An Alabama man who is accused of killing his wife while scuba diving on their honeymoon on the Great Barrier Reef has returned to Australia to face trial.
David Gabriel Watson, 32, from Alabama, was arrested Wednesday at Brisbane International Airport after voluntarily returning to Australia from the U.S. to face the charge of murdering his wife Christina — known as Tina — while the couple were diving at a reef off Townsville, north Queensland, in October 2003.
Watson is accused of killing his wife at Yongala Wreck, 11 days into their honeymoon.
Watson has denied any part in Tina’s death, but inconsistencies with his story about what happened the day she died, and a long campaign by her parents in America, led to an inquest in Queensland last year.
Last June, David Glasgow, the Townsville coroner, found that it was likely that Watson killed his 26-year-old wife by holding her underwater, bear-hugging her until she suffocated, and turning off her air supply.
An extraordinary photograph was released by police showing Tina, arms outstretched, lying motionless at the bottom of the ocean, as another diver, unaware of what is happening behind him, poses for the camera.
Watson, a bubble wrap salesman, has since remarried in the U.S., and his lawyers had indicated that they would fight his extradition to Australia.
Tony Moynihan, Queensland's Director of Public Prosecutions, said today that he was pleased Watson had decided to return to Australia to face trial.
“This has avoided the need for a complex and lengthy extradition process,” Moynihan said.