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NATIONAL BRIEFS


ILLINOIS: Life for killer of Hudson's kin

Struggling to contain his anger, a Chicago judge sentenced Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson's former brother-in-law to life in prison Tuesday for killing her mother, brother and nephew in what prosecutors say was a fit of jealous rage. Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns rejected William Balfour's claims that he was innocent. "You have the heart of an arctic night," Burns told him. "Your soul is as barren as dark space." Balfour was convicted in May of first-degree murder in the 2008 shooting deaths of Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, 57; her brother, Jason Hudson, 29, and her nephew, Julian King, 7. Hudson sat next to her sister and dabbed at her eyes with a tissue during the hearing, including the 10 minutes in which Burns put his own anger into words.


Peterson jury selected

A poet, a letter carrier and a motorcycle enthusiast made the final cut Tuesday onto the jury for the murder trial of Drew Peterson, a former suburban Chicago police officer. Opening statements are set for Tuesday. Peterson, 58, is charged in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, after his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007.


CALIFORNIA: Medical pot shops banned

Unable to rein in hundreds of medical pot shops that blossomed around Los Angeles, lawmakers voted Tuesday to ban them until the state's highest court offers clearer guidance. The 14-0 city council vote drew an angry, profanity-laced response from medical marijuana advocates at the meeting. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was prepared to sign the ordinance, according to spokeswoman Vicki Curry. The storefront ban would then go into effect after 30 days. As many as 900 dispensaries will be advised the ban.

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