The Chicago Tribune reports that a Cook County, Ill., judge yesterday gave Balfour, 31, three back-to-back life sentences on each of his three first-degree murder convictions, plus 120 years for home invasion and aggravated kidnapping.
During the hearing, Judge Charles Burns told Balfour, the former husband of Hudson’s sister Julia, that his “soul is as barren as dark space.” Jennifer Hudson and some of her family members were present in court, the Tribune article said.
A jury found Balfour guilty of killing Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson; her 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson; and 7-year-old nephew Julian King in October of 2008 after he allegedly became angry about a gift from Julia Hudson’s new boyfriend. The couple was separated but not divorced at the time.
The Oscar winner testified on day one of the trial in April, noting that her family did not support the marriage. “We did not like how he treated her,” she said.
Balfour’s attorneys had filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that Jennifer Hudson should not have been permitted to testify because her fame “unfairly influenced the jury,” the Tribune said.
The judge denied that motion.