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Man Kills Wife During Honeymoon Dive?

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on February 14, 2012 8:07 AM

An Alabama man killed his wife on their honeymoon, according to prosecutors. Gabe Watson's Australia diving trip in 2003 turned fatal for his then-wife of 11 days Tina Thomas Watson.

Watson's wife was 26 when she was killed. Watson is accused of murdering her for the life insurance money.

She died during a scuba dive in the reef in Australia. Watson allegedly turned her air supply off. He is also accused of "bear-hugging" her while she drowned. Watson was an experienced diver. His wife was not.

Prosecutors allege that Watson planned the murder. The defense will argue that the entire incident was a terrible accident.

Watson was originally charged with murder in Australia, where the incident occurred. He pled to manslaughter. He then served 18 months in jail, according to the AP.

Watson was later extradited back to Alabama in 2010 after he served out his jail sentence abroad. He was charged with capital murder in the states. However, under Australian extradition law federal prosecutors had to agree that he would not face the death penalty.

Extradition is the process where one state or country gives an individual to another state or country for the purpose of facing trial or criminal punishment. International extraditions usually require treaties between the two countries. And it may be subject to certain conditions -- such as the caveat that Watson could not face the death penalty.

That is why Gabe Watson's Australian extradition means that though charged with capital murder, he faces life without possibility of parole if convicted according to the AP. The man accused of killing his wife on their honeymoon has been awaiting trial for 10 months because of budget cuts at the court.

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