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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 expected to learn Tuesday whether a judge will grant him a new trial or order him to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The actress, who attended the trial every day, was expected to attend the hearing and perhaps deliver a victim impact statement. William Balfour also will have an opportunity to address the judge before he is sentenced.

If Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns denies the appeal, which the defense filed shortly after Balfour was convicted of first-degree murder in May, he will likely immediately begin the sentencing hearing. Balfour faces a mandatory life sentence.

The hearing comes a little more than two months after a jury convicted Balfour in the Oct. 24, 2008, shooting deaths of Hudson's 57-year-old mother Darnell Donerson, her 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson and her 7-year-old nephew Julian King.

Prosecutors portrayed Balfour as a jealous estranged husband who often stalked Julia Hudson's house after he moved out in early 2008. They said all his anger and jealousy erupted into violence shortly after he came into the house and spotted a gift of balloons there that were from Julia Hudson's new boyfriend.


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