A Malaysian court sentenced an American to death by hanging Tuesday after he was found guilty of fatally strangling his ex-wife.

Gerald Wayne Mickelson, 63, was accused of killing Guilda Mickelson, 62, during an argument at a Kuala Lumpur hotel in 2016. The accused was working as a consultant in Malaysia, but planned to move to the Philippines to be with his new Filipino wife.

Lawyer K.A. Ramu said his client testified he got into an argument with his ex-wife in a Kuala Lumpur hotel; however, Gerald said he acted in self-defense when Guilda started attacking him.

The court rejected Gerald’s plea of self-defense Tuesday after the post-mortem showed she died of "fatal compression to the neck," the lawyer said, adding she also suffered some head injuries.

"He told the court his ex-wife attacked him and that he was protecting himself against her," Ramu said, adding Gerald had alerted hotel staff shortly after the attack and did not run away, Reuters reported.

Ramu said his client cried after the brief ruling was read out in the courtroom and was consoled by his Filipino wife. Mickelson has planned to appeal against the ruling.

“The accused failed to provide evidence that the injuries suffered by the deceased were incurred in an act of self-defense. The pathology report showed that the fatal injury was incurred through manual strangulation of the neck,” Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah said in the judgment. “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.”

Based on the investigation, a minor scuffle took place between the two which led to the incident, deputy public prosecutor Azeezi Nordin said, New Straits Times reported.

“The couple had been married for 30 years, but were still staying together after their divorce. During the investigation, the accused said he got into an argument his ex-wife who did not allow him to move to the Philippines,” Nordin said.

“In their report, pathologists 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,” he added.

Nordin said, post the incident, the accused 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’,” he said.

In a similar incident last month, a man was sentenced to death for killing his wife and hiding her body in a freezer for over three months in Shanghai, China. Zhu Xiaodong, 31, was convicted of strangling his wife to death during an argument in 2016 at their home and later wrapping her body in a quilt and hiding it in a freezer on the balcony of their home for 105 days.