The Georgia Corrections and Parole Board (GCPB) is considering Jim Watson for an early release due to what was described as a declining health status. Watson was convicted in 2002 of the murder of his wife, Beverley, in 1997. Beverley’s brother, Scott Bennett, is adamant that Jim Watson not be released. GCPB in a Feb. 12 letter said the purpose of the letter was to issue an update regarding Watson.
“Due to the declining health status of this inmate, the board is now considering him for a medical reprieve,” the letter said, adding that federal health laws prevented disclosing Watson’s medical condition.
The letter asked to receive written correspondence by March 4 to have any views expressed concerning Watson’s possible release. Correspondence is to be sent to the Office of Victim Services at 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Balcony Level East Tower, Atlanta, Ga. 30334-9474.
Beverley Watson’s brother, Scott Bennett, was adamant that Jim Watson not be released.
“He murdered my sister and had no regard for her health and her future or how it affected anyone else. I don’t want him released,” Bennett said Monday. “He took someone from us and we’ll never get her back. He needs to come clean and let us know what he did, how he killed Beverley and admit to what he did. He owes that to his children, to be honest with them.”
Bennett said his mother’s health was affected by Beverley’s disappearance. “My mother’s health went downhill from there,” Bennett said. “She died within a year.”
Bennett has an online petition established a week ago that now has approximately 2,200 signatures from those opposing Jim Watson’s release. The petition can be found at https://www.change.org/p/ga-dept-of-corrections-and-parole-board-deny-james-l-watson-gdc-1112717-a-medical-reprieve.
Watson was ultimately convicted of the murder of his wife who disappeared in 1997. Beverley Watson’s remains were found in a heavily wooded area of south Fulton County in March 1999 but Jim Watson wasn’t indicted for the crime until January 2002, according to reports by The Citizen.
Watson was a reserve police officer in Riverdale at the time of his wife’s disappearance. Since his wife’s remains were found in Fulton County, Watson was tried there and a Fulton jury took just over five hours to deliberate two weeks’ worth of testimony.
Watson was sentenced to life in prison immediately after the jury’s verdict was announced.
The verdict stunned his supporters, but cheered Beverley Watson’s friends and family, who had long sought a resolution to her death.
When Jim Watson testified in the case, he vehemently denied that he killed Beverley, who was 33 when she disappeared from the couple’s south Fayette home.
The only significant physical evidence in the case were the scratches on Jim Watson’s face which he had covered up with makeup before police came to his home the day he reported her missing.
Watson said the marks came from Beverley throwing her keys at him the night she disappeared, but he covered them up so his co-workers and clients of his locksmith business wouldn’t see them.
There was a large amount of circumstantial evidence as friends of Beverley Watson testified that they saw Jim Watson point a gun at his wife on two separate occasions at the couple’s south Fayette home.
Beverley Watson’s friends also testified that Beverley told them if she ever turned up missing that they should suspect her husband had killed her. And a former neighbor of Beverley Watson’s mother testified that she once saw him pull her out of her mother’s house while choking her.