Gabe Watson acquitted of drowning his wife in Queensland

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An US judge has acquitted Gabe Watson of drowning his wife during their honeymoon diving trip in Queensland.
The two-week-long trial ended, acquitting 34-year-old Watson.

Watson could have received life imprisonment without parole if he was convicted of murdering his newlywed wife, Tina Thomas Watson, in 2003.

Judge Tommy Nail ruled in Alabama that prosecutors did not present enough evidence to send the case to jurors.

Mr. Nail said that prosecutors failed to show Watson intentionally killed his wife.

Watson had already served 18 months in an Australian prison after pleading guilty there to a manslaughter charge involving negligence.

Prosecutors claimed he drowned his wife for insurance money. However, the only eyewitness testified that he thought Watson was trying to save her.

Tina Watson’s father, Tommy Thomas, said that in a phone call from Australia, Watson claimed his wife gave him a thumbs-up underwater, telling she wanted to go back to the surface.

According to Mr Thomas, Watson said he was leading her back to a rope when she panicked, knocked off his mask and air hose, and began sinking.

But in a later talk, Mr Thomas said, Watson changing his story said his wife indicated she wanted to go back to the rope leading to the top rather than go directly to the surface.

However, Mr Thomas asked Watson: “When Tina gave him the thumbs-up sign to go to the surface, why didn’t he just take her to the surface?”