BRISBANE - American Gabe Watson, dubbed the honeymoon killer, will be free to return to the United States once he has served a jail sentence in Queensland. But he may not want to go back.
Alabama's Attorney-General says he could be charged with murder and ultimately face the death penalty.
The 32-year-old bubble-wrap salesman left his wife Tina to sink and die at the bottom of the ocean while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef on their honeymoon in October 2003.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years' jail, with a minimum of 12 months behind bars. On Friday, Queensland's Court of Appeal ruled that Watson must serve a minimum 18 months' before he is released on a suspended sentence.
The sentence has caused outrage in Watson's home state of Alabama and Troy King, that state's Attorney-General, says he will consider charging Watson with capital murder, which means he could face the death penalty.
A spokesman for the Australian Attorney-General's Department said a possible death sentence could prevent Watson's extradition - if US authorities applied for it.