Jennifer Hudson's estranged brother-in-law has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of three family members.

Cook County state's attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton says prosecutors handed down formal charges against William Balfour on Tuesday in the deaths of Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.

Balfour had been in custody on a parole violation since the bodies of Hudson's mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were discovered in their home Oct. 24.

Seven-year-old Julian King's body was found in a sport utility vehicle three days later.

All three had been shot to death.

Police took Balfour into custody the same day the adults' bodies were found. After 48 hours he was taken to prison on a parole violation. Police arrested him on a warrant in the deaths Monday.