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Honeymoon Murder Suspect Gabe Watson Indicted in Alabama

In this photo released June 20, 2008, by Townsville Coroners Court, David Gabriel Watson, left, and Christina Mae Watson are seen on their engagement. The American man pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday for the manslaughter of his wife, who drowned during their honeymoon scuba diving trip in Australia. Her body was found on the ocean floor. (AP Photo/Townsville Coroners Court, HO) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY ** AP Photo

"Honeymoon Killer" Gabe Watson Indicted on Murder Charges in Ala.
David Gabriel Watson, left, and Christina Mae Watson June 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Townsville Coroners Court, HO)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (CBS/AP) A man who Australian media dubbed the "honeymoon killer" for allegedly drowning his wife of just 11 days during a scuba dive in 2003, now faces more serious charges in Alabama after serving 18 months in an Australian prison.

Attorney General Troy King said 33-year-old Gabe Watson, an Alabama native, was indicted by an Alabama grand jury on capital murder in the course of kidnapping, and capital murder for pecuniary gain in the scuba diving death of his 26-year-old wife, Tina Watson.


The charges were kept under seal until he was deported from Melbourne, Australia Thursday.

Last year Watson pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Australia and served 18 months in a Queensland state prison for not doing enough to save his wife during a scuba dive on Australia's Great Barrier Reef in 2003.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King believes the newlywed's death was premeditated, claiming that Watson, an accomplished diver, formulated a plan in Alabama to kill his wife on their honeymoon, which gives the state jurisdiction over her death. King also said there are no international standards on double jeopardy that prevent Alabama from charging Watson a second time in the case.

Though Gabe Watson was reportedly certified in scuba diving rescues his attorney said he had only taken a "half-day class" two years before the newlyweds' dive.

"He had never participated in a rescue dive before," attorney Joseph Basgier told CBS's "Early Show." "He wasn't an expert rescuer. He had never done it, and he was scared, too. This was his new wife."

Queensland Coroner David Glasgow said a possible motive for the killing was Tina Watson's modest life insurance policy. Brett Bloomston, another attorney for Watson, said a $33,000 insurance payment was made to Tina Watson's father, Tommy Thomas, not her husband.

Watson will face a court hearing in Los Angeles early next week and should be extradited to Alabama shortly after that, according to Alabama Assistant Attorney General Don Valeska.

The hearing could resolve unanswered questions Tina Watson's 55-year-old father. "Our focus and our goal throughout this entire ordeal has been to see justice done for Tina," said Thomas.

According to Bloomston, Watson will not fight extradition to Alabama because he wants to be home with his friends and family.

MORE ON CRIMESIDER September 8, 2010 - David Gabriel Watson, Ala. Man, Could Face Murder Charges In U.S. For Wife's Australia Scuba Death
June 5, 2009 - Guilty: Newlywed Hubby Gets Just 1 Year In Wife's Scuba Death

  • Naimah Jabali-Nash

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