Watson capital murder trial dismissed

Published 3:09 pm Thursday, February 23, 2012

By NICOLE LOGGINS / Staff Writer

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Tommy Nail dismissed the Gabe Watson capital murder case on Feb. 23.


Nail’s office confirmed the ruling and said the decision was made because of the prosecution’s lack of sufficient evidence.

“The state rests and the defense filed a motion of judgment of acquittal due to lack of evidence,” said Ken Glass, judicial assistant for Judge Nail. “Judge Nail agreed the state could not prove their case.”

According to previous reports, Watson’s wife, Helena resident Christina “Tina” Thomas, died in a scuba diving excursion Oct. 22, 2003. After Thomas’ death, Watson admitted he failed to perform his duty as a dive partner for his wife and served 13 months in an Australian jail for manslaughter.

Before the case’s dismissal, the prosecution had been seeking Watson’s conviction on the charge that he planned his wife’s death in Alabama prior to their Australian honeymoon.

“We are disappointed by the judge’s ruling for acquittal in this case, but we respect the Court’s decision,” said Assistant Attorney General Don Valeska.