Wat­son lawyers want mur­der charges dropped

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

ALABAMA pros­e­cu­tors will fight hon­ey­moon killer Gabe Wat­son’s at­tempt to have cap­i­tal mur­der charges dropped.

Wat­son’s lawyers last week asked Birm­ing­ham judge Tommy Nail to toss out the mur­der case, de­scrib­ing it as ‘‘ vin­dic­tive pros­e­cu­tion’’ and dou­ble jeop­ardy be­cause Wat­son had al­ready served 18 months’ jail in Aus­tralia for the man­slaugh­ter of his bride, Tina, on their 2003 Queens­land scuba div­ing trip.

The lead pros­e­cu­tor in the Don Valeska, hit back.

‘‘ I’ve been called ’ vin­dic­tive’ for 40 years,’’ Mr Valeska said.

Wat­son’s lawyer Bret Bloom­ston

case, ar­gued in his fil­ing to Judge Nail that Alabama pros­e­cu­tors do not have ju­ris­dic­tion.

Mr Valeska re­jected both ar­gu­ments, declar­ing his state does have ju­ris­dic­tion and the law gen­er­ally pro­hibit­ing dou­ble jeop­ardy does not ap­ply in the Wat­son case.

He will file a re­sponse to Judge Nail within the next fort­night.

The judge is ex­pected to make a de­ci­sion at a hear­ing on April 28 whether to dis­miss or move ahead with a mur­der trial on May 23.

Wat­son, 33, has en­tered not guilty pleas to charges of cap­i­tal mur­der in the course of kid­nap­ping and cap­i­tal mur­der for pe­cu­niary gain.

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