Watson acquitted of honeymoon death

A US judge has acquitted Gabe Watson, the man accused of drowning his newlywed wife during a honeymoon diving trip to Australia.

Circuit Judge Tommy Nail ruled 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 acquitting the 34-year-old on his own.

Watson had faced a sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted of murdering his wife, Tina Thomas Watson, in 2003. He already served 18 months in an Australian prison after pleading guilty there to a manslaughter charge involving negligence.

Nail agreed with defence arguments that prosecutors failed to show Watson intentionally killed the woman. Prosecutors claimed he drowned her for insurance money, but the only eyewitness testified he thought Watson was trying to save the woman.

Gabe Watson's father, David, hugged his son in the courtroom after the judge made his ruling. He said every court that had looked at the case determined Gabe did not intentionally kill his wife. "I'm just so relieved. Hopefully he can put his life back together," David Watson said.

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