CRIME

Gabe Watson Trial Timeline: From Tina Thomas Watson's Death To Alabama Courthouse

17/02/2012 9:36 AM AEDT | Updated 05/05/2012 6:43 AM AEST

Gabe Watson, 34, stands accused of murdering his first wife, Tina Thomas Watson, on their October 2003 honeymoon in Australia. Watson served 18 months in an Australian prison after pleading guilty to a manslaughter charge, but is now on trial in Birmingham, Alabama and faces life in prison. His defense contends that her death was accidental while prosecutors say he drowned her to cash in her life insurance policy.

Oct. 11, 2003

Gabe Watson and Tina Thomas, both 26, marry in Birmingham, Alabama, The Birmingham News reports.

Oct. 15, 2003

The newlyweds arrive in Australia for their honeymoon.

Oct. 22, 2003

The couple go scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef's historic Yongala dive site. Tina dies in what Watson says was an accident after she panicked underwater.

Watson becomes angry when he's told that his dive computer -- a wristwatch-sized device that records air-pressure, oxygen use and other data -- has been taken by police as evidence.

Oct. 27, 2003

Australian police interview Watson about the incident. Watson says the severe current caused his wife to panic.

Nov. 13, 2007

A coroner's inquest into the incident begins in Australia, The Birmingham News reports.

Aug. 15, 2008

Watson marries his current wife, Kim Lewis.

Nov. 28, 2008

Watson is indicted on a murder charge in Australia.

June 5, 2009

Watson pleads guilty to a negligent manslaughter charge in Australia, essentially admitting that while he did not save his wife's life, he did not intend to kill her. Watson is sentenced to 12 months in an Australian prison.

Sept. 18, 2009

An Australian appeals court extends Watson's jail time to 18 months.

Oct. 22, 2010

Exactly seven years after Tina Thomas Watson's death, Alabama state prosecutors get a capital indictment against Watson in Jefferson County.

Nov. 11, 2010

Watson is released from an Australian prison and is soon after flown to the United States. Upon landing in Los Angeles, police take him to a station for booking.

April 7, 2011

Circuit Judge Tommy Nail indefinitely postpones Watson's trial after state cutbacks leave Alabama courts short on security.

Feb. 13, 2012

Watson's trial in Birmingham begins. He is accused of first-degree murder and faces life in prison without parole.

Feb. 23, 2012

Judge Tommy Nail acquits Gabe Watson, agreeing with the defense that the prosecutors failed to present enough evidence that a crime took place. Prosecutors alleged that Watson drowned his wife for money, but the only witness to her death testified that he thought Watson was rescuing Tina.

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