Christopher Coleman
12:19 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Judge sentences Coleman to life in prison without parole

Updated 1:49 p.m. with sentence decision:

Christopher Coleman has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Original Story:

At 1 p.m. today, Circuit Judge Milton Wharton will decide the fate of Christopher Coleman, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

According to the News-Democrat, Coleman has waived his right to let a jury decide whether or not he will receive the death penalty.

Last Thursday, Coleman was found guilty of strangling his wife and two sons and the jury decided he was eligible for the death penalty the following day.

No matter what Wharton decides, the process may be obscured by Illinois' position on the death penalty, as the News-Democrat explains:

The process may prove moot because Illinois on July 1 is outlawing the death penalty and Gov. Pat Quinn has promised until then to commute any death sentences to life in prison. Prosecutors have been pursuing death because it remains the law, is what the victims' family wants and might present a challenge to Quinn's commitment to the new law.