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Bolingbrook Man Gets 60 Years in Prison for Murdering Ex-Wife

Jerry L. Hudson, 51, was found guilty in February of first-degree murder in the 2010 New Year's Day killing of Melissa Bridgewater, 45.

A  man was sentenced Tuesday to 60 years in prison for the murder of his ex-wife, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.

Jerry L. Hudson, 51, .

As Bridgewater left a local hotel where she had spent the evening celebrating New Year’s Eve around 6:30 p.m. Jan. 1, 2010, officials said Hudson ran his car into her car to prevent her from leaving the parking lot. Authorities said Hudson then approached Bridgewater’s vehicle and shot her six times—three times in the head and three times in the back—while she sat in the car.

Hudson then fled the scene and threw the murder weapon into a drainage canal, according to the State's Attorney's Office. The murder weapon was never recovered.

On Jan. 4, 2010, then DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett approved first-degree murder charges against Hudson. The following day, Hudson turned himself in to authorities.

Officials said Hudson claimed he shot Bridgewater in self-defense.

“On January 1, 2010, Jerry Hudson began the new year by murdering his ex-wife, Melissa Bridgewater,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in a news release. “Melissa had moved on with her life, without Hudson. Claiming Bridgewater had stolen his manhood, Hudson vowed to get even. At 6:30 that morning, Hudson did just that. From point blank range, in a fit of jealousy and rage, Hudson fired six shots into the head and torso of Melissa. This morning, Mr. Hudson learned that for the murder of Melissa Bridgewater he will spend the rest of his life behind bars."

In addition to the first-degree murder charges, the jury also found that Hudson personally discharged the weapon that caused Bridgewater's death. Hudson faced a minimum sentence of 45 years at Tuesday's hearing.

Hudson will be required to serve 100 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole, officials said.

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