Trial date set in honeymoon killing case

Jan. 31, 2011 at 2:17 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A trial date has been set for an Alabama man accused of his wife's death in 2003 in Australia during their honeymoon, officials said.

Gabe Watson, 33, who served 18 months in an Australian prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter charges there, has now been charged with capital murder in Alabama, the Birmingham (Ala.) News reported Monday.

In his guilty plea in Australia, Watson said he failed to provide proper assistance as dive buddy to Tina Thomas Watson, 26, who died while diving underwater during their honeymoon.

In November 2010, Watson was released from an Australian prison.

Now Alabama has charged him with intentionally murdering his wife for monetary gain.

Prosecutors allege Watson set the events in motion in Alabama and then took his bride to Australia to kill her and collect on insurance.

Watson returned to the United States to face the Alabama charges after his release in Australia, and was formally arrested in Alabama Dec. 6.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Tommy Nail has set a trial date for May 23.

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