The man dubbed the "Honeymoon Killer" by the Australian media is back on U.S. soil this morning. He's accused of killing his wife while the two were scuba diving on the honeymoon.
A television news helicopter tracked a van transporting Gabe Watson to an Australian airport. He then flew to Los Angeles where he'll likely make a court appearance before heading to Alabama where he was indicted on two counts of murder.
Watson is accused of drowning his 26-year-old wife Tina in 2003 while the two were scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef on their honeymoon.
He already spent 18 months in jail in Australia for manslaughter as part of a plea deal. His deportation was delayed until the U.S. assured Australian officials that Watson would not face the death penalty.
"Mr. Watson returned voluntarily, he signed an agreement to return to the United States," said Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.
Watson's return is a victory for the victim's family.
“We all are very thankful to the citizens of Australia,” said the victim’s father, Tommy Thomas. “If it wasn't for their outrage and being steadfast and wanting him to see him deported to face justice in the U.S. we do not know if we would still be waiting for him today."
Australia law enforcement accused Watson of shutting off his wife's air supply and holding her underwater until she drowned. Prosecutors in Alabama believe Watson hatched the plan while they were in the state giving them jurisdiction over the case.
Alabama officials want Watson back in their state early next week, but he could fight extradition from LA.
Alabama attorney general troy king says there's no international standard preventing a suspect from being tried twice in different venues.
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