William Balfour receives three life sentences for killing members of Jennifer Hudson’s family

Balfour was found guilty of the first degree murder of Hudson's mother, brother and nephew in May

William Balfour has received three life sentences after being found guilty of murdering three members of singer Jennifer Hudson‘s family.

Balfour was found guilty of the crimes – which happened in 2008 – in May, but TMZ now reports that he has been sentenced to serve three consecutive life sentences. In a court in Chicago, the judge told Balfour: “Your soul is as barren as dark space.” Jennifer Hudson was present at the sentencing.

Balfour was found guilty by a Chicago jury of the first-degree murders of the Oscar winning-actress and singer’s mother, brother and nephew. He was also found guilty of home invasion and residential burglary in addition to the murders of Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson and seven-year-old Julian King.

During the trial, it was argued that he shot the three victims in a jealous rage, with prosecutors alleging that he acted out of spite after his estranged wife said she wanted to divorce him.

Hudson, who gave evidence in the trial and had been reportedly “choking back tears” when she gave her testimony, released a joint statement with her sister after the verdict was given. “We have all suffered terrible loss in this tragedy,” they said, before adding: “It is our prayer that the Lord will forgive Mr Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance someday.”