The newlywed husband accused of murdering his pharmacist spouse of their honeymoon bungalow on an unique personal Island in Fiji has been denied bail awaiting trial.
Bradley Dawson, 39, appeared within the Excessive Courtroom in Lautoka on Wednesday afternoon (native time).
He’s accused of killing Christe Chen, 36, on July 9.
Dawson, from Memphis, allegedly beat Chen to demise on the secluded $3,500-a-night Turtle Island Resort simply two days after they checked in for his or her honeymoon.
Her brutally overwhelmed physique was discovered slumped within the small area between the bathroom and the wall of the bungalow’s rest room.
Bradley Dawson is seen on Wednesday arriving for his bail listening to in Lautoka, the second-biggest metropolis in Fiji
Dawson is accused of murdering his new spouse, Christe Chen, on July 9
The Tennessee businessman was denied bail by the choose on Wednesday
Dawson’s attorneys instructed he stay within the dwelling of a U.S. citizen who lives in Fiji whereas awaiting trial – however the man is accused of rape, and the choose mentioned the settlement was unsatisfactory
Chen and Dawson, who met in November 2021, married after a whirlwind romance three months later. She was discovered lifeless simply two days into their honeymoon on the elite personal resort, which her mother and father – who have been regulars there – had paid for
On Wednesday, Dawson’s attorneys requested the courtroom to permit him to reside within the dwelling and care of a fellow US citizen, John Berger, as he awaited trial.
Berger, a pastor who has a house within the district of Nadi, has lived in Fiji since 2011.
He met Dawson when the pair spent two weeks collectively behind bars, within the Natabua Remand Centre. Berger is accused of at the very least three counts of rape.
Decide Riyaz Hamza denied his request, saying that it was ‘extremely unsatisfactory’ to suggest Dawson keep within the custody of one other particular person accused of a criminal offense.
The protection staff had proposed two girls as guarantors, each of whom have been described as Dawson’s household associates. But Hamza mentioned Dawson’s staff had not satisfactorily offered proof of a long run relationship between Dawson, Berger or the 2 guarantors.
A medical expert dominated Chen’s demise a homicide and located she suffered a traumatic mind damage brought on by a mind bleed, extreme traumatic head accidents and a number of traumatic accidents to her physique. Her physique was so badly injured she was not in a position to be embalmed, and he or she was cremated earlier than her mother and father took her ashes dwelling to the US.
At a courtroom look two weeks in the past, Dawson pleaded not responsible as he denied confessing to her homicide on the time of his arrest. Police mentioned Dawson made an announcement, however later walked it again when he sought authorized recommendation.
Chen’s demise was dominated a homicide by the medical expert who discovered that she died from a traumatic mind damage brought on by a mind bleed, extreme traumatic head accidents, and a number of traumatic accidents to her physique
Chen’s physique was so badly overwhelmed that she was unable to be embalmed and her mother and father needed to cremate her earlier than bringing her ashes again to the USA. She is pictured with Dawson
Dawson claimed he used a kayak to paddle 1.2 miles from Turtle Island Resort to Matacawalevu Island within the lifeless of the night time on Saturday, July 9. The kayak has by no means been discovered
His attorneys additionally claimed he by no means confessed to the assault – regardless of police’s claims – and referred to as for him to be granted bail
Within the unsigned assertion produced in courtroom two weeks in the past, Dawson allegedly advised police that on the night time of Chen’s demise they have been each at a seaside occasion with workers and different visitors on the resort.
‘Christe began to have some pictures and I went to have some kava (a conventional Fijian drink), and dance to the leisure.
‘Then Christe and I went again to the bure (cabin).
‘On the way in which again, we argued about one thing, which I couldn’t recall as a result of we have been actually drunk.’
He added that the pair then modified for mattress, and when he tried to hug her she obtained offended and questioned whether or not she wished to be with him.
‘Our argument moved to the bathroom … and that was when Christe pushed me and that was once I misplaced it and we had a scuffle. It simply appeared prefer it was dangerous.
‘The again of the bathroom broke, the glass of the window broke and the bathroom was a large number. When the scuffle was over, Christe was within the rest room subsequent to the bathroom. She was harm and he or she was sitting down with blood and a lower on her face,’ Dawson allegedly advised cops, in keeping with the unsigned assertion learn in courtroom.
Dawson and Chen married in February after a whirlwind romance, three months after they first met, and her mother and father had paid for the honeymoon.
The night time Chen died, she and Dawson had attended a celebration – dubbed ‘household enjoyable night time’ – with island workers and different visitors on the seaside the place each have been ‘very drunk’.
Witnesses solely advised DailyMail.com that tensions arose between the couple when Dawson began appearing inappropriately with another person on the occasion.
‘They have been having fun with themselves and ingesting quite a bit however in the direction of the tip they appeared troubled,’ the supply, who spoke on the situation of anonymity, mentioned.
Dawson vanished after Chen’s physique was found by lodge workers.
Turtle Island Resort is on a small island of the identical identify off the coast of Fiji’s mainland. The resort is thought for being one of the crucial luxuriest within the island paradise
Distant Turtle Island Resort is positioned on a non-public island off the coast of Fiji
It is understood the couple then left the occasion and their argument continued on the seaside earlier than they headed again to their personal bungalow about midnight, the place the combat continued.
‘Not lengthy after that, visitors within the bungalow subsequent door mentioned they heard arguing, a loud scream, after which silence,’ a supply advised DailyMail.com.
DailyMail.com revealed that Chen was discovered bloodied on the lavatory ground by a private butler round noon.
She had suffered a number of traumatic accidents to her physique and shoulders, lacerations to her face and blunt drive trauma to the top, in keeping with a autopsy examination report.
A supply advised DailyMail.com that the lid of the bathroom’s cistern was cracked and damaged. The couple’s private butler discovered her physique squashed and slumped between the tiny area between the bathroom and the wall, badly overwhelmed and coated in blood, in keeping with sources.
A lawyer for Chen’s household, Ronald Gordon, advised DailyMail.com that her physique was so badly overwhelmed that she was unable to be embalmed and her mother and father needed to cremate her earlier than bringing her ashes again to the USA. He added that she suffered such deep lacerations to each side of her head, close to her eyes, that the embalming fluid would have leaked.
On the night time Chen was killed, Dawson was seen strolling the size of Turtle Island within the early hours of the morning by the night time watchman, earlier than he went again towards the personal bungalow.
Dawson left his GPS watch and cell phone within the bungalow, however took his pockets and passport earlier than fleeing throughout the water, 1.2 miles away to a secluded seaside on Matacawa Levu Island.
Gordon mentioned it instructed that he’d been headed towards the mainland – which is a couple of two or three hour boat journey away – within the hopes of fleeing Fiji.
However Dawson by no means made it that far, and he was found – with cuts and bruises – about 3pm on July 10 by a neighborhood man as he walked towards the island’s village.
Monoa Ratulele, 49, advised DailyMail.com that Dawson advised him that he used a kayak to paddle to the island between 2am and 3am on Saturday morning after having a combat with Chen.
Monoa Ratulele, advised DailyMail.com that when he encountered Dawson, he was bruised and bleeding from his palms and toes, accidents which will have been prompted from falling onto close by coral. Dawson additionally ‘appeared disturbed’ so Ratulele supplied him water and assist
The kayak Dawson claimed he’d traveled on has by no means been discovered, in keeping with Chen’s household lawyer.
By the point Dawson emerged, he had been lacking 36 hours and police had been on the hunt for him because the couple’s private butler discovered Chen lifeless and coated in blood on the lavatory ground, and raised the alarm with Turtle Island Resort administration.
It is understood a supervisor, who had been on the identical occasion with the couple the night time earlier than, referred to as Fiji Police Drive within the close by metropolis of Lautoka, just below an hour from Nadi Worldwide Airport.
Ratulele, from close by Matacawa Levu Island, advised DailyMail.com that when he encountered Dawson he was bruised and bleeding from his palms and toes – accidents which will have been prompted from falling onto close by coral.
Dawson additionally ‘appeared disturbed’ so Ratulele supplied him water and assist.
‘At first he stored refusing meals and water and insisted he was okay, however I insisted he had some water and after that he mentioned – Please, I must name the police,’ Ratulele mentioned, including that Dawson was drunk.
‘He did not inform us he had killed his spouse however I may nonetheless odor alcohol on him. He continued to repeat that ‘we had a combat’ and supplied no begin or finish to that story, simply stored saying ‘we had a combat’.’
Ratulele mentioned he was alarmed as a result of all the Yasawa group of islands are affected by resorts and vacationers are sometimes seen on the seashores which cradle the azure blue waters the world is thought for – however visitors of Turtle Island Resort are not often seen wandering off the island.
‘I used to be a bit alarmed as a result of these are very rich folks, we do not discover them on our seashores. We get backpacking snorkelers and surfers however not folks from Turtle Island. They’re a rarity round right here. These are millionaires and they’re by no means far-off from minders from the resort,’ he advised DailyMail.com.
A staff of three law enforcement officials quickly arrived on Matacawa Levu Island to take Dawson again to Turtle Island after which to Lautoka on Fiji’s essential island Viti Levu, the place he was charged with homicide.
As soon as he engaged a lawyer, Dawson refused to offer DNA samples to officers.
When information of Chen’s brutal killing emerged, representatives for Turtle Island Resort confirmed the incident in an announcement to DailyMail.com, saying: ‘We will verify that an incident came about between a pair on the Island on July ninth, which has resulted in a tragic final result and prices being laid.
‘We cooperated absolutely with the police who carried out a radical investigation and have now left the Island.
‘Out of respect for these impacted and given it’s an open authorized matter, we can not present any additional remark right now. We’re deeply saddened by the occasion and ship our sincerest condolences to Ms Chen’s household and associates.’
Chen’s household lawyer, Ronald Gordon, advised DailyMail.com that they may take civil motion towards Dawson if he’s not held criminally answerable for her demise and haven’t dominated out authorized motion towards Turtle Island Resort.
He added that he would have opposed any bail software.
‘The household will comply with the proceedings to make sure justice is served for Christe given the horrific accidents she endured,’ he advised DailyMail.com.
Chen’s mother and father arrived in Fiji days later after being knowledgeable of her demise by the State Division in a midnight cellphone name. It is understood additionally they considered her badly battered physique within the Lautoka morgue earlier than she was cremated.
Earlier than their ill-fated honeymoon, Chen and Dawson shared a brand new $250,000 dwelling on Elzey Avenue within the Cooper-Younger space of Memphis.
Chen and Dawson are pictured collectively on an earlier trip at a Sandals resort
Chen labored as a pharmacist at Kroger whereas Dawson labored as an IT skilled for Youth Villages, a non-profit which helps kids. She had beforehand labored as a baker in Colorado earlier than shifting to Tennessee to pursue learning pharmacy, after which calm down.
The nonprofit the place Dawson labored mentioned he has been suspended pending additional info.
After Chen’s demise, a pal, Rena Schomburg, advised DailyMail.com that she was an solely little one and used to journey together with her mom on extravagant journeys and put up photos of them to social media.
She described her pal as ‘super-sweet, sort, would do something for anyone, outgoing, beneficiant, and so enjoyable’.
Schomburg mentioned she by no means met Dawson, however instructed that Chen might need met him via marathon working.
‘She did not have a foul bone in her physique,’ Schomburg mentioned.
One other pal, Matt Koenig, advised DailyMail.com he was shocked by her homicide.
‘Christe was caring, humorous, beneficiant, the type of one who could make associates with anybody,’ he mentioned. ‘It is a laborious day.’
Earlier than touring to Fiji, Chen advised a neighbor how excited she was to be spending her honeymoon in paradise.