Friday, October 22, 2010

Jefferson County grand jury to hear the case against Gabe Watson honeymoon Australia drowning

Published: Friday, October 22, 2010, 5: 30 P.m.

Also contribute: Carol Robinson - the Birmingham News

Provide prosecutors with the Office of the Attorney General in Alabama present proof of a grand jury of Jefferson County today the death of a woman who drowned while Helena on his honeymoon in 2003 in Queensland, Australia.

Don Valeska, head of division of the violent crimes prosecutor, said Thursday that his Office is in the Palace of Jefferson County justice in Birmingham, at 8 p.m. today, where witnesses are scheduled to appear before the grand jury.

The session just seven years on the day of the death of Christina "Tina" Thomas Watson and a few weeks before her husband-then, Gabe Watson Hoover, is scheduled to be released from an Australian prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the case in June 2009.

Gabe and Tina Watson had been married for 11 days, when it drowning during a 22 October 2003 expedition dive off the coast of Queensland.

Watson, due to be released in mid-November, was charged with murder of his wife in June 2008, after a lengthy Australian investigation of the coroner.Il was sentenced to a? years and his prison time has been reduced to 12 months, when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, saying that he did not fulfil its obligation as a friend of his wife diving.

After objections from the family of Tina Watson and Alabama Attorney General Troy King that the sentence was too lenient, Australian Attorney General Cameron Dick increased time of six months.

In June 2009, King announced that his Office would present a grand jury in the case if evidence Watson predicted the death of his wife in Alabama and carried out by Australia.

David Patton, a Professor of law at the University of Alabama who teaches criminal law, said although Watson has been found guilty of manslaughter and served prison time in Australia, Alabama, public servants have the right to request charges here.

"" The Supreme Court ruled that double hazard does not apply in the sovereign States, in this case the Australia and Alabama,"said Patton."For example, a person may be considered for the same behavior in our federal courts and State.?

However, Patton said Alabama officials could face other barriers of competence. "But that would depend on what they charge and what conduct they allege he engaged in Alabama," said Patton.

King asked for the case of documents and evidence, including tanks and dive computers, September Australian 2009.Autorit├ęs responded by sending documents publicly available session of the conviction of its Office of the King was already, said representatives of Alabama.

In January, King reminders sent to its counterpart in the Queensland police service, their promise to provide physical evidence gathered in the course of the investigation which is noie.Un months later, Dick, said the Queensland Parliament that he wanted to understand that Alabama would not seek the death penalty for Watson.

King has complied in a letter sent on 25 June, suitable that he would seek no more severe than life sentence without parole if the case went to trial.


Submitted evidence

Valeska confirmed that Australia authorities said the media in this country that they had recently provided additional evidence from the FBI to Alabama and waited for more advice from officials of Alabama on any other evidence that might be required.

Tommy Thomas, father of Tina Watson said he is pleased that a grand jury will hear evidence in the case.

"It is our hope that grand jury will come to the same conclusion, as they did in Australia due to the investigation of coroner and review of the Crown, which has resulted in indictments for murder".

Gabe Watson, father Dave Watson, issued a statement Thursday, saying that King had promised to indict son murder, before even that he saw evidence. ""I think that he made in exchange for the Thomas family support his re-election campaign," said Dave Watson. "He has now made good on that Tina promesse.Mort seven years ago was a terrible accident and nothing more.?

To join the conversation by clicking comment or by email at Thomas-Ogle at mogle@bhamnews.com.

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