the trunk of a burning car on Cracker Jack Mine Road.

The charges against Georgatos include first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, arson of an occupied structure, hindering prosecution in the first degree, abandonment or concealment of a dead body, tampering with physical evidence, misconduct involving weapons, possession of a dangerous drug and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Thomas Georgatos

Georgatos was represented by attorney Michael B. Bernays of Phoenix.

Bernays requested Superior Court Judge Peter S. Cahill grant Georgatos a continuance until July 9.

"The voluminous amount of ongoing (new evidence) in this case really requires that we have more time to go over it all," Bernays said.

Cahill said he would grant Georgatos a continuance until July 9, but added he wanted to expedite procedures.

"We need to move on this case," Cahill said. "So, if you think we can get things going by July 9, I will grant the extension."

Bernays assured the judge that he would be ready, by July 9, to proceed with his defense of Georgatos.

Cahill set the new hearing date for July 9 at 10:30 a.m. in Superior Court in Payson. Cahill added that any hearing or trial dates will be set after the courts determine the most convenient dates and times for the victim's family and/or representatives to be able to attend.

Cahill said he felt that the trial (if the case moves to trial) might have to be held in Globe, as well as selecting jurors from the Globe area, due to the amount of publicity the case has been given in the Payson area. He wanted the defendant to receive a fair and unbiased trial.

Two other suspects in the case, William Sweatt and Scott McGeough, are also awaiting disposition of their cases. All three suspects are being held by the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

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