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Jennifer Hudson family murder trial: William Balfour sentenced to life in prison

07/24/2012 by Corinne Heller

Jennifer Hudson's brother in-law William Balfour has been given three life sentences without the possibility of parole, as well as an extra 120 years in prison, for murdering the singer and actress' mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.

The sentence was issued on Tuesday, July 24, months after Balfour, 31, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and four other counts related to the 2008 killings.

Hudson and her sister were present when the jury announced the verdict on May 11 and also appeared in court on Tuesday to witness Balfour's sentencing.

"This significant sentence is appropriate given the heinous and inhumane nature of these crimes which demanded the full force of justice," CNN quoted Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez as saying in a statement.

Prosecutors had said Balfour shot the family in a jealous rage because his ex Julia, Hudson's sister, was dating another man. The bodies of the women's mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother, Jason, 29, were found shot to death in the family's home on Oct. 24, 2008.

Hudson testified that she flew down to Chicago to be with her family and identify the bodies of her mother and brother. She later put up a $100,000 reward to find her nephew, Julian King, but the 7-year-old's body was found three days later.

(Pictured: In this courtroom sketch, William Balfour, second from right, is flanked by attorney Amy Thompson, right, and another defense team member, as they watch lead prosecutor James McKay speak before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Charles Burns at Balfour's sentencing in Chicago on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. / Right: Jennifer Hudson, left, sits with her sister, Julia Hudson in court. Credit: AP Photo / Tom Gianni)

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