Robert Gill, 45, of Rolling Meadows, Ill., was convicted in June of first-degree murder in the October 2003 strangulation of his former wife, Brenda Heuer-Gill, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"This case really represents what in my opinion reflects two of the saddest scourges on our society: drug abuse and domestic violence," Cook County Circuit Judge John Scotillo said during Tuesday's sentencing.
While the couple had divorced, Gill testified they were trying to reconcile. He said he accidentally strangled his former wife during an argument and slept next to her body during a cocaine-and-vodka binge.
"I stayed with her for three days after she died so I could be with her as long as I could," Gill said.
Defense attorneys said they will appeal Gill's sentence.