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Gabe Watson Acquitted After Judge Dismisses 'Honeymoon Murder' Case

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By Benge Nsenduluka, CP Reporter
February 24, 2012|8:13 am

Accused of murder, Gabe Watson has been acquitted in the killing of 26-year-old Tina Watson during their honeymoon after an Alabama judge dismissed the murder case on Thursday.

Gabe's attorney's had been pushing for an acquittal and eventually, after hearing conflicting arguments, Judge Tommy Nail said that there was no evidence of intentional murder or murder for monetary gain, according to AL.com.

Earlier in the day, Tina's father, Tommy Thomas, became emotional as he testified before jurors in the Jefferson County Courthouse, explaining that he had reservations about how Tina drowned that fateful day in 2003.

Thomas testified that he believed that Gabe played a role in Tina's drowning particularly because he had waited more than 15 hours after she had died to inform her family.

Prosecutors had charged that Gabe had killed his wife, just 11 days after they were married, during a scuba-diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, although his lawyers aggressively denied the accusations.

Although Gabe, an Australian native, had served 18 months in an Australian prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in Tina's death, the ruling Australian court eventually found that he was innocent.

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Gabe's Defense attorney, Brett Bloomston, read part of the Australian court's ruling before the judge.

"[Gabe] did nothing intentional to cause Tina Watson's death," read Bloomston. The court ruling stated that he was "wrongfully accused of murder in the public eye."

Despite the Australian court ruling, Alabama prosecutors proceeded to argue that Gabe had killed his wife by turning off her air tank underwater in order to collect on a life insurance claim.

Gabe's defense attorneys quickly pointed out that the insurance claim amount was valued at $33,000, and that Thomas was the beneficiary, not Gabe as prosecutors had claimed.

Although initial media reports claimed that Gabe was facing the death penalty, it was later clarified that he was actually facing life in prison. 

 

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