Plea Deal Leaves No One Accountable For Death


More than two years after Roger Watson was killed violently by a gunshot to the head, stuffed into a car and set on fire, two more men were sentenced in late May for their involvement in the death.

Scott B. McGeough and William M. Sweatt were sentenced to five years and four years respectively after pleading guilty to hindering prosecution in the first degree.

Both men had faced a slew of other charges relating to the death — first-degree murder, conspiracy, arson of an occupied structure, abandonment and tampering with evidence — but all of these charges were dismissed with the plea deal.

This leaves Watson’s family to deal with his death with no one held accountable for the murder.

Thomas Paul Georgatos sidestepped a murder trial by pleading guilty to arson charges for setting fire to a car that had Watson’s body in the trunk.

Like McGeough and Sweatt, Georgatos faced trial for murder and 10 related counts for the February 2007 death of Watson.

Georgatos pleaded guilty to arson charges in early May, and Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill imposed a 21-year prison term. That sentence comes on top of a previous 129-year sentence for six drug and sex convictions involving minors.

On May 29, Cahill sentenced McGeough to five years in jail with credit for 823 days served before sentencing. Sweatt was sentenced to four years in jail with credit for 823 days served before sentencing.

Both men were also ordered to pay $750 for the cost of prosecution, $2,154 in restitution to Diana Jensen, Watson’s mother, and $5,000 in restitution to the county’s victim compensation fund.

Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said as portions of Sweatt and McGeough’s plea agreements are sealed, she is not at liberty to discuss the intricacies of reasoning behind the plea deals offered.

Watson was killed on Feb. 19, 2007, after going over to Georgatos home in the 1400 block of North Easy Street around 9 p.m.

According to police reports, it is unclear if Watson was breaking into Georgatos’ home through the garage or was just meeting Georgatos.

According to Sweatt, when Georgatos met Watson in the garage, an altercation occurred and Georgatos reportedly shot Watson.

Sweatt told police that Georgatos then kicked Watson in the face three times while Watson was apologizing and begging for his life. Georgatos then shot Watson a second time.

At Georgatos’ sentencing, defense attorney Michael Bernays said Georgatos was defending his home when he shot and killed Watson.

“Roger was shot and killed after breaking into (Georgatos’) home,” Bernays said. “Witnesses acknowledge that Watson broke into the home and (Georgatos) was acting reasonable when the shooting occurred.”

After Watson was shot, Georgatos and Sweatt loaded Watson’s body into the green Subaru Watson had arrived in.

Georgatos and Sweatt then called McGeough, who came to Georgatos’ home and the three debated what to do with Watson’s body. The three men drove the Subaru with Watson inside the trunk out to Cracker Jack Road, where they set the car on fire, according to the police report.

The car was recovered several hours later with Watson’s burned remains inside.


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