February trial set in honeymoon drowning death

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A judge in Birmingham has set a new trial date for a man charged with drowning his wife on a honeymoon trip to Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Tommy Nail on Tuesday scheduled jury selection for the trial of 34-year-old Gabe Watson to begin Monday Feb. 13. Watson had been scheduled to be tried in May, but Nice postponed the trial because of layoffs of court personnel.

Nail set the new trial date during a telephone conference call with attorneys Tuesday. Assistant Attorney General Don Valeska said Nail did not rule on any motions.

Watson pleaded guilty in Australia to manslaughter and served 18 months in prison there. Prosecutors want to try him in Alabama because they say the crime was planned in the state.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.