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Alabama man jailed in scuba honeymoon death

  • Story Highlights
  • David Gabriel Watson pleads guilty to manslaughter in wife's honeymoon death
  • Watson sentenced to 4½ years in prison, but he will only serve one year
  • Tina Watson drowned while diving around a historic shipwreck in Great Barrier Reef
  • Tina Watson's father told police David Watson wanted her to maximize life insurance
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(CNN) -- An Alabama man was sentenced Friday for his wife's death during their honeymoon in Australia nearly six years ago.

David Gabriel Watson pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the October 2003 death of Tina Watson, an Australian court spokesman said.

Watson, who has since remarried, was sentenced to 4½ years in prison. However, the judge suspended the sentence after 12 months, meaning Watson will only serve a year in prison.

Watson was 26 when she drowned while diving around the "Yongala" shipwreck, about 42 miles off the coast of Townsville.

Watson had told police that his wife appeared to panic 45 feet underwater and drowned accidentally. However, authorities found inconsistencies in his account.

As evidence of a motive, investigators cited her father's statement that Watson had asked her to maximize her life insurance and make him the beneficiary shortly before their wedding.

The insurance company confirmed that Watson asked about her policy after her death, investigators said.


Townsville Coroner David Glasgow noted in his inquest findings that David was an experienced diver while his wife was a novice.

The couple married in Birmingham, Alabama, and left for Australia two days later.

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