A jury has found Jennifer Hudson's former brother-in-law William Balfour guilty of murdering her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.
Balfour, 31, was found guilty of three counts of murder and four other counts related to the 2008 killings and he now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. He had pleaded not guilty to shooting to death the singer's mother Darnell Donerson, 57, her brother Jason Hudson, 29, and her seven-year-old nephew Julian King on October 24, 2008, as well as home invasion, residential burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle related to the killings. His attorney argued there was no forensic evidence linking him to the murders.
The panel took 18 hours deliberating on the case after it went to the jury yesterday at Cook County Court in Chicago, before finding Balfour guilty of triple murder. The actress - who attended every day of the testimony - arrived at court shortly after it was revealed that the jury had reached a verdict.
The 911 call made by Jennifer Hudson's sister upon finding the body of their mother, has been released.
William Balfour is currently on trial for the murder of Jennifer's mother Darnell, brother Jason and nephew Julian, seven and the call made by Julia Hudson when she found their mother dead was made public yesterday despite the pleases of the prosecution not to do so.
Jennifer Hudson walked out of court yesterday to avoid seeing photos of her murdered nephew.
The Oscar-winning-actress - who has been at the Cook County courtroom in Chicago since Monday observing the trial of William Balfour - left the room when a retired chief medical examiner showed the gunshot wounds suffered by seven-year-old Julian King. However, her fiance David Ortunga stayed behind to take extensive notes.
Julian was found dead in a car three days after police discovered the body of Jennifer's mother Darnell and brother Jason were discovered in their Chicago home. As the images of Julian were discussed in court, William was passed a tissue and he was seen dabbing his eyes. When the testimony ended, Jennifer returned to the room.
Prosecutors allege William flew into a jealous rage after he thought another man had given Julia a gift of balloons which he saw. Balfour is charged with first degree murder in their deaths in addition to home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He has pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to last for approximately four weeks.
Jennifer Hudson did not hear the opening statements at the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and nephew. The Oscar-winning actress and singer attended the first day of the trial of William Balfour at the Cook County courtroom in Chicago today, but did not listen to the statement, court spokesperson Terry Sullivan confirmed. Her partner David Otunga, however, sat in the fourth row to hear the case.
Balfour is charged with three counts of first-degree murder relating to the 2008 killings, with prosecutors claiming a gift of balloons sent to Jennifer's sister Julia Hudson threw him into a jealous rage, causing him to use a .45 caliber handgun to kill 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, 29-year-old Jason Hudson and Julia's son Julian King, whose body was found three days later. There are no known witnesses to the killing, and despite prosecutors claiming physical evidence of gunshot residue found on the wheel of his SUV, defense says it is circumstantial.
Jennifer Hudson‘s brother-in-law has been granted another continuance in his trial for allegedly murdering her family.
William Balfour - who has been charged with three counts of first degree murder and one of home invasion - has been told the case against him has been put back, meaning he will still not face court over the killings of the singer’s mother Darnell Donerson, 57, brother Jason Hudson, 29, and seven-year-old nephew Julian King.
Jennifer’s mother and brother were found in Jennifer’s childhood home in Chicago’s South Side on October 24, 2008. Julian’s body was found in a vehicle in Chicago a few days later. All three had multiple gunshot wounds.
Balfour - who has been jailed without bond since his arrest on December 1, 2008- denies all involvement in the killings. It has previously been alleged that Balfour - who is the estranged husband of Jennifer’s sister Julia - killed Darnell, Jason and Julian after becoming overcome with envy when he saw Julia receive a birthday present from a new boyfriend.
UPDATE: The FBI has since confirmed that the deceased boy found inside the car was Julian King.
The sad discovery of a young boy’s body may have put an end to an Illinois-area Amber Alert.
Earlier this morning, the Chicago Police Department were asked to check on a possible suspicious car. The white Chevy Surburban, which was parked on the city’s west side, matched the description included in Friday’s missing person report. Although a definitive ID has not yet been released, a body found inside is believed to be that of Julian King, Jennifer Hudson’s 7-year-old relative.
Just this past weekend, the Oscar-winner posted a plea on her MySpace page and offered up a $100,000 reward for the safe return of her nephew. Officers began looking for the boy shortly after the bodies of his grandmother and uncle were located late last week. Although he has not yet been charged with any crimes, Julian’s stepfather, William Balfour, has been in police custody since Friday night.
Relatives fearing the worse about King had reportedly scheduled a church vigil for noon today.
(You can follow updates to this story here.)
Read More | CNN
A day after Jennifer Hudson‘s mother and brother were found murdered, a young boy remains missing while a possible suspect sits in custody.
Late Friday night, William Balfour - the singer’s estranged brother-in-law - was located by the Chicago Police Department hours after the bodies of 57-year-old Darnell Donerson (Jennifer’s mother) and 29-year-old Jason Hudson were found. Although no charges have yet been filed, officers identified Balfour as a person of interest in the murders and in the disappearance of Julian King, his 7-year-old stepson.
The crime scene was discovered yesterday afternoon when Jennifer’s sister, Julia Hudson, returned to the house after work. When police arrived to the South Side home, they found a woman with a gunshot wound to her head in the living room and a man with a gunshot wound to his chest in a bedroom. An Amber Alert was issued shortly thereafter for King. Based on earlier reports of gunshots fired, officers believe the incident may have actually occurred around 9:00 in the morning.
Read More | Chicago Sun-Times
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