Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial: Murderer Sentenced to Life in Prison

Two months after the initial verdict, an Illinois judge ruled Tuesday against a retrial for Jennifer Hudson’s ex-brother-in-law, William Balfour. And, because there will be no retrial, Balfour is still sentenced to life in prison.


Balfour was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder after shooting Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson; brother, Jason Hudson; and 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, in 2008. He is also charged for the kidnapping of Julian King, who was found dead in Jason Hudson’s SUV three days after he was abducted.

Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns has given Balfour three life sentences as well as 120 years for other miscellaneous charges, including home invasion and kidnapping (Illinois does not have the death penalty).


After the verdict was initially revealed, Hudson and her sister Julia put out a statement to the Balfour family saying, “We have all suffered terrible loss in this tragedy… it is our prayer that the Lord will forgive Mr. Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance someday.”

[Photo Credit:, Cook County Sheriff’s Department]


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