Taking Names: Man convicted in Hudson deaths sentenced to life in prison

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The man convicted of gunning down the mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday.

Ms. Hudson, who attended every day of William Balfour’s trial earlier this year, sat next to her sister at the hearing in Chicago and at one point dabbed her eyes with a tissue.

The sentencing hearing came a little more than two months after a jury convicted Balfour in the Oct. 24, 2008, shooting deaths of Ms. Hudson’s 57-year-old mother Darnell Donerson, her 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson and her 7-year-old nephew Julian King. The judge sentenced Balfour to three terms of life in prison plus 120 years on other charges.

“You have the heart of an arctic night,” Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns told Balfour. “Your soul is as barren as dark space.”

Before the sentencing, Judge Burns denied a request for a new trial from Balfour’s defense.

Hugh Jackman (AP photo)

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Jackman to begin filming for ‘Wolverine’ in Sydney

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Director James Mangold rejected reports that Jessica Biel had pulled out as the female lead at the last minute but refused to comment on who would be playing the role of the villainous mutant Viper.

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“I love the character. I still love the character,” he said. “I had no choice at the time, I was going to take anything that came along, but I happened to have walked into probably the most interesting and complex of the superhero characters.

“I’ve always loved playing it, and when I stop loving it I’ll stop doing it,” he added.

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One of rock’s pioneers will be celebrated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this fall.

Chuck Berry will be honored by the hall as part of its American Music Masters series.

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