Saturday, November 20, 2010

Troy King set to appear on NBC's 'Today Show' to discuss honeymoon drowning death in Australia

Published: Thursday, November 18, 2010, 5:11 PM ??? Updated: Thursday, November 18, 2010, 5:41 PM

Alabama Attorney General Troy King is scheduled to appear on NBC's Today Show on Friday morning to discuss the 2003 Australian honeymoon drowning death of Christina "Tina" Thomas Watson of Helena, according to officials with the attorney general's office.

The show is set to begin at 7 a.m.

Tina Watson was on her honeymoon with husband Gabe Watson of Hoover when she drowned during a scuba diving expedition.

Australian officials announced Thursday that Gabe Watson, who served 18 months in an Australian prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in his wife's death, would be returned to the United States where he could face additional charges related to the case.

The Alabama attorney general's office, which complained that Gabe Watson's sentence in Australia was too light, convened a Jefferson County grand jury last month to hear evidence concerning the case. King previously had said that if prosecutors found evidence that Watson plotted his wife's death while in Alabama, he could be prosecuted here. The Jefferson County grand jury made a decision last month, but officials did not say what it was.

Watson was released from prison last week but transferred to an Australian immigration detention center until immigration officials received assurance from U.S. government officials that he would not face the death penalty if convicted of a crime in Alabama related to his wife's death. Chris Bowen, the Australian federal minister for immigration and citizenship, released a statement Thursday, saying his government has received that assurance from the U.S. government and would commence plans to return Watson.

Watson, in his Australian plea agreement, admitted he failed in his obligation as a dive buddy to his wife, but his attorneys have maintained her death was a tragic accident.

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