CHICAGO – Prosecutors say they're "extremely pleased" after a Cook County judge issued three life sentences to the man convicted of killing actress Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a statement after Tuesday's sentencing of William Balfour that the sentence is appropriate given the "heinous and inhumane nature" of the shooting deaths.
The sentencing hearing came a little more than two months after a jury convicted Balfour in the Oct. 24, 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.
The judge also gave Balfour an additional 120 years for convictions on other charges related to the case.
The judge told Balfour he has the "heart of an arctic night" and his soul is "as barren as dark space."
Prosecutors portrayed Balfour, who was married to Hudson's sister Julia Hudson, as a jealous estranged husband who often stalked Julia Hudson's house after he moved out in early 2008. But Balfour's attorneys suggested that someone else committed a crime in the family's three-story house in Englewood on Chicago's South Side.
Jennifer Hudson was in the courtroom sitting next to her sister. At one point she dabbed her eyes with a tissue.
Balfour spoke, saying he is innocent, offering his condolences and adding he still loves 7-year-old Julian King.
Alvarez says her office hopes the sentence gives the Hudson family "some measure of justice and closure."