Friday, May 11, 2012

William Balfour Guilty of Killing Jennifer Hudson's Mother, Brother, Nephew

After 18 hours of deliberation over three days, a jury convicted Jennifer Hudson’s former brother-in-law was of shooting and killing the Academy Award winner’s mother, brother and nephew. William Balfour was also convicted of home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle for the 2008 crimes. The 30-year-old faces mandatory life in prison.
Jurors heard evidence for 11 days from 84 witnesses, ranging from crack addicts to ballistic experts to officers who found the bodies of Darnell Donerson, 57, Jason Hudson, 29, and 7-year-old Julian Hudson. Balfour did not testify in his own defense. Prosecutors said Balfour shot Donerson and her son in their Englewood home, in the 7000 block of South Yale on Oct. 24, 2008. Prosecutors believe he coaxed the child out of the house and then shot him in Jason Hudson’s SUV. The white suburban turned up three days later on the West Side. Though he had at least three girlfriends, Balfour was angry that his then wife, Julia Hudson, was seeing another man, witnesses testified. He had repeatedly threatened to kill her and her family if she left him but Julia Hudson didn’t take him seriously, witnesses said. She told him she had plans to get intimate with her new boyfriend on her birthday Oct. 23, 2008. But she actually spent the day celebrating at a Red Lobster with her girlfriends and her son, Julia Hudson testified. Balfour was sent in a rage when he came to the Hudsons’ home the next day and spotted balloons she had received from her boyfriend on Sweetest Day, prosecutors said. Defense attorneys argued that the murders were a drug hit brought on by Jason Hudson’s crack business. They accused police and prosecutors of rushing to make a case against Balfour once they discovered his connection to the Oscar-winning actress. No DNA evidence or fingerprints from the crime scenes linked back to Balfour, Assistant Public Defender Amy Thompson said. And keys police said they found on Balfour weren’t tested to see if they worked on Jason Hudson’s SUV for three years. Jennifer Hudson, who was the first witness to testify against Balfour, sat through most of the trial that attracted press from across the country. She was escorted into Judge Charles Burns’ courtroom by a private security team who shielded from spectators who watched the trial. She was also brought in to the Criminal Courthouse through an underground passage to avoid the cameras.
source: Chicago Sun-Times

These are the victims:

After reaching their verdict, 10 jurors held a press conference to speak about their deliberations.

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