Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Honeymoon Murder Halt

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Honeymoon Murder Halt

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES (AAP): An Alabama judge has announced Gabe

Watson's murder trial will not go ahead in May because savage budget cuts to the State's court system have raised security concerns.

Watson, 34, is accused of murdering his bride, 26-year-old Tina, while scuba diving off the coast of Queensland on their 2003 Australian honeymoon.

Alabama courthouses are suffering from forced lay-offs of court staff, including security personnel, following $US120 million ($A115.17 million) being stripped from the budget.

Judge Tommy Nail surprised prosecutors and Watson's legal team on Thursday when he

announced the May 23 trial in Birmingham would be pushed back to August or later because there would not be enough security personnel to man his courtroom.

Judge Nail said if he went ahead with Watson's trial he would have to shut every other courtroom in the Jefferson County complex

because of cuts to the number of bailiffs in the complex. …

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