Balfour Gets 3 Life Sentences for Hudson Murders

"Mr. Balfour, you have the heart of an arctic night and your soul is as barren as deep space," Judge Charles Burns said

By Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012  |  Updated 10:38 PM EDT
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Judge Charles Burns called William Balfour's statement an

Judge Charles Burns called William Balfour's statement an "insult to the court." Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

William Balfour, the man convicted in May of killing Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison.

Judge Charles Burns gave Balfour three consecutive life sentences plus 50 years for home invasion, 10 years for possession of a stolen vehicle and 60 years for aggravated kidnapping.

"Mr. Balfour, you have the heart of an arctic night and your soul is as barren as deep space," Judge Burns said.

Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were found shot to death on Oct. 24, 2008, in the family's home on Chicago's South Side. Hudson's nephew, 7-year-old Julian King, was found murdered in an SUV days later.

A jury convicted Balfour of three counts of first-degree murder as well as charges of aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle and home invasion.

Balfour addressed the court and the victims' families Tuesday before he was sentenced.

"My condolence goes out to the family," he said. "My deepest sympathies go to Julian King. I still love him. I am innocent."

Burns called the statement an insult to the courtroom.

Before the hearing, Balfour's lawyers filed a last ditch motion requesting a new trial on the grounds that celebrity singer Hudson should not have been allowed to testify because she did not have direct knowledge of the murders. Hudson was not in Chicago when the crimes were committed.

"The prejudicial effect of the testimony on the jury far outweighed any probative value it would have," Cook County public defender Amy Thompson wrote in a court filing.

Burns denied the request.

Hudson, dressed in a black sweater and matching, light grey blouse and slacks, looked on from the courtroom as he denied the motion and was seen tearing up during testimony.

A recap of trial coverage:

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