Photo Credit: John Shearer/WireImage; Cook County Sheriff's Department via WireImage
Jennifer Hudson's former brother-in-law William Balfour, who was convicted of killing her mother, brother, and young nephew in 2008, was given three life sentences by a Chicago judge on Tuesday.
For the first time since the 2008 shootings that claimed three lives in the Hudson family, Balfour publicly offered condolences to his youngest victim, 7-year-old Julian King, the son of Hudson's older sister (and Balfour's ex) Julia.
"My deepest sympathies go to Julian King," he said of the stepson he was convicted of shooting multiple times. "I loved him. I still love him," Balfour said as he looked across the courtroom to his own family, not at the Hudson family seated across the aisle.
Hudson, 30, sat crying next to her sister Julia as the judge announced Balfour's sentencing. According to the Chicago Tribune, under Illinois law, the judge had to sentence Balfour to life in prison without the possibility of parole, because he had committed more than one murder.
"Your heart is an arctic night, and your soul is as barren as dark space" Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns told Balfour during the sentencing. Addressing Balfour's condolence, the judge responded: "The fact that you can stand in court and tell us you love that child is an insult to all of us."
Judge Burns imposed three consecutive life sentences (one for each of the murders: King, Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson, and her brother Jason Hudson) in addition to 120 years for Balfour's other convictions for home invasion, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and aggravated kidnapping. He will never be eligible for parole.
Hudson has yet to release a statement addressing Balfour's sentencing, but following his conviction in May, Jennifer and Julia said they were "grateful."
"We have many people to thank but our first thank you is to God, always," said the sisters, who also thanked their attorneys, the Chicago police department and the State's witnesses. "We have felt the love and support from people all over the world and we're very grateful."