Dateline: Unforgettable: Was David Swain Found Guilty in Shelley Tyre’s Death? –

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Dateline: Unforgettable on Oxygen will revisit the case against David Swain in connection with the scuba diving death of his wife, Shelley Tyre. According to CBS, in March 1999, Tyre died while scuba diving the Swain in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Authorities initially ruled her death to be an accident until subsequent findings seemingly proved otherwise.

The all-new episode titled “The Last Dive” airs on the network this Wednesday, January 3, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET. An official synopsis for the upcoming episode says, “A couple takes a scuba-diving trip to the British Virgin Islands; on their last dive, one of them surfaces, but the other does not; police quickly suspect the drowning was no accident; now Dennis Murphy gives this unforgettable story a second look.”

At first, Tyre’s family filed a civil lawsuit against Swain, alleging that he killed their daughter, per The San Diego Union-Tribune. A jury found him responsible based on damning evidence. Soon, a second trial followed after the British Virgin Islands prosecutors charged him with murder. This resulted in a second conviction, and he received 25 years to life in prison in 2009. Nonetheless, an appeals court overturned the verdict two years later.

How & why did David Swain Kill his Wife Shelley Tyre?

The Patriot Ledger mentioned that experts believed David Swain attacked his wife Shelley Tyre from behind, yanked off her scuba mask, and cut off her air supply. Authorities found that her mask was damaged, the mouthpiece of her snorkel was missing, and her swim fin was found embedded in a sandbar.

Swain and Tyre were holidaying in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in March 1999 when the incident occurred. The couple were experienced divers, and it was during their last dive at the Twin Tugs on March 12, 1999, when Tyre tragically died. Tortola authorities initially ruled her death as an accident, but her family accused Swain of killing her.

According to the Guardian, the Tyres filed a civil suit accusing David Swain of his wife’s death. During the trial, the Tyres’ attorney alleged that Swain cut off the victim’s air supply. He then held her underwater until she drowned. The lawyer also said the accused killed her as he was pursuing a relationship with another woman. They also believed that he knew a divorce would leave him with no money.

The jury found Swain responsible in the 2006 civil trial, following which British Virgin Islands prosecutors charged him with murder. He stood trial for murder in 2009 when a second jury unanimously found him guilty. A judge sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison for the slaying that authorities described as a near-perfect crime, stated The Patriot Ledger.

But, two years later, in 2011, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal overturned David Swain’s guilty verdict. The panel comprised three judges who cited problems with the jury instructions a judge read during the 2009 trial. Moreover, the appeals court refused to order a new trial, given the amount of time that had passed since Shelley Tyre’s death.

The Ledger reported that after his release, Swain told reporters, “I feel elated.” He said he intended to “breathe a little free air, go for a walk, go home, pick up the pieces, and go on.” The ex-convict also revealed his plans to return to Rhode Island.

Elsewhere, Tyre’s family’s lawyer, J. Renn Olenn, commented on Swain’s release, emphasizing that he was not exonerated. Olenn said, “No judicial body has declared him innocent.” He also mentioned that “two different juries have found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Oxygen’s Dateline: Unforgettable airs with Shelley Tyre’s case on January 3, 2024.

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