Peter Mitchell –
Gabe Watson will stand trial in Alabama later this month for planning and executing the scuba diving murder of his bride on their 2003 Queensland honeymoon.
The case is set to begin on February 13 in Birmingham’s Jefferson County courthouse. At least nine Australian witnesses – including Queensland police officers, members of the Spoilsport dive vessel and Queensland coroner’s forensic pathologist Dr David Williams – are expected to give evidence at the trial, which could take up to one month to complete.
The trial is expected to be emotionally-charged, with Judge Tommy Nail telling the prosecution and Watson’s legal teams at a preliminary hearing last month to “quit acting like children and act more like adults” after receiving letters from both sides.
“Any case of this magnitude is going to have inflamed passions on both sides,” Watson’s attorney, Joe Basgier, said.
Watson, 34, is charged with capital murder in the course of kidnapping and capital murder for pecuniary gain.
If found guilty of murdering his 26-year-old bride Tina, Watson faces a maximum sentence of life in prison in Alabama.