Published February 23, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A judge is blocking testimony by the father of an Alabama woman who drowned during her Australian honeymoon in 2003.
Prosecutors wanted Tommy Thomas to take the stand Thursday as a witness against 34-year-old Gabe Watson. Prosecutors hoped Thomas would tell jurors about statements that Watson allegedly made about wanting to increase life insurance for wife Tina Thomas Watson.
But Judge Tommy Nail ruled the evidence isn't admissible because it's irrelevant hearsay. The judge then chastised prosecutors for arguing with him about the decision.
The testimony was important to the state because prosecutors claim Watson killed his wife hoping to collect on life insurance. The defense says her death was an accident.
With Thomas' testimony blocked, prosecutors moved on to another witness, a diving instructor.