On Friday, Jennifer Hudson's ex-brother-in-law William Balfour was convicted in the 2008 murders of Hudson's mother, brother, and seven-year-old nephew. It was the culmination of an emotional trial, during which Balfour was shown to be a jealous husband, acting out against Jennifer's sister Julia Hudson, his then wife.
Balfour faces a mandatory life sentence. Jurors said they were convinced by the evidence and not by Jennifer Hudson's celebrity: during the trial, prosecutors called 83 witnesses to prove their case against Balfour, who had threatened to kill the entire family in retaliation for Julia Hudson's rejection.
Although neither Jennifer or her sister spoke to reporters, the two released a joint statement after the verdict.
"It is our prayer that the Lord will forgive Mr. Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance someday," they said in the statement, which also thanked prosecutors for their "dedication and tireless work" and praised police and trial witnesses.
Jennifer Hudson attended every day of testimony. According to Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, "She told me, 'If it was me [who had been killed] my mother would be here every day. So, I'm going to be here every day.'"
Public defender Amy Thompson, who represented Balfour, plans to appeal the guilty verdict.
[Image via AP/Tom Gianni]