Bob Johnson –
Preparations are being made to bring witnesses halfway around the world for the trial of an Alabama man accused of killing his wife during a honeymoon scuba diving trip to Australia.
Court records show that prosecutors have begun issuing subpoenas for witnesses in the U.S. to testify in the trial of 34-year-old Gabe Watson, scheduled to begin Feb. 13 in Birmingham.
Deputy Alabama Attorney General Don Valeska said preparations are also being made to bring witnesses from Australia for the trial.
A hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday before Jefferson County Circuit Judge Tommy Nail. Watson is accused of capital murder in the 2003 death of his 26-year-old wife, Tina.
Watson’s trial originally was scheduled to begin in May 2011, but was delayed because of budget cuts in the Alabama court system.
Valeska has estimated the cost to the state of bringing witnesses to Birmingham would be from $12,000 to $15,000, but has said that cost would come from the budget of the attorney general’s office and not the court system.
Tina and Gabe Watson met while both were students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
She died while the couple was diving on a century-old shipwreck on the Great Barrier Reef about 10 days after they were married.