Gabe Watson was a liar and cold-blooded bride killer, who even took his wife’s engagement ring before she was buried, a prosecutor alleged in his opening statement.
“This whole case is not about murder, it’s about murder for gain,” Alabama Assitant Attorney General Andrew Arrington told a racially diverse jury of eight women and six men.
Gabe Watson is charged with murdering his wife Tina Thomas during a honeymoon scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
Mr Arrington said Watson wanted to collect a $165,000 life insurance policy from his drowned bride of 11 days.
Thomas stood to potentially gain much more from a lawsuit against a travel insurer, and took all of Tina’s personal belongings, and even the “engagement ring from off her finger.”
But Watson’s lawyer Brett Bloomston blamed Tina’s drowning on Townsville’s SS Yongala in 2003 on a “perfect storm” of tragic circumstances that had “nothing to do with Watson.”
He blamed a dangerous wreck, Tina, the dive boat, “bumbling” police, Tina’s dive leader, and an “additional equipment malfunction.”
Mr Bloomston, ad libing after his powerpoint presentation failed, blamed the Watson’s Townsville dive boat for taking the inexperienced Watsons to the Yongala – “a red flag dangerous dive” and even criticized the boat’s tour leader Wade Singleton, the man who brought Tina’s unconsious body to the surface.