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Williams found florid evidence of air embolismbut no degenerative disease. Inthe Probate Court removed Watson as administrator of Tina's estate and appointed her father, who also requested that her school and college pictures and yearbooks be returned.
Retrieved 2 March Regarding the judge's decision, Thomas said, "It should have gone to the jury for them to decide. When Tina was brought to the surface, her regulator was still in her mouth, her tank still had air, and tests indicated no faults with her equipment. During the inquest, prosecutors submitted evidence that Watson's story contradicted the record of his actions stored by his dive computer.
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Nail also blocked Tina's father from giving evidence regarding Watson's alleged attempts to increase Tina's life insurance. Tina's father claimed that Watson had asked Tina, shortly before their wedding, to increase her life insurance and make him the sole beneficiary.
The author was Walkley Award winning investigative journalist, Peter Patrick. Tina had heart surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat two years earlier but on her dive application had stated that she had never had heart problems or surgery. The action was dismissed in May at Watson's request on the grounds the Australian investigation into his wife's death caused him "to reasonably apprehend that he risks self-incrimination in this case". Watson was released from prison on 10 November He was transferred to an immigration detention centre while his deportation was delayed.
In Julythe Circuit Court set the trial date for 13 February ; Watson was released on bond. His Australian legal team believed "it was not in his best interest" to pursue the damages claim and his U. That on the 22nd day of October at the site of the historical shipwreck Yongala forty-eight nautical miles south east from the port of Townsville in the state of Queensland, David Gabriel Watson murdered Christina Mae Watson. McKenzie claimed Gabe should not have been allowed in the water and never as a dive buddy for his wife, who had no open water scuba experience.
While Watson was serving his term in Australia, authorities in Alabama flagged an intention to charge him with murder at a later date.
Valeska stated he would pursue an additional charge of kidnapping by deception. The Queensland Director of Public ProsecutionsTony Moynihan SC, issued a statement, which said: "The decision to accept Mr Watson's plea of guilty to manslaughter was made after a careful and thorough examination of the admissible evidence, and was not taken lightly.
They suggested the possibility that he turned off Tina's regulator and held her until she was unconscious, then turned the air back on and let her sink before surfacing himself.
Alabama prosecutors charged Watson with murder at the conclusion of his prison sentence in Australia after finding what they claimed was evidence he had plotted to kill his wife while still in the United States. The appeal was heard by the Queensland Court of Appeals on 17 July The Crown asked the court to increase Watson's prison term to two and a half years. The couple had planned a scuba trip in the Great Barrier Reef for their honeymoon and flew to Sydney for a week before heading to Townsville.
Gabe had received his rescue certificationnormally a four-day course, after completing a two-day course in an Alabama quarry. The defence argued that Watson had had a momentary lapse in judgment, had been accused of a crime he did not commit, and had voluntarily returned to Australia to co-operate with the court, and that the penalty imposed by the trial judge was fair and just.
Professor Michael "Mike" Bennett, a leading expert in dive medicinestated that Tina was unfit to dive without clearance from a cardiologist.
Her remains were exhumed in and moved to a different lot bought by Watson. Fairfax Media reported that the letter was leaked to them and published part of it in their newspapers. Campbell described Watson as an experienced diver trained in rescuing panicked divers, who had allowed his wife to sink to the ocean floor without making any serious attempt to retrieve her.
Friends and family of Watson questioned whether he had any motive for the murder, noting that his affection for Tina had seemed genuine, there was no life insurance policy naming him as beneficiary, and he appeared to be emotionally devastated for an extended time following her death. When Watson recovered his sight, Tina was sinking too quickly for him to retrieve her and he quickly surfaced to get help. Nail said that the state's evidence was "sorely lacking" and that the prosecution could not prove that Watson had any financial motive.
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The dive company had offered an orientation and guided dive with a dive master, which both Tina and Gabe had refused. According to McKenzie, "He had no hope of being competent, he could barely save himself [that day] let alone his wife; I don't believe he intended to kill her. Two members allowed the prosecution's appeal, increasing Watson's period of incarceration by six months to a total of eighteen.
He had no rescue experience and little open water experience. After resisting extradition for six months, Watson travelled voluntarily from the U. Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell pointed out that over time Watson had given police sixteen different versions of what had happened to Tina and that none of those versions matched what the only eyewitness had seen.
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Colin McKenzie, a key diving expert in the original investigation who had maintained that "a diver with Watson's training should have been able to bring Tina up", subsequently retracted much of his testimony after being provided with Tina and Gabe's diver logs, certificates and medical histories, to which he had not ly had access. We would not p to tell the Australian authorities how to run their criminal justice system".
Company head Mike Ball said his people took Watson at his word, believing he was an experienced and certified rescue diver.
In MarchWatson launched legal action in Alabama's Jefferson County Circuit Court to recoup the cost of the couple's trip after the travel insurance company refused a payout. Watson had already left Australia by this point and declined to return, so did not testify during the inquest but gave evidence through his lawyers to the inquest and to the Queensland Police. As evidence, they described the many painstaking re-enactments of various scenarios conducted by police divers.
A coronial inquiry was held, as is the usual practice in Australia. Watson pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Prosecutor Don Valeska said that this was the first time he had had a trial end in a judge's acquittal in the 41 years he had been trying cases. One justice by minority opinion was in favour of dismissing the appeal. At around am on 22 October, during an excursion from the dive boat Spoilsport to the site of YongalaTina lost consciousness and sank to the bottom, 30 metres 98 ft below the water's surface within two minutes of beginning the dive.
Tina Watson was a year-old American woman from Helena, Alabamawho died while scuba diving in QueenslandAustralia, on 22 October Tina had been on her honeymoon with her new husband, fellow American Gabe Watson, who was initially charged by Queensland authorities with his wife's murder. Tina's family stated that Watson's twelve-month term was an embarrassment to Australia.
Given the complex circumstantial nature of the case, Mr Watson's admission that he breached his duty to render assistance to his wife ultimately meant there was no reasonable prospect of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he was guilty of murder.
This condition has been strongly criticised by King and Don Valeska, chief of the Attorney General's violent crime division, who stated: "If an Australian woman was killed here, we would immediately send the evidence there. Other divers nearby at the time, including Dr. Stanley Stutz, saw Watson engaged in an underwater " bear hug " with his "flailing" wife, after which he headed for the surface while Tina fell to the ocean floor. Evidence presented at the trial included Watson's differing s of what had happened on that day, of the couple's diving experience or lack thereofand of Tina's life insurance.
In MayKing announced he had information not yet made public and wanted to try Watson for capital murderasserting jurisdiction based on the theory that the alleged crime was planned in Alabama. The photo showed her lying face-up on the ocean floor, something that did not come to light until a couple of weeks later when the pictures were developed.
Despite an earlier diagnosis of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia PSVTTina began diving lessons in Januaryand earned her certification just before her wedding to Gabe on 11 October Watson had completed 55 dives by the time of their marriage, and Tina 5. It was reported that the Coroner found "it was likely that Watson had killed his year-old wife by turning off her air supply and holding her in an 'underwater bear hug' until she was dead";  however, the coroner had made no such finding. They lived in Walker CountyAlabamawith her younger sister before moving to Louisiana then Birmingham.
Tina was buried in her native Pelham, Alabama. Watson was sentenced to four and a half years in prison, to be suspended after serving only twelve months. Watson was then put on trial, but on 23 FebruaryJudge Tommy Australian men dating Alabama women dismissed the murder case due to lack of evidence. Diving death under suspicious circumstances in Casefile: True Crime Podcast. Watson did not inflate Tina's buoyancy control device BCD or remove her weight beltand had failed to fulfill his obligations as her "dive buddy" by not sharing his alternative air source.
He also stated that an ear problem prevented him from diving deeper to help her and that there was nothing in his training as a rescue diver "about how to get somebody" in trouble to the surface. After his release, he was deported to Alabama on the condition that he would not be sentenced to death if found guilty of murder.
Alabama judge Tommy Nail ruled that evidence of Watson's behaviour following Tina's death was inadmissible. Under international human rights law, Australia could not deport Watson if he faced execution in his home country.
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The day following the death, Tina's autopsy was performed by Professor David Williams, consultant forensic pathologist to the Queensland Coroner. Pending Watson's trial, the Alabama Circuit Court ordered him to stay away from the grave.
He gave the cause of death as drowning. On 23 FebruaryNail acquitted Gabe for lack of evidence without the defence needing to present its case. Watson appealed against the ruling and refused to provide the court with an inventory of Tina's possessions.