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Ex-Marine gets life in prison for killing family

A former Marine and pastor's son convicted of strangling his wife and two sons in Illinois will spend the rest of his life in prison.

A former Marine and pastor's son convicted of strangling his wife and two sons in Illinois will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Circuit Judge Milton Wharton sentenced Christopher Coleman on Monday to three life terms to be served simultaneously, noting a state law taking effect this year will eliminate Illinois' death penalty.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has pledged to commute any death sentence given out before the ban takes effect July 1.

Coleman last week was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in the May 2009 slayings of his wife, Sheri Coleman, and their 9- and 11-year-old boys in the couple's southwestern Illinois home.

Prosecutors say Coleman killed his family in order to advance a love affair and protect his job working for a televangelist.

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