published Friday, May 11th, 2012, updated May 11th, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.

Hudson family slayings suspect convicted of murder

In this Jan. 10, 2012 file photo, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson attends a book signing in New York. On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, closing arguments are taking place at the Chicago murder trial for William Balfour, Hudson's ex-brother-in-law who is accused of killing her mother, brother and nephew in October 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)
In this Jan. 10, 2012 file photo, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson attends a book signing in New York. On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, closing arguments are taking place at the Chicago murder trial for William Balfour, Hudson's ex-brother-in-law who is accused of killing her mother, brother and nephew in October 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press

CHICAGO — A Chicago jury has convicted Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson's former brother-in-law of murdering her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in what prosecutors described as an act of vengeance by a jilted husband.

The jury convicted 31-year-old William Balfour on three-counts of first degree murder on Friday, after three days of deliberations. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors had to build an overwhelming circumstantial case tying Balfour to the killings because there were no surviving witnesses. Defense attorneys claimed the killings could have been related to Hudson's brother's alleged drug dealing.

Hudson was the first witness called to the stand and she attended every day of testimony

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