Christopher Coleman waived the sentencing phase of his trial. I guess he thought he would stand a better chance, being sentenced by the judge. He got LWOP. Here's a link.
It's an interesting situation, actually. The trial is in Illinois, and there has been a moratorium on the death penalty there for quite some time. It seems that quite a few executed men were exonerated posthumously, causing a rethink of the policy. The governor very recently decided to dispense with the DP altogether, beginning July 1, and has said he will commute any death sentences handed down between his declaration and that date. He has already commuted all existing death sentences.
And yet, a lot of people posting comments on the above link are less than gruntled over the sentence. They wanted him to have the dubious dishonour of being the last man in Illinois to be sentenced to death. Personally, I don't see the point. He would wind up with those three LWOP sentences and be in prison for the rest of his life anyway, so what is the big deal?
It is interesting, in this period of change. If you have time to read the comments, you get an idea how confused everyone is about this issue.
Still, the upshot is that Christopher Coleman is going to have a difficult time appealing this. There is no automatic appeal as there is in a DP case, so he has to hire an appellate lawyer and try to scare up some grounds. Not to mention money to hire said lawyer.
I'm keeping up with this one. My guess is that the preacher's son won't last long in the general population, but he helped "save" one inmate at the county jail, so we'll see.