Jennifer Hudson experienced a loss I hope none of us ever have to face during our lifetimes. In October of 2008, Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew were murdered by William Balfour, her sister's estranged ex-husband. Balfour, who spent seven years in prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking, and possession of a stolen vehicle, was charged with the crimes in December of 2008, to which he pled not guilty. According to CNN, this horrific event took place one year after Hudson had won an Oscar for her turn in Bill Condon's "Dreamgirls".
In May of 2012, Balfour was convicted of all seven charges, which included three counts of first-degree murder, one count of home invasion, one count aggravated kidnapping, one count residential burglary, and one count possession of a stolen motor vehicle. On Tuesday, the sentence was handed down, and, from what I can tell, Balfour will be spending the rest of his life in prison. For his heartless crimes, Balfour received three life sentences without the possibility of parole. On top of that, he gets an additional 120 years.
"This significant sentence is appropriate given the heinous and inhumane nature of these crimes which demanded the full force of justice," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez explained in a statement to the press. Hudson, meanwhile, has remained silent.
During the trial, a teary-eyed Hudson was called as a witness for the prosecution. "None of us wanted her to marry him," the singer said in regards to her brother-in-law. "We did not like how he treated her. Where he was, I tried not to be."
Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns, meanwhile, had some very stern words for Balfour during his sentencing. "You have the heart of an arctic night," Burns said to the killer. "Your soul is as barren as dark space." Balfour, of course, continues to deny the charges.