Gerald Wayne Mickelson, 63, was convicted of strangling Guilda Mickelson in Kuala Lumpur in November 2016, his lawyer K. A. Ramu said.
Mickelson, who had been working as a telecommunications consultant in Malaysia, was about to move to the Philippines to be with his new wife when his former partner called him.
When Mickelson went to see her in a serviced apartment complex, the 62-year-old allegedly tried to kill him, resulting in a struggle that ended in her death, Ramu said.
The lawyer said Mickelson had no motive to murder his ex-wife and even called the management of the building after killing her, rather than fleeing.
An appeal is expected to be filed within the next two weeks.
Malaysia has a mandatory death penalty for murder, which is always carried out by hanging.
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