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CHRISTINA "TINA" WATSON - DAVID "GABE" WATSON - U.S. TRIAL RESULTS IN JUDGE'S ACQUITTAL

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Feb 13 12 11:22 PM

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2012 - February 13 - The trial of David Gabriel "Gabe" Watson has begun in Alabama.
                                Watson is being tried on a capital charge that he murdered his bride of 11
                                days to profit from her insurance. Watson faces a mandatory life sentence                                  if convicted. The trial is expected to last 3 weeks.


"Tina Watson is buried in Pelham, Alabama. Her remains were exhumed moved in 2007
to a different lot bought by Watson. After being informed by her family that flowers and
gifts were repeatedly being vandalized or disappearing from the grave site, even when
chained down, a police officer investigated. On hidden surveillance videos, he witnessed
Watson removing them with bolt cutters and throwing them in rubbish bins.Tina's grave
was unmarked until 2009 when Watson provided it with a foot marker prompting her father
to request her body be returned for reburial.

In 2011, the Probate Court removed Watson as administrator of Tina's estate, appointing
her father who also wants her school and college pictures and yearbooks returned. Watson
has appealed against the ruling and refused to provide the court with an inventory of Tina's possessions. Pending Watson's trial, the  Circuit Court has ordered him to stay away from
Tina's grave."

DAILY MAIL
 PHOTOS AT LINK

"Husband who 'let wife drown' in Australia scuba dive honeymoon horror shows up for
murder trial with identical new wife in tow."

"He turned up at court in Birmingham, Alabama, with his new wife Kim Lewis, who bears

a strong resemblance to Tina."
 
"As many as 10 prosecution witnesses will be coming from Australia, including
 Queensland Police detectives Kevin Gehringer and Gary Campbell, and pathologist
David Williams."

"The defence also is bringing at least two witnesses from NSW, Dr Carl Edmonds

and diver Michael McFadyen, to testify on other factors that may have led to Tina's
death and to cast doubt on the testimony of Dr Stanley Stutz, a key prosecution
witness."
 
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
"The first day of Gabe Watson's murder trial has ended with defence lawyers and
prosecutors failing to settle on a 12-member jury. The opposing sides spent more
than three hours on Monday firing questions at a pool of 69 potential jurors inside
a courtroom in the Jefferson County courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama.
 
Jury selection will continue on Tuesday."

HERALD SUN

"Defence attorney Brett Bloomston, who a year ago unsuccessfully sought a judge's
ban on pre-trial publicity, told an American CNN television audience earlier this month
Watson was a "sweet guy and a big teddy bear" and blamed "bungling" Australian
investigators for his criminal charges. Prosecutors have attacked Mr Bloomston's
spin-doctoring, saying Watson used his 50-plus dives and rescue diver certification to
get the dive boat's approval to take his former bride Tina on an unsupervised dive.
Watson had obtained four diving certifications prior to Tina's fatal dive. Many dives were
done in the Alabama quarry where he first learnt, but others were open ocean dives in
Florida and Mexico. On one trip Watson dove to nearly 50m and helped assist a dive
buddy who had lost a weight. And during his rescue training, he practised getting a
panicked diver to the surface. Mr Bloomston said Watson was no killer, only a bad
dive buddy. He claims Watson's diving skills were "overblown" and the rescue course
was just "a piece of paper." Mr Bloomston's description of Watson as a teddy bear has
been rejected by prosecutors who said Watson had a fierce temper and a mean streak demonstrated by police video showing him trashing flowers on Tina's grave.

Watson's manslaughter plea in Queensland was downplayed by the lawyer, who said
Watson "didn't plead guilty to taking her life" only to being "a bad dive buddy."
 
MORE AT LINKS


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#1 [url]

Feb 15 12 8:42 PM

DOUBLE JEOPARDY DOCTRINE - 
"A person cannot be tried or punished twice for the same crime - does not apply in

Watson's case, according to established legal precedent, legal experts have said.
Double jeopardy does not apply because two separate sovereigns, a state government
and a foreign government, were seeking to prosecute, said John Lentine, a Birmingham
criminal defense attorney and law school professor."
 
            THE NAME OF THE GAME IS BLAME

The defense in David Gabriel "Gabe" Watson's case is blaming everyone & everything
but their client:  

"The Queensland, Australia police investigating officers who wanted to "pin" a crime
on David Watson; a strong ocean current(bad mother nature!) ; the dive company-Mike 
Ball dive expedition; Mike Singleton; a perfect storm of "bad facts, circumstance;" too
many weights that were too heavy for Christina;  a dangerous wreck;  the inexperience 
of David Watson; and of course, blaming Christina herself."

*Note: The statements made by the attorneys were/are gleaned from various news
sources, they are presented here to show the "gist" of what was presented in court.
They are not in order of presentation, nor are they necessarily verbatim from within
the courtroom.

OPENING STATEMENTS
 
PROSECUTION: Alabama Assistant Attorney-General Andrew Arrington
 
                   "This whole case is about murder and gain."

Watson is a chronic liar motivated by greed who hatched a plot in Alabama to
collect a small fortune in life and travel insurance.

 Evidence will show Watson expected to gain about $210,000 in insurance and
death benefits. Evidence woud show Watson either benefited or intended to
benefit greatly from Tina's death.

He wanted to collect on a $165,000 life insurance policy on Tina, a $45,000
lawsuit against a travel insurer, all of Tina's belongings and an engagement
ring he took from her finger before burial. He had the funeral director take it
off her and he took all of her personal belongings. He was so desperate for
financial gain that he took his new bride's engagement ring from her finger
as his "last act of contact with her."

"This whole case is not about murder, it's about murder and gain," 

Tina, with only 11 previous dives in a flooded quarry in Alabama, not the open
sea, was flagged by the Spoilsport's dive director, Wade Singleton, as being
too inexperienced to dive the Yongala and was offered an orientation dive.
 "Gabe Watson stood up and said, 'You know what, I'm a rescue diver. I can
take care of this." "Tina agreed. Tina trusted her husband."

Watson repeatedly lied after Tina's drowning, including telling Tina's family that
he was with her as she died, when a 40-minute effort failed to resuscitate her
on a nearby boat after her body was recovered from the seabed.

Watson told Australian authorities several stories of what happened.
He said Tina panicked about 30-45 feet underwater and knocked his mask off, 
she then slipped downward toward the wreck.

Another diver will testify he saw a male diver approach a female diver floating face
up under the water and appearing lifeless. The male diver embraced her for about
30 seconds -- face to face -- and they separated. "Tina sinks to the bottom and the
diver goes to the top."

"That is going to be significant because at no time Gabe Watson tells the police
or anyone he was ever in this area."

Watson had been trained to rescue a fellow diver but did not try to do so and
left his dive partner. Watson was not at his wife's side as others tried to
resuscitate her.

Watson had also lied, when he explained his slow ascent to the surface after
leaving his wife to sink by claiming he had first approached two Asian divers
from another dive boat. No Asian divers were on the same dive line. "Why is
he lying?" He took nearly three minutes to rise from 15 metres, a pedestrian
pace.

Prosecutors also claim Watson lied during he interview about not getting training
during his rescue certification on how to bring a struggling diver to the surface.
Watson can clearly be heard saying his course taught him "nothing about how to
get somebody."


 

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#2 [url]

Feb 15 12 8:51 PM

David Gabe Watson's attorneys have said that their client "pleaded guilty in Australia
only "for failing to rescue his wife (because) he merely did not do enough to save her."
 

What do you think of that statement? I think it's utter bullshit. It's a way to say,
my client isn't guilty and didn't deserve to spend time in jail - the Australian court
was a kangaroo court. A way to portray his client as an "innocent person" who
only pled guilty because he saw no other way out of the situation.

His attorney is obviously worth every penny his family is paying. But that doesn't
mean I have to like his approach in saving his client's ass.

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#3 [url]

Feb 15 12 8:57 PM

 OPENING STATEMENTS
 
 DEFENSE:  Brett Bloomston
 
 "Tina's death as a "tragic accident" and "a perfect storm" of horrible
circumstances."
 
"You will hear a story of two inexperienced divers and a perfect storm
and culmination of bad facts and bad circumstances that led to Tina's
tragic death."

 "Gabe never stood to gain anything from Tina's death; he lost. You will not
hear any evidence that Gabe Watson did anything intentional to cause Tina's
death."
 
David and Tina married in a fairytale wedding in their home state of Alabama and
then embarked on a honeymoon in Australia, first stopping in Sydney where Tina
fulfilled her dream of holding a koala at Taronga Zoo and, as a big fan of the animated
film Finding Nemo, saw a clown fish at a Sydney aquarium. David secretly purchased
tickets to a Shakespeare play at the Sydney Opera House, a place Tina had always
wanted to visit. "Tina cried, she was so happy."

Tina was an inexperienced certified diver doing an extremely dangerous "red flag" dive
in open waters after only 11 dives in an Alabama water-filled quarry with no current.
Mr Watson, too, he said, was inexperienced after his 55 dives. Of these, 40 had been
in the freshwater quarry and only 15 in salt water.

The Queensland company that ran the dive trip should never have permitted Tina to
enter the water by without first having an orientation dive, considering her lack of
experience. She was also "grossly" over-weighted, a "terrible mistake" made by
Tina herself. It was Tina, not Gabe, who refused the orientation dive. "What was
worse was Mike Ball Dive Expeditions and Wade Singleton allowed her, without
insisting, in contrary to their own policy, that novice divers must have an orientation
dive.

Gabe was in shock after the accident. Gabe never stood to gain anything - he lost.
Gabe had not lied, as police claimed, about a dive computer malfunction.
Officers had been intent on pinning a crime on Watson.  "Bumbling" Queensland
police did not analyse the transmitter part of his dive computer. 

Tina's father was the beneficiary on her workplace insurance policy. David Watson filed
for some expenses from a travel policy, but it was denied on a technicality, My client
did sue an insurance company when it denied him an accidental death benefit.

"The state has had to prove that he killed her and they can't do it. This is a tragic case,
made more so by the blame he's had to live with for the last number of years."

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#4 [url]

Feb 18 12 8:24 PM

TESTIMONY:
 
Michael Moore (Diving buddy & friend of David "Gabe" Watson) testified:
"He and Watson practised rescuing distressed and unconscious divers as part of
their rescue certification course. "He and Watson did open water dives in Florida
and Mexico together, where they made drift dives in brisk current, dove to a depth
of 50 metres and stuggled with visibility of less than a metres.

Watson had obtained four diving certifications - open water, advanced, rescue
and specialty spearfishing - about four years before Tina's fatal dive.

"He and Watson did an accelerated course over a full Saturday with dive instructor
Tom Jackson in an Alabama quarry learning how to search for missing divers and
how to rescue them."

"Tom played the part of a distressed diver, moving his hands panicking and we
assisted him. We had to go and get a diver sitting on the bottom and inflate
their BC (bouyancy vest) to get them. Gabe and I did it to each other."

Mr Moore testified regarding "an open water emergency at a depth of 28 metres
when Watson cooly grabbed Mr Moore when he lost half of his weights, preventing
possible injury."


DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION:
Michael Moore testified: "All of their open water dives were under Mr Jackson's
supervision."


Dr. Stanley Stutz (Emergency room Physician)
" I was in the water with about three dozen other divers when I looked down
and saw Tina Watson floating on her back with her arms extended, moving
slowly in the water.

I noticed her because "she was in distress, lying flat, facing up. She was just
floating. I was shocked. She look like she was in a lot of trouble." "I was close
enough to see her face. Her arms and legs were moving and she wasn't thrashing,
but "she moved like she didn't have any energy.. like she didn't have enough
strength to swim."

I watched as a male diver in a black wetsuit went to Tina Watson and put his
arms under her arm pits. "I thought he was trying to save her. Then he let go
and she sank."

 The woman was clearly alive before the encounter, but she was dying afterward. 
As Tina Watson drifted to the sea floor, I saw vomit come from her mouth and I
believed she was still alive as she sank.

I didn't think anything sinister had happened at first."

DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION:
Dr. Stutz "I thought Gabe was trying to save her. I was surprised when I got an email
that  it was a murder trial."

 "I couldn't see exactly where Watson's hands were when he went to his wife."
"The current at the dive site was strong that day, strong enough that it pulled me
 off the anchor rope.
 
 Brett Bloomstom: "Is it unusual for family members to not watch resuscitation
 efforts because it is traumatic?"

Dr. Stutz "It's not unusual."


PROSECUTION:
Dr. Stutz
"The defendant did not ascend rapidly or try to get other divers to help."
 
She didn't have the strength to swim.
I saw another diver retrieve her from the sea floor, 100 feet down.
I wanted to go to the surface but my dive master told me not to leave my
dive buddy.  I was dying to help. After completing my 38-minute dive, I
assisted in performing CPR on Tina Watson, but never got a heart beat.
Gabe Watson did not come to his wife's side as we tried to save her life."
 
Dr. Doug Milsap (Dentist) (Diver on the ill fated dive trip - made 800 dives
around the world)
 
"Novice divers are trained how to get themselves and their dive buddy to safety.
They learn a cardinal rule - you don't leave your buddy unless they're dead, or
they're trapped and you can't get them loose without assistance. But if you
can retrieve your buddy, there's no excuse for leaving."

 Watson told me two versions of Tina's sinking within the span of a minute. 
The first version was that everything was fine until Tina suddenly knocked off his
mask and regulator. He grabbed her when she started sinking but lost his grip
because she was too heavy. The second version was that he had a hold
of her and  was trying to lift her but she was too heavy.

Both versions were nonsense because underweater,  divers are essentially
weightless and she would have weighed the equivalent to only 10-20 pounds.

"I got angry - like I feel now - and said, that's bullshit.  I tend not to have much
tact, I tell it like it is.  Trying to fight a current to return to a dive line is folly.
"The ocean is relentless," he said. "It will win every time. The best thing to do
is inflate your (dive vest) and go to the surface."

Milsap said Tina could not have been too heavy to hold, as Watson claimed,
 because pressure underwater makes objects much lighter than they are at
the surface. Watson easily could have removed from his wife's dive vest the
weights divers carry to help keep them from floating to the surface.

A distressed diver's natural tendency is to go to the surface, he said. If Tina
was sinking to the sea floor, she was not alive like Gabe claimed.
"Dead or unconscious divers" sink."

 PROSECUTION:
Alabama Assistant Attorney Don Valeska "How many fin kicks would be
required to get a diver down 2 -3 metres, the distance Watson said he
was from a sinking Tina?

Dr Milsap "One of two kicks for a strong diver. For a weak diver, two to three.
From my experience panicking divers always go to the surface for air.

Attorney Don Valeska "Who sinks Dr Milsap?"

Dr. Milsap "Dead or unconscious divers."

Watson could have pressed a simple button on Tina's buoyancy vest and she
would have immediately surfaced."

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#5 [url]

Feb 18 12 8:59 PM

TESTIMONY:

WITNESS:
 Kenneth Snyder (Master Diver - Former Marine - 800 dives
 helped qualify him as an expert witness)
 
Kenneth Snyder testified "he and his wife talked with a bubbly Tina Watson and
her husband on their dive boat, the Spoilsport, before divers went in the water."
 
During a pre-dive briefing, divers were told they could just drift from the descent
line to an ascent line down-current.

Later, I saw Watson board the Spoilsport alone and went to talk to him.
"I asked Gabe where was Tina at. He said, 'She didn't come up. I soon saw
Tina Watson's body being taken out of the water and placed on the deck of
another boat, Jazz II, that was about 100 feet away.  I could see the efforts
to revive Tina from the Spoilsport. The Jazz II was 100 feet away, an easy
wim, and boats were going back and forth, but Watson stayed on the Spoilsport.
 
I asked Watson what had happened underwater and immediately disbelieved his
claim that his wife had panicked and knocked off his gear.
I tolde Watson: "That's bullshit.  That didn't happen."

Dr. Doug Milsap (Snyder's friend) was also on the dive trip. 
I was so put off by the story, I called Doug (Milsap) over to hear it.
"It wasn't a plausible story. It didn't make sense."
I was getting angry, and backed off while Watson told his story to Doug.
 When Doug started to get irritated, I grabbed him (Milsap) and pulled him away.
"I said 'Back off.' This is not the time."

"It wasn't "plausible" that Watson's face mask was knocked off and that if his
wife was panicking she would not have looked serene in the water.

Watson's claim that his wife was given too much weight to wear and that it
helped drag her down isn't plausible.  She would have known she was wearing
too much weight before she got in the water.

"A rescuer only must press a single button on a distressed diver's gear to fill a
bladder with air and send the other person to the surface."

Prosecutor Don Valeska "It will save their life?" 

Kenneth Snyder "Absolutely."

DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION:
 Kenneth Snyder "I didn't see either of the Watsons in the water. I don't
 know exactly what had happened.
 
WITNESS:
Paula Snyder (Kenneth Snyder's wife - also present on ill fated dive)
"Another doctor on the trip, John Downing, told Watson his wife was dead.
"I don't have good news. She's gone."

Watson was in a "trance" and kept going over what happened.

"He told me he had to decide underwater whether to try to save his wife or swim
for help. He recalled how, as he left, Tina looked up at him and blinked.
"He said he hoped she knew he was not leaving her, he was going for help,"

I felt sorry for Watson at the time. (Judge would not allow witness to say how
she feels about him now.)
 
I stayed with him to comfort him, even during his four-hour interview with Queensland
police that night.

 In a diary I  kept, I described the incident as a "horrible nightmare" for Watson.

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#6 [url]

Feb 18 12 9:05 PM

WITNESS:
 
Dr. Farrell Mendelsohn (Treated Christina "Tina" (Thomas) Watson for an
irregular heartbeat - 2001) Testified via video deposition.

"Christina Thomas had a condition that was diagnosed and fixed (two years before
she married and subsequently drowned.)

Christina complained of odd sensations that were linked to an irregular heartbeat.
'She said at times at night she could feel her heart beating. She underwent a
cardiac procedure. In September 2011, she returned to see him. He considered
her "cured."


 DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION:
Dr. Mendelsohn
"I don't think Christina's heart would have made her more subject
to stress. I'm not sure if diving presented unusual challenges for people with heart
problems."

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#7 [url]

Feb 18 12 10:05 PM

EVIDENCE: Police Interview tape with David Gabriel "Gabe" Watson
                 October 27, 2003
 
WITNESS:
 
Kevin Gehringer (Queensland Australia Police Investigator)
 
"Christina Watson's death was originally investigated as an accident, and did
not officially become a criminal probe until July 2004.

The dive master brought Tina Thomas Watson up from the ocean floor by
inflating his dive vest while holding her.

Watson first raised suspicions after his initial police interview hours after
the death.

Watson twice asked if he could retrieve his dive computer, and became agitated
when told police needed it for data on air pressure, oxygen consumption and other
readings.

After Christina Watson's autopsy (autopsy -Oct 24. 2003) David Watson asked
if officials could tell whether an embolism, a sudden blockage of a blood vessel
by air bubbles, found in his wife's body could have been caused before or after she died.

Five days after Christina's death Watson asked for a follow-up interview because
he was disturbed by a newspaper article in which the boat operator made the dive
sound simple and safe.

Kevin Gehringer "That's when he read a book about the shipwreck that said diving
conditions were difficult.

(evidence tape)
David Watson "I didn't feel it until we were in it (referring to the current)
"We probably would not have gone if we realized it was that strong."
I  decided we should swim against the current to the dive line they used
to descend, instead of floating with the current to another dive line on the
other end of the shipwreck. Visibility was too poor to see the other rope.
If I could have seen it, we probably would have gone quickly to the other side.
I was concerned we'd swim the wrong way and not know where we were."

 

"Compared to what we were used to at home it was a severe current. They didn't

 prepare us for the current. ... It may not jibe with what you will find, but in my

mind the current is what triggered it."

 

Kevin Gehringer "Later he asked if any other divers had said the current was strong."

 
Investigators asked Christina's father, Tommy Thomas, about inconsistencies in
Gabe Watson's statements to police, and whether she had insurance.

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

Feb 21 12 6:50 PM

WITNESS:
 
Amanda Phillips (Friend of Christina "Tina" (Thomas) Watson)

Testimony:
"She was Tina's maid of honor at Tina's wedding. She had initially been convinced that
Tina's death was a tragic accident. She had initially believed Gabe's version nof events.
""He [Gabe Watson] says he made a split decision to leave her. He thought it was
better to get help."
 
During the funeral, he (Gabe Watson) stood at Tina's casket with Phillips. "I said that
Tina looked pretty" to which Watson replied, "At least her breasts look perky,"
 
At his home after the funeral service, he showed pictures of Tina next to a sign which
read "Caution: Drowning." She may have seen other photographs of the holiday but
that these were what she remembered

Two weeks after Tina's death, Gabe Watson spoke to her (Phillips) about Tina's
life insurance policy.  He said they (Gabe & Tina) had discussed life insurance
before their wedding, and he planned to speak to Tina's employer about her life
insurance. Gabe Watson said he and Tina laughed when they realized that, for
a slightly higher premium, she could have gotten a $1 million policy,

He (Gabe Watson) said"And it's a good thing we didn't do, that otherwise I'd be in
an Australian jail right now on involuntary manslaughter charges."

March 2003 - Gabe and Tina had been broken up.  Tina Thomas spent time with
her (Phillips) cousin to pursue a relationship.  Phillips was surprised to learn the
next month that Gabe and Tina were engaged.

 "I was surprised when Tina said she had taken up scuba diving. Tina was a poor
swimmer and wasn't the type to spend much time in the water because her hair
took too long to dry.


Quote    Reply   

#9 [url]

Feb 21 12 7:05 PM

WITNESS:

Adam White (Oceanic Executive - Company that made the dive computers used by
Tina Watson and Gabe Watson.)

Testimony:
The dive computer data he anaylized indicated
Gabe Watson reached a maximum depth of 54 feet during the dive and stayed at
40-50 feet for about three minutes. Watson ascended without pausing during his
steady, rapid ascent. Watson was breathing at a maximum rate, "as if he was
exerting himself."

Tina (Thomas) Watson reached a maximum depth of 89 feet, where she remained
for 10 minutes. She ascended (unconscious - brought to the surface by another diver)
at a rapid rate. Tina Thomas Watson's computer stored less information than Gabe
Watson's dive computer.


DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION

 Adam White
"Gabe Watson's trip to the surface could have taken a little over one minute. 
Watson's computer showed he surfaced much faster than what is considered
a safe rate of ascent to avoid physical problems. He (White) was unable to
analyze second-by-second data from Gabe Watson's dive computer, but rather
the less complete periodic "snapshots" that the computer stores.


WITNESS:
 
Michael Hollis (Company manufactures dive computer components & designs
                        or builds other diving equipment.)

Testimony:

 Tina Watson's dive vest should have been strong enough to lift her to the surface
with up to 32 pounds of additional weight.

DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION:
 
Michael Hollis
"The size dive vest Tina Watson used may have only been strong enough to lift her
with an additonal 19 pounds of weight. She was carrying 20 pounds of added weight
during the fatal dive. Inflating the vest also requires the diver to press a button and
hold it for the time the vest needs to fully inflate.

Quote    Reply   

#10 [url]

Feb 21 12 7:10 PM

WITNESS:  *Note: The judge refused to allow the prosecution to use Tina's sister's
                    testimony to describe the relationship between the couple.
 
Alanda Thomas (Christina "Tina" (Thomas) Watson's sister)

Testimony:

Gabe Watson told her (following her sister's death) that he wanted to claim the personal belongings of Tina Thomas Watson before the viewing of her body at a funeral home.

"He told me that I needed to realise that he had his time in Australia to grieve and
he was over the grieving process."

Watson said he knew the Thomas family needed more time to grieve.
She has never again spoken to Watson after that conversation.

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#11 [url]

Feb 21 12 7:31 PM

WITNESS:
 
Caesar Lamonica (Former Manager at store Parisian where Tina Watson was
                             employed)
 
 Testimony:
 
About a month after Tina's death, Gabe Watson approached him about Tina's life
insurance policy.  Watson was angry Tina's work belongings had been removed
from her cubicle. He (Caesar) referred Watson to human resources.

 WITNESS:
Human Resources from Parisian
Tina Watson could not increase her life insurance before her marriage;
enrollment for the next year's benefits hadn't begun. She was eligible
for life insurance totalling $44,000; her father Tommy Thomas was her
beneficiary.
 
 
 WITNESS:

Attorney for Insurance Company (Travel Insurance)
 
Testimony:

Gabe Watson bought travel insurance when booking the honeymoon trip
to Australia.

Gabe Watson filed an insurance claim due to his tip being cut short by his
wife's death.

The insurance company denied his claim.

Gabe Watson then filed a $45,000 lawsuit in Birmingham against the company citing
an exemption because the death involved scuba diving.

The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.

DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION
Attorney for Insurance Company

Gabe Watson's original insurance claim was for reimbursement of $10,000 in expenses.
after the trip was cut short by his wife's death.

Quote    Reply   

#12 [url]

Feb 21 12 7:59 PM

WITNESS:
 
Wade Singleton (Dive Leader on ill fated trip - now a Queensland Ambulance
                           Service Paramedic)
 
Testimony:
 
Tina Watson did get a private briefing or an orientation dive despite policies that
require both. The company was later fined for violating workplace safety rules.
 
"I allowed Tina, a "green" diver to dive alone with Watson because Watson had
55 dives and rescue diver certification."
 
Gabe and Tina Thomas Watson cut short their initial dive that morning. They
returned to the dive boat. Gabe Watson explained "he was having problems
with his dive computer, and his wife needed more weight to counteract her
buoyancy."
 
The Yongala was a drift dive and divers are briefed not to swim against the current.
Divers were all supposed to be drifting on the sheltered deck side of the wreck.
"I have no explanation for why Tina's body was found so far away.
 
"I was underwater at the same time as the Watsons."
 
"I noticed someone on the sea floor not blowing any bubbles, and no dive buddy
in sight. I went straight to their rescue. She wasn't breathing, but her equipment
was workign. I dropped my weight belt, grabbed her and then partially inflated
Tina's dive vest in two seconds to get enough buoyancy to get them to the surface.
We covered the distance in 90 seconds.

Watson was nowhere in sight.
 
On the surface, CPR resuscitation efforts began even before she was out of the water,

"There was a small trace of white foam and vomit on Tina, but not water in her mouth.
I checked Tina's equipment and it was all working. She had two-thirds of a tank of air
remaining."

 

After Tina died, he had a conversation with Gabe Watson.
"Watson told me he'd tried to pull Tina to the surface but she flailed and dislodged his
mask. When he repositioned his gear. he said that Tina was too far away for him to
get her."
 
 
DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION
Wade Singleton
 Wade Singleton
"While company rules based on government regulations required workers to make
in-depth, individual assessments of divers' skills, employees on the Spoilsport didn't
perform all the checks on Tina Watson or other divers."
 
Acknowledged he violated the dive boat's policies by not getting Tina to sign a form
refusing an orientation dive and for not interviewing her separately about her diving
skills.
 
He (Singleton) asked Tina twice about joining the orientation dive group he was
leading and she declined.

"A lot of advice is given to scuba divers which they refuse."
 
Attorney Bloomston "Were you not aware that she had never been in the ocean in
                                 an open water dive?" 
Wade Singleton "No, I was not,"
 
 
Gabe Watson was considered an experienced diver because he had 55 previous dives,
including more than a dozen in the ocean, and both he and his wife declined an
orientation dive on the Great Barrier Reef site with an expert.
 
 
 
PROSECUTION:
Prosecutor Tina Hammonds
"You can't make them take the dive if they don't want to take the dive?" 
 
Wade Singleton
"No, I can't."

 Prosecutor Tina Hammonds "Was it custom to verify the qualifications of divers?"

Wade Singleton "If I have no reasons to doubt what they are saying, no."
Watson had claimed he had done 12 dives in the year before the fatal dive, and 55
overall, which made him a "red" or top level of experience diver from the boat's
viewpoint."

Prosecutor Tina Hammonds "If her dive buddy was not a red dive buddy, would Tina
                                              have been allowed to go out with Gabe?"   
Wade Singleton "No."

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#13 [url]

Feb 21 12 8:35 PM


WITNESS:

 David John Williams (Townsville Forensic Pathologist)
 
EVIDENCE: Autopsy Photographs
 
Testimony:
"An examination determined Christina Watson drowned,

Dr Williams exhibited autopsy photos. He stated that gas bubbles throughout
Christina's body were caused by her rescue from the sea floor. They did not
contribute to her death.

My opinion is that it was a classic drowning, with foam in her trachea and "slightly
heavy" lungs that showed no signs of inhalation of saliva or vomit.

"I was aware Tina had an irregular heart beat repaired by a minor medical
procedure in 2001 but that wasn't an issue. I looked at her heart and found
no abnormalities. She did not die of any natural cause."

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#14 [url]

Feb 21 12 8:50 PM

WITNESS:

Uzi Barnai  (Master Diver & former Israeli soldier) (conducted mouth to mouth
                   resuscitation on Christina Watson)
 
Testimony:

 He spent 40 minutes trying to revive Christina Watson. Christina still had
on her mask and regulator when he began resuscitation efforts. She had no
water, which was unusual. If someone is underwater and drowns, normally
they have water from when they inhale."

"I wanted to see Watson's reaction. He was hanging out getting "hugs" on
another dive boat.  Watson was making strange sounds with his head down,
but no tears flowed. "It didn't look like he was crying."


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#15 [url]

Feb 21 12 9:32 PM

Circuit Judge Tommy Nail's rulings in the case:
 
A video of David Gabe Watson trashing flowers Tina's family left on Tina's grave
(which he left unmarked for six years) was too prejudicial and will not be allowed.

A video of Australian police (in 2006) in order to test David Gabe Watson's
version of events and location of where he was, attempted to recreate the
conditions of the dive in which Christina "Tina" Watson died - will not be allowed.

"A Queensland police scuba diver who took part in the recreation said that
every time he dropped a dummy from the spot where Watson said his wife
slipped from his hold, it landed on or near the sunken ship at the dive site.
Tina's body was found about 50 feet away from the boat."

"A Federal Appeals Court last year reversed a conviction with similar re-enactment
evidence.


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#16 [url]

Feb 23 12 3:09 PM

Judge's ruling: Tommy Thomas's testimony regarding statements Gabe Watson
                        allegedly made about wanting to increase life insurance for Tina
                        Watson isn't admissible.
 
 
WITNESS:
 
Tommy Thomas (Christina "Tina" (Thomas) Watson's father)

Testimony:
Gabe Watson's father was the one to call and tell their family about Tina's death -
more than 15 hours after she died.

The family did not hear directly from Gabe Watson until they attempted to contact
him throught the U.S. Consulate.

 Phone call with Gabe Watson (in Australia) - Gabe claimed Tina gave him
a "thumbs up" underwater, indicating she wanted to go back to the surface.
Gabe said he was leading her back to a rope when she panicked, knocked
off his mask and air hose and began sinking.

Later in an attorney's office Gabe said Tina indicated she wanted to go back
to the rope leading to the top rather than go directly to ths surface.

"I asked Gabe at the time "when Tin gave him the thumbs up sign to go to the
surface, why didn't he just take her to the surface?"

Prosecutor Don Valeska "Did you question Gabe Watson any further?"

Tommy Thomas
"I didn't need to."

Shortly after Tina's death, my wife Cindy was worried about Gabe's condition.

We began having doubts about what happened.

Gabe Watson began asking repeatedly for Tina's personal belongings still with
her family. They later delivered everything to him.

"I traveled twice to Australia to investigate Tina's death."



DEFENSE CROSS EXAMINATION:

Attorney Brett Bloomston


EVIDENCE: Legal document(s) estimated value of Tina's estate

$3,000 with $24,000 liabilities - Both families are fighting over

Tina's estate.

 

Attorney Bloomston asked Tommy Thomas about "a court ruling
in Australia that said Gabe Watson did nothing intentional to cause

Tina Watson's death and was "wrongfully accused of murder in the

public eye."

Prosecution: OBJECTION blocked the question.

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#17 [url]

Feb 23 12 3:11 PM

JUDGE ACQUITS DAVID GABE WATSON

2012 - February 23 -DAILY MAIL

Circuit Judge Tommy Nail ruled Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama
that prosecutors failed to present enough evidence of a crime to
send the case to jurors. He ended the two-week long trial by
acuitting 34-year-old Gabe Watson on his own.

Mr. Nail agreed with defence arguments that prosecutors failed to
show Mr. Watson intentionally killed the woman.

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#18 [url]

Feb 23 12 3:13 PM

Opinion: Isn't this the same judge who allowed the prosecution to go forward with
this case? The same judge who said that a jury should decide? So much for
allowing the judicial process to go forward to completion by a jury.

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#19 [url]

Mar 9 12 12:05 PM

This guy got away with 1 year of prison for murdering his wife - there is no doubt about it. So how on earth did he manage to talk another woman into marrying him? Hasn't she heard what happened to the last one???

She'd better not sign any life insurance policies.... and she'd be wise to stay far away from water....

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#20 [url]

Mar 17 12 5:37 PM

 As his defense attorney spun it, Watson will always say he pled guilty out of guilt that he "didn't o more to save her " - not that he was "guilty." The stigma of that sentence will remain throughout his life, making him the OJ of Alabama.

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