An Alabama woman's killer is just hours away from coming back to the United States.
Gabe Watson pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his wife, Tina, in Australia. He spent 18-months in prison there and now faces trial here in Alabama.
Tina's father, Tommy Thomas, says the 18-months that Watson served for pleading is nowhere near enough punishment. Now he's optimistic that evidence will be seen in court and that a jury will finally give his family some much needed closure.
Last week Australian officials said they would deport Watson back to Alabama.
Watson has recently finished an 18-month-sentence in Australia for pleading guilty to manslaughter for killing his wife while scuba diving during the couple's honeymoon on Australia's Great Barrier Reef back in 2003.
Alabama Attorney General, Troy King, has said he believes Watson plotted to kill his wife while he was still in Alabama. However, one condition of deportation was that Alabama had to agree not to seek the death penalty. On Wednesday, Thomas spoke to media and he says death or prison, all he wants is a trial. He says he's thankful to have Watson coming back to the United States.
"Whether it be the death penalty or life in prison, without parole, really is immaterial to us," he said. "The fact of the matter...we just want to see justice done by our daughter."
And with Thursday being Thanksgiving, he says this year, his family has lots to be thankful for.
"With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I guess I should say on behalf of the family, we are very thankful at this point for citizens of Australia," he said. "Had it not been for their outrage, for them to want to see him deported and face justice here in the United States, we don't know whether we'd be waiting today."
Thomas says Watson should be in Los Angeles around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. After that, he says there's no telling how long it will be before he arrives in Birmingham.