Bradley Robert Dawson faces a murder charge in Fiji in connection with the beating death of his new wife, Christe Chen Dawson, who police found dead at the exclusive Turtle Island Resort on July 9 in the middle of their honeymoon.
Two days later, Fiji police arrested Dawson, a 38-year-old IT specialist at the nonprofit Youth Villages, on another island.
The High Court of Lautoka remanded Dawson after a July 27 appearance. He is due back in court on Aug. 18 but may appear again before that as his attorney, Iqbal Khan, applies for bail.
Video shows officers leading him in and out of the courthouse in handcuffs, a KN95 mask, red shirt and shorts behind a mesh wall.
Ronald Gordon, an attorney for Chen’s family, told Fox News Digital Thursday that he believes Dawson is a flight risk and will oppose bail.
“He left his very sophisticated GPS watch outside the room and left his room with just his wallet and his passport, and so it just shows his intention was to flee the country,” Gordon said. “We certainly think he’s a flight risk and will be opposing the application for bail.”
The couple married in February after just a few months of dating and moved into a new home in Memphis, but Gordon said Dawson had previously traveled to Fiji with an ex-wife just two years ago.
Abbey Miesse, a neighbor, told Fox News Digital she has known Dawson, who goes by “Brad,” for about 10 years, and when she and her husband moved onto the same street, they began running into the couple more frequently. She said she lives across the street and never overheard the couple fighting or arguing.
“I can’t imagine a mean bone on him,” she told Fox News Digital.
She said she was not sure what led to his divorce from a previous wife. His marriage to Chen, however, came about quickly.
She said she most recently spoke with the couple shortly before their ill-fated honeymoon in Fiji.
The conversation focused on home improvements and maintenance, since their new houses came with a one-year warranty that will expire in a few months, she said.
“He was shy but friendly,” she said of Dawson, adding that the couple seemed very happy.
She said he is a fan of tech gadgets and sometimes showed them off at parties. The couple, she added, were social drinkers.
The allegations shocked Dawson’s friends, according to Miesse, who said she awoke to a wave of text messages and missed calls after news of his arrest.
“I guess anybody’s capable of anything, but if this really is true, I am 100% shocked. Did they get mixed up, take some kind of drug or something, and it made him completely black out? Everyone’s asking, but none of this makes sense.”
In a statement, Dawson’s employer Youth Villages told FOX 13 Memphis he had been suspended as a result of the charges. The organization’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Gordon, the attorney for Chen’s relatives, said that wrongful death lawsuits could be filed both in Fiji and in the U.S., but the family’s immediate focus is on the pending criminal trial at the Lautoka High Court. Prosecutors there were given three weeks to file the Fiji version of an indictment, called the “information,” he said.