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Jury chosen for Gabe Watson in bride's honeymoon death

Gabe and Tina Watson in an undated photo
Gabe and Tina Watson in an undated photo CBS

(CBS/AP) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A jury has been selected for the trial Gabe Watson, an Alabama man accused in the drowning death of his newlywed bride during a honeymoon scuba diving trip in Australia.

Opening statements are expected Tuesday.

Prosecutors contend Watson killed 26-year-old Tina Thomas Watson during a dive by turning off her air supply and restraining her until she lost consciousness. Gabe Watson, 34, hoped to collect on a life insurance policy, prosecutors say.

The defense argues the woman's death was an accident.

Tina Watson died just 11 days after her wedding in October 2003. Gabe Watson pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served 18 months in prison in Australia, but he hasn't yet faced a jury.

Meeting with attorneys before beginning jury selection, Circuit Judge Tommy Nail said Watson's trial would last at least two weeks

While capital murder normally carries a possible death sentence upon conviction, former Attorney General Troy King agreed to waive the death penalty in return for Australia agreeing to deport Watson after he finished his prison term there.

Watson, who has remarried and was accompanied by his second wife in court, faces a sentence of life without parole if convicted.

Complete coverage of Gabe Watson on Crimesider

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