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3 consecutive life terms for man who murdered Jennifer Hudson's family

An Illinois judge on Tuesday handed down a sentence of life in prison without parole to the man convicted of the 2008 murder of three members of the family of Grammy-and- Oscar-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson.

William Balfour had been convicted in May of breaking into the Hudson family home and fatally shooting Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, her brother Jason Hudson, 29, and her 7-year-old nephew Julian King.

Prior to announcing his sentence, Cook County Judge Charles Patrick Burns told Balfour: “You have the heart of an arctic night. Your soul is as barren as dark space.”

Balfour’s motive was jealousy of his estranged wife Julia Hudson, whom he threatened numerous times, saying he would kill her after he killed her family, according to witnesses at the 11-day trial that ended with his conviction on May 11.

Balfour received three consecutive life terms, with no opportunity for parole, plus 120 years for the three murders and other charges, including counts of aggravated kidnapping and home invasion.

Balfour’s attorneys said they planned to appeal the sentence.

Hudson, wearing a tan pant suit with a black jacket and high heels, wiped her eyes frequently during the sentencing hearing. Hudson, who won a Grammy for her debut album and an Academy Award for her role in the movie Dreamgirls, left the court without making a statement.

Hudson was the first witness in Balfour’s trial. She said she had known him since grade school and had never liked him.