Husband Gets 1 Year for Wife's Scuba Death

Eleven days after a fairy tale wedding in Birmingham, Ala., 26-year-old Tina Watson and her new husband went on a scuba diving adventure off the coast of Australia.

Tina Watson never returned from that scuba trip, and now, six years later, Davd Gabriel Watson, who pleaded guilty to his wife's manslaughter, has been sentenced to just a year in jail.

Tina Watson's family is outraged by the light sentence. Her father, Tommy Thomas, said, "I'm sure that the entire Australian nation, as well as our country back home, shares in the shock at what we've just seen, because it's a total injustice. ... It's ludicrous."

Thomas told "Good Morning America" last week that he was certain Gabriel Watson had killed his daughter. "He had turned off her oxygen," Thomas said.

Like the millions of viewers who saw media reports of the death, Thomas had seen the image of his daughter floating motionless in the water as captured by a tourist's underwater camera. Watson is not in the picture.

"He had held her until she went unconscious, then turned it back on and let her go to the seabed," Thomas told "GMA."

Prosecutors believe that while scuba diving in October 2003 near the Great Barrier Reef, Watson, 32, drowned his new wife by turning off her oxygen tank.

An underwater video camera captured an eerie final image of Tina Watson's lifeless-looking body on the bottom of the sea while Watson, clearly swimming away, looked over his shoulder.

"You never think your daughter will leave for her honeymoon and her husband will kill her," said Tina Watson's mother, Cindy Thomas.

Watson, an experienced rescue diver, told authorities that his wife, a beginner, appeared to panic underwater and clutched at his mask, pulling it off his face.

"She was looking up, had both her arms out ... reaching up to grab," Watson told authorities in 2003.

He said she was too heavy to bring to the surface and instead he went for help as she sank. Another diver did manage to pull Tina Watson to the surface, but efforts to resuscitate her failed.

Police initially became suspicious of Watson when he changed details of his account. An autopsy found no pre-existing medical condition that could have explained Tina Watson's death, and tests showed there was nothing wrong with her diving gear.

Prosecutors were convinced the motive behind the crime was money.

Honeymoon Murder Brought Bride's Father to His Knees

According to Australian authorities, Tina Watson told her father that shortly before she and Watson were married he'd asked his then-fiancee to increase her modest life insurance policy to the maximum and make him the sole beneficiary.

Thomas said his daughter declined but decided to lie to Watson and tell him that she had indeed made the changes.

Thomas told "GMA" he was happy about the wedding but had "some reservations and fears about the future for her."

It had been Gabriel Watson's idea to go scuba diving for the honeymoon, even though Tina Watson had just gotten her license days before the pair departed for the trip.

"She said that Gabe had told her that if she wanted him to do things that she liked to do, then she needed to do what he liked to do. And he liked to dive," Thomas said.

When Thomas got the news about his daughter's death, he told "GMA," "It brought me to my knees and it was definitely the worst moment of my life."

Because of the complexity of the crime it took prosecutors nearly five years to charge Watson, who denied the allegations.

In the end, Watson will serve one year of the 4½ year sentence in his wife's death, thanks to a suspended sentence. Suspended sentences are not unusual for such crimes in Queensland.

Prosecutors accepted the manslaughter plea because Watson -- trained to rescue panicked divers -- failed to fulfill his duties as her "dive buddy," or to even take basic steps to save her life. Prosecutors said Watson failed to give his wife emergency oxygen, inflate her buoyancy vest or to even remove weights from her dive belt. Said prosecutor Brendan Campbell, "He virtually extinguished any chance of her survival."

Watson, who has since remarried, owns the plot where Tina is buried. Thomas told "GMA" he refuses to allow the family to put a marker where Tina lays. There is no headstone to mark her grave and Watson repeatedly took away flowers the family left on her grave.

"She loved life so much and she loved people so much, and I think that's why just about everybody that ever met her loved her," Thomas told "GMA" in the days before the court hearing.

"To us, she is an angel that's watching after us. I just tell her that I love her, and I just keep telling her that I'm going to keep going until I can help her rest and be at peace."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.