Jury convicts man who murdered Jennifer Hudson’s family
Justice has been served for superstar Jennifer Hudson and the remaining members of her family.
A jury has found William Balfour guilty of murdering actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in 2008.
Balfour, 30, was accused of killing the three in a jealous rage, believing that his estranged wife, Julia Hudson, Jennifer Hudson’s sister, was dating another man.
The jury found Balfour guilty of all counts against him after some 18 hours of deliberations over three days.
Balfour was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty. With the convictions on all counts, he faces life in prison.
Jennifer Hudson, who had entered the courtroom with her fiance and her sister, Julia Hudson, silently cried as the verdict read. Her fiance held her hand and rubbed her back.
The announcement that there was a verdict came shortly after the jury told Judge Charles Burns that it was split but, according to The Associated Press, told him in a note, “We are trying.” Burns ordered a resumption of deliberations in hopes of the jury reaching an agreement.
The trial began on April 23 in Chicago. Prosecutors called more than 80 witnesses over two weeks, and the defense rested its case after 30 minutes, calling only two witnesses to the stand. Balfour did not testify.
Prosecutors alleged that Balfour fatally shot Hudson’s mother Darnell Donerson, 57, in her living room, and then shot Hudson’s brother Jason Hudson, 29, as he lay in bed. He then kidnapped Hudson’s nephew Julian King, who was 7. Investigators believe the boy was shot in the head as he lay behind the front seat of an SUV.
Balfour’s allegedly repeated threat to his estranged wife: “If you leave me, I will kill you. I will kill your family first. You will be the last to die.”