Honeymoon case goes to trial

Relatives of an Alabama woman who died during a 2003 honeymoon scuba diving trip in Australia were pleased when a Jefferson County judge set an early trial date for the capital murder charge against her husband, Gabe Watson.

“That’s what we wanted all along is to get the case against him before a jury,” said Tommy Thomas, father of Tina Watson, who died during her honeymoon to Australia less than two weeks after her wedding. She was 26.

Watson, 33, pleaded not guilty during a brief hearing in Birmingham, and Circuit Judge Tommy Nail set his trial for May 23.

Watson served 18 months in an Australian jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of his wife of 11 days. Alabama authorities charged Watson with capital murder, arguing he planned her death and sought insurance proceeds in his home state.

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