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Husband of Memphis bride beaten to death says it was an accident: body forced to be cremated

Christe Chen body cremated
Christe Chen's Memphis pharmacist bride's body cremated as groom Bradley Dawson (appearing in court) claims death was accident after argument during honeymoon at luxury Fiji resort.
Christe Chen body cremated
Christe Chen’s body cremated as groom Bradley Dawson Tennessee groom (appearing in court) claims death was accident after argument during honeymoon at luxury Fiji resort.

Bradley Dawson Tennessee groom accused of murdering newly wed bride, Christe Chen appears in court. Victim’s lawyer reveals body was so badly beaten it couldn’t be returned to the U.S. 

The Tennessee bride whose husband has been charged with murdering her on their honeymoon in Fiji was so badly beaten, her family was unable to bring her body home to the US, their lawyer has revealed.

Memphis-based pharmacist Christe Chen, 36, was ‘unable to be taken back to her home because of the nature of her injuries,’ her parents’ attorney, Ronald Gordon, told the dailymail.

‘So she had to be cremated here in Fiji and her ashes were taken back,’ he said of the new bride who was found dead in her room in the $3,500-a-night Turtle Island Resort earlier this month.

‘She is the only child of her parents, and obviously they are quite devastated and they want to ensure that justice … is given to her,’ the lawyer said.

The lawyer’s comments come as Chen’s new husband, Bradley Robert Dawson, 38, appeared in Lautoka High Court on Tuesday.

Heated argument 

Dawson — who claims his bride’s death was an ‘accident,’ following an ‘argument’ — was observed arriving with a small blue suitcase in anticipation of being released on bail. 

Instead, he was held for at least another three weeks until August 21, the Fiji Times noted.

Chen was found by a butler in a pool of blood, deceased from multiple traumatic injuries, including blunt force trauma to the head, according to a post-mortem report viewed by the dailymail. 

The woman’s husband was no where to be found at the luxury resort.

Dawson eventually turned up at a small nearby island after telling a local man that he’d left Turtle Island in the dead of the night on a kayak after he and his wife got into a heated argument.

Chen’s family plans to take civil action against Dawson if he is not held criminally liable for the death, and have not ruled out legal action against the exclusive resort, their lawyer told the dailymail.

‘The family will follow the proceedings to ensure justice is served for Christe given the horrific injuries she endured,’ Gordon told the outlet.

Bradley Dawson Tennessee groom and Christe Chen Memphis bride.
Robert Dawson Tennessee groom and Christe Chen Memphis bride, whirlwind romance …

Groom’s attorney insists bride’s death was not premeditated murder

The attorney added that he will also oppose any bail application.

The couple who first met in November 2021, would marry just 3 months later, in November, 2022, before traveling for their ‘dream’ honeymoon in July. A dream that has become a nightmare for the bride’s parents, who struggle to comprehend their daughter’s death.

‘They thought it was a prank call’ when someone from the State Department broke the news of their daughter’s bludgeoning death to them, the lawyer said.

The attorney also revealed that Dawson is known to have been to the same resort at least once before — but with a previous wife.

Despite a post mortem report detailing a litany of injuries, Dawson’s attorney, Iqbal Khan, insisted the death ‘looks like an accident.’

‘There is no way he can be convicted of murder,’ Khan previously told the dailymail.

‘On the evidence that they have presented so far, there’s no proof of the charge of murder with intention to kill or premeditation. Nothing of that sort whatsoever,’ the groom’s attorney insisted.