UPDATE: David Gabriel "Gabe" Watson will serve "just 1 (one) year
of a 4 1/2 year sentence, for manslaughter." The prosecution
suspended all but the one year.
One year for a man who modified his story of the incident 16 times!
BRAD FLYNN: With the interviews that I've done and the interviews
that the Queensland police have done, approximately 16.
INTERVIEWER: Sixteen different versions?
BRAD FLYNN: With subtle variances.
"WATSON: "she was looking up had both her arms out you know reached,
stretched up almost like looking at me reaching her arms up to grab.. as she
went down, it you know, almost like that whatever that statue is over in
Europe you know the both hands up, heads looking up that’s why you
know you know that's why you know it worried me that she was wondering
why I was leaving because we, I made eye contact with her you know I don't
know if you know if she was even still with us at that point but I you know
I saw her eye balls you know, I saw her eyes as she was going down."
Witness Dr. Stanley Stutz "Tina was struggling and fearful, on her back,
arms out to the side. Then, a male diver embraces her, he is on top of her,
his arms underneath her armpits. I thought he was trying to rescue her, I saw
him let go and Tina sank and the male diver goes to the surface."
"I tried to get someone else's attention and then saw the instructor make a
bee-line for Tina. The instructor brought her to the surface, her eyes fixed
open, vomit coming out of her mouth. I felt at that point, she was dead."
CHRISTINA "TINA" WATSON - CASE BACKGROUND
SCUBABOARD - Discusses the issues of the fatal dive from the perspective
of experienced scuba divers.
The Australian Coroner's office had issued a charge of murder against Gabe
Watson and at first, Watson had intended to kick, scream, and fight any
It seems someone with a saner head prevailed upon him to do the right
thing and present himself for trial in Australia. He voluntarily flew back
to Australia and turned himself in.
During the inital court hearings Watson pled "Not Guilty" and the case was
headed for trial on the murder charge.
Since then however, things have changed. A manslaughter plea was accepted
by the Prosecution. The plea was accepted on the basis that "Watson had failed
in his duty as her dive buddy by not giving her emergency oxygen."
Prosecutor Brendan Campbell "Watson allowed Tina to sink to the ocean floor
without making any serious attempt to retrieve her, and that he
did not inflate her buoyancy vest or remove weights from her belt."
"He virtually extinguished any chance of her survival."
So, since Watson pled guilty to manslaughter, there will be no trial. He'll
be sentenced by the court under whatever guidelines Australia has.
UPDATES - November 2010 - Watson will be released from custody
However, since the Alambama Attorney General has given assurances to
the Australian authorities that Watson will not face the death penalty, the
authorities there are cooperating with the Alabama authorities pursuant
to their investigation.
Troy King (Alabama Attorney General)
"U.S. authorities will not pursue the death penalty against David Gabriel
Watson." "I believe Watson devised a plot in Alabama to kill his wife on
their honeymoon, which would give the state of Alabama jurisdiction.
There are no international standards on double jeopardy that prevent
Alabama from trying Watson againover the death."
CHIEF OF VIOLENT CRIME DIVISION Don Valeska (Chief of the Alabama's
Violent Crime Division)"We are very grateful to attorney-general Cameron Dick.
It will help us tremendously in the investigation we are putting together."
"My investigators have found evidence suggesting Watson planned to kill Tina
before they left for the Australian honeymoon."
Opinion: Watson (and his wife's) relief at his upcoming release is likely to
be shortlived. Watson faces living the rest of his life in prison if convicted in