American man sentenced to death by hanging in Malaysia on charges of murder

An American man was sentenced to death by hanging after he strangled his ex-wife at a Malaysian hotel. His plea of self-defense was rejected. 

Gerald Wayne Mickelson, 63, planned to travel to be with his new Filipino wife in the Phillippines, but his previous wife of 30 years, Guilda Mickelson, was not having it. 

The two were staying at a Kuala Lumpur hotel in November 2016 when they got into an argument. According to Gerland, his 62-year-old ex-wife attacked him first.

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Gerald's lawyer, K.A. Ramu, said that "he told the court his ex-wife attacked him and that he was protecting himself against her." 

He added that Gerald had actually alerted hotel staff soon after the fatal event. 

But a pathologists' report did not help Gerald's defense. It showed that the victim died from "a fatal compression to the neck." Guilda also suffered head injuries.

Upon hearing the verdict from Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah, Gerald was in tears. He was consoled by his new wife. Persons believed to be family and friends were also crying. 

Azman explained his ruling: 

"The accuser failed to provide evidence that the injuries suffered by the deceased [were incurred in] an act of self-defense. The [pathology reported showed] that the fatal injury [was incurred through] manual strangulation of the neck."

He continued: 

"Upon a consideration of all the evidence adduced as provided by Section 182A(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the court found that the prosecution had successfully proven a case beyond a reasonable doubt."

The judge was also aware of his quickness to report the event: 

"The duty manager who rushed to the room was shocked when he saw the deceased lying on a bad and the accused said to him, 'I killed her.'

Gerald had been working as a communications consultant in Malaysia. He will make another appeal for self-defense the coming Tuesday.

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