Jennifer Hudson is ready to move on after William Balfour, the man convicted of killing her mother, brother and nephew was sentenced to life in prison.
Struggling to contain his anger, a Chicago judge on Tuesday sentenced Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson’s former brother-in-law to life in prison for killing her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in what prosecutors say was a fit of jealous rage.
In blistering comments, Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns rejected William Balfour’s claims that he was innocent of the crimes.
“You have the heart of an arctic night,” Burns told Balfour. “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 57-year-old mother, Darnell Donerson; her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson; and her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.
During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Balfour, who was married to Hudson’s sister, Julia Hudson, as a jealous estranged husband who often stalked the Hudson family home after he moved out in early 2008. Balfour’s attorneys suggested someone else committed a crime in the family’s three-story house in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.
Burns’ harshest comments Tuesday came in regards to Julian’s death. The judge’s voice cracked as he recounted how terrified the child must have been in the second before he was shot twice in the head.
“I have no doubt in my mind he looked to you when you put bullets in his head,” the judge said.
Balfour offered his condolences to the Hudson family while maintaining that he didn’t kill their relatives.
“My deepest prayers goes out to Julian King. I loved him. I still love him,” he said. “I’m innocent, your honor.”
Illinois does not have the death penalty, and Balfour faced a mandatory life sentence. The judge sentenced Balfour to three terms of life in prison plus 120 years on other charges, a largely symbolic move but one that underlined the judge’s feelings.
Jennifer Hudson chose not to make a statement. During the trial, the Academy Award-winning actress for her role in the 2007 film “Dreamgirls” testified that she had known Balfour since the eighth grade and always disliked him.
Source: CTV News