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06-05-09, 03:15 PM #1
Man Guilty In Wife's Honeymoon Death
Man Guilty in Wife's Honeymoon Death
posted: 3 HOURS 1 MINUTE AGO
filed under: Crime News, National News
BRISBANE, Australia (June 5) -- An American man pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday for the manslaughter of his wife, who drowned during their honeymoon scuba diving trip in Australia. Her body was found on the ocean floor.In move that outraged the victim's family, David Gabriel Watson will serve just one year of the four-and-a-half-year sentence in the death of his wife of 11 days, Christina Mae Watson. She died in 2003 as the couple dived off the tropical coast of Queensland. The suspended sentence is not unusual in such crimes in Queensland.Watson, of Birmingham, Ala., was to stand trial in the Queensland Supreme Court for murder, which carried a potential sentence of life in prison, until the prosecution accepted the guilty plea to the lesser charge.Prosecutor Brendan Campbell told the court the manslaughter plea was accepted on the basis that the 32-year-old Watson — trained to rescue panicked divers — failed in his duty as her dive buddy by not giving her emergency oxygen.Campbell said Watson allowed his wife to sink to the ocean floor without attempting to retrieve her, and he did not inflate her buoyancy vest or remove weights from her belt."He virtually extinguished any chance of her survival," Campbell said.
Outside court, Christina's father, Tommy Thomas, said his family was in disbelief over the sentence.
"I'm sure that the entire Australian nation as well as our country back home shares in the shock at what we've just seen, because it's a total injustice ... it's ludicrous," Thomas said. "It's an embarrassment to everyone involved. We believe that Gabe Watson murdered our daughter."
Watson married Christina in a ceremony described by her friends as her dream wedding in Birmingham on Oct. 11, 2003.Eleven days later, a dive instructor found her lying on the bottom of the ocean during a weeklong Great Barrier Reef scuba diving trip off the coast of Townsville city. Watson told police her death was an accident.Coroner David Glasgow formally charged Watson with murder last June. Glasgow said it was likely Watson killed his wife by holding her underwater and turning off her air supply. The coroner said a possible motive was her modest life insurance policy.Watson turned himself in last month to answer the murder charge in the northeastern city of Brisbane.An experienced diver who has since remarried, Watson had said in videotaped police interviews that 26-year-old Christina, a novice diver, started having trouble a few minutes into their dive.He said he decided to go for help rather than attempt a rescue himself. One of the dive leaders pulled the woman to the surface, but efforts to resuscitate her failed.A fellow diver told Glasgow's inquest last year he saw Watson engaged in an underwater "bear hug" with his petite wife, after which he headed to the surface while she sank to the ocean floor.Watson told police his wife knocked his mask off and then sank too quickly for him to retrieve her. But the prosecution rejected his explanation, saying it would not have been possible for her to sink rapidly.
I personally feel that if the family wanted to prosecute the case as a murder charge even if there was doubt about a jury convicting then that is what should have been done. Really what is the difference between being found not guilty and serving one year for a murder. The year for murder to me is more of a slap in the face to the family then a not guilty verdict would have been. I see D.A.s in Austrailia are just as bad as here worrying about that all important conviction rate instead of trying to insure justice is done.SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
06-05-09, 03:51 PM #2
Local story for me. I don't see how he got just one year for manslaughter.
Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat
"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway
The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com
06-07-09, 05:04 PM #3
The DA wanted us to consider a 2yr prison 10 year probation split for the guy that killed my toddler son. We said oh hell no and forced the issue of a trial. The guy got 23 years and wound up having to serve 15 of those. What if we would have settled? I feel their pain. Sounds like the family wasn't given the option.
06-07-09, 10:01 PM #4
Lawyers are equally evil scum all over the world.
06-07-09, 10:21 PM #5
Must have been a lousy honeymoon'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'
“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” Sigmund Freud
06-07-09, 11:14 PM #6in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.
the posts and opinions stated by me do not in any way reflect the values, beliefs, or views of my department. they are simply opinions and/or observations which have been developed through my personal experiences. hell, most of the stories probably arent even true...wink wink
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