Published on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trial begins over Great Barrier Reef death

A husband suspected of killing his wife during an Australian honeymoon scuba diving trip to get insurance money has begun his trial in the US.

Gabe Watson, 34, of Alabama, allegedly drowned Tina, 26, in 2003 by turning off her oxygen supply, although he claims her death was a tragic accident resulting from panic, fatigue and heavy currents, reports the Daily Mail.

He turned up at court in Birmingham, Alabama, with his new wife Kim Lewis, who bears a strong resemblance to Tina.

The trial over the Great Barrier Reef death is expected to last three weeks.

Watson initially was charged with murder in Australia, after Tina’s body was found near Townsville, Queensland, but he pleaded guilty to a lesser manslaughter charge and served 18 months in prison.

A grand jury in Alabama also indicted him for capital murder as he allegedly planned his new bride's death while still in the state.

Gabe Watson said his wife looked concerned seven minutes into their dive and knocked his mask off in panic. By the time he retrieved the mask, he said Tina was sinking too fast for him to catch her.

Tina was an inexperienced diver and he had earned rescue certification.

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