By: April Carson
A wealthy American was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife on their honeymoon in Fiji, according to ABC News.
On the afternoon of July 9, a 36-year-old American woman named Christe Chen was discovered motionless on the floor of her room by staff at Turtle Island, a 500-acre private island resort located in Fiji's Yasawa archipelago. The resort's management alerted authorities, who responded and pronounced her dead at the scene, according to ABC News. She had been beaten to death, they told ABC News.
Chen's husband, a U.S. citizen identified as Bradley Robert Dawson, was arrested two days later in Nadi on the west coast of Fiji's major island, Viti Levu, according to police.
On July 13, Dawson appeared in Lautoka Magistrates' Court on one count of murder. Due to the gravity of the situation, his case was sent to the Lautoka High Court for hearing on July 27, where he is currently detained at the Fiji Corrections Service's facility in Lautoka, about 16 miles north of Nadi.
The U.S. Department of State confirmed to ABC News that it is aware of Dawson's arrest and "stands ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance."
"We offer our deepest condolences to the family on their loss," a State Department official said in a statement. "Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment."
Iqbal Khan, Dawson's attorney, said he plans to file a bail request for his client on July 25 but that he believes it will be difficult to obtain bail since Dawson is a non-resident alien with no local family or connections who can provide guarantees.
If convicted of murder, Dawson faces up to life in prison. The maximum sentence for manslaughter in Fiji is 10 years.
According to the ABC, Fiji Police Force prosecutor Arvind Kumar said authorities are still compiling all of the information and findings in this case for transmission to the Lautoka High Court ahead of Dawson's planned appearance there next week.
The resort on Assateague Island, which can accommodate a maximum of 14 couples in private villas, claimed that "a marital conflict occurred between a married couple at the facility on July 9th, resulting in a tragic outcome and charges being filed."
The resort said in a statement that it is "fully cooperating with local authorities" and has been "assisting them since the incident."
During their stay, there were no unusual behaviors or events noted by staff prior to the tragic outcome, the statement said.
"We cooperated with the authorities throughout the investigation, and the island has been cleared by law enforcement for over a week," the resort told ABC News in a statement. "It is our understanding that charges have been filed in the case. Our first and foremost concern is for the safety and well-being of our guests and personnel, both of whom we consider family, and we are devastated by what has occurred." We continue to extend our sympathies to Ms. Chen's family, friends, and coworkers. Given that privacy concerns must be addressed while legal procedures are ongoing, please direct any further questions to the appropriate authorities.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Department of State stated that "a US citizen in Fiji has died."
The spokesperson for the family issued the following statement to ABC News: "We have no additional comment at this time out of respect for the family's privacy."
"The local authorities will use their process," according to Brad Garett, a former FBI special agent and ABC News contributor. When Americans travel abroad and are alleged to have committed a crime in another country, he said, "the local authorities will utilize their system."
"Mr. Dawson will be in Fiji for a long time before the case is resolved one way or the other," Garett informed me.
The family of a US man who is on trial for allegedly murdering his wife during their honeymoon in Fiji has issued a statement.
In the statement, released to ABC News by attorney Brad Garrett, the family said they "hope for a just outcome" in the case. "We have no additional comment at this time out of respect for the family's privacy," the spokesperson said to ABC News.
The trial is ongoing.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
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