Gerald Wayne Mickelson, a 63-year-old American man, has been sentenced to death by hanging after the Kuala Lumpur High Court found him guilty of killing his ex-wife at a hotel in Brickfields in 2016
According to a report in NST Online, High Court judge Datuk Azman Abdullah, in his judgement, said the defence failed to cast reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.
"The accused failed to provide evidence that the injuries suffered by the deceased (were incurred in) an act of self-defence. The (pathology report showed) that the fatal injury… was (incurred through) manual strangulation of the neck.
"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 reasonable doubt," the judge ruled on Tuesday, 4 September.
Gerald, an engineering consultant, was charged with killing his ex-wife Guilda Mickelson in the room of a hotel at Lingkaran Syed Putra, Brickfields in KL between 5am and 11.45am on 26 November
The couple from Massachusetts had been in Malaysia for Gerald's job as a telecommunications consultant. They had decided to divorce after 30 years of being married. However, they were still staying together after their divorce.
According to Gerald's lawyer, KA Ramu, his client was acting in self-defence when 62-year-old Guilda started attacking him. He hit her on the head and strangled her after an argument about him wanting to move to the Philippines to be with his new Filipino wife.
However, a testimony from an expert witness confirmed that the deceased died due to manual strangulation, which caused fatal injury to the neck structure.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Azeezi Nordin said that pathologists in their report said that they found a fracture on the deceased's head due to blunt force trauma.
"The deceased's hyoid bone (located near the neck) was also broken, which proved that she was manually strangled by the accused," DPP Azeezi added.
DPP Azeezi added that Gerald did not run away after the incident, he called the receptionist to ask the police to come to his room
"The duty manager who rushed to the room was shocked when he saw the deceased lying on a bed and the accused said to him: 'I killed her'," the Deputy public prosecutor was quoted as saying by NST Online.
Judge Azman ruled that Gerald wasn't acting in self-defence
"I hereby find you guilty as charged and convict you under Section 302 of the Penal Code. And I hereby sentence you to death by hanging," he announced.
After the ruling, Gerald cried in the courtroom. He was consoled by his Filipino wife, Ramu said, adding that his client will appeal.