Star Hudson’s in-law convicted
Actress thanks God, prosecutors after guilty verdict
AN ILLINOIS jury has found the former brotherin-law of Grammy and Oscar-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson guilty of murdering three members of her family in 2008.
William Balfour, 31, was found guilty of breaking into the Hudson family home and fatally shooting Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, her brother Jason Hudson, 29, and her sevenyear-old nephew Julian King. He faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.
Hudson, wearing a long blackand-white printed sweater, dabbed at her eyes after the verdict was read. She left the courthouse without making a comment.
“She was very emotional about the verdict, but relieved,” Cook County State’s attorney Anita Alvarez said of Jennifer Hudson.
In a statement at the weekend, Jennifer Hudson and her sister Julia Hudson, who was married to Balfour at the time of the murders but has since divorced, thanked God, the prosecutors, the Chicago police, and the witnesses who came forward.
“We have felt the love and support from people all over the world and we’re very grateful,” the statement said.
The statement adds the sisters are praying “that the Lord will forgive Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance some day”.
Hudson was determined to attend the 11-day trial, telling Alvarez: “This was my mother. If it was me, she would be here every day. I will be here every day.”
It was that close relationship to her mother, who would send her a text message every morning, that led Hudson to suspect something was wrong on the day of the murders. Her mother did not respond to Hudson’s text, giving authorities a sense of what time the murders occurred, prosecutor James Mckay said.
Jurors took three days to reach a verdict, with three of them undecided as they sifted through the circumstantial evidence implicating Balfour.
Balfour had sought to cover his tracks, changing his clothes three times, and enlisting friends to create an alibi. But a timeline of his whereabouts was built from cellphone records, security camera video and witness testimony.
His motive was jealousy of his estranged wife Julia Hudson, who he threatened numerous times, saying he would kill her after he killed her family, according to witnesses.
A small-time drug dealer, Balfour was armed with a .45 calibre handgun he had stolen from Jason Hudson, who also dealt drugs, witnesses said.
Defence attorneys raised the possibility that an enemy of Jason Hudson in the drug trade committed the murders.
Balfour sat stony-faced as the verdict was read, but one of his relatives shook her head angrily.
Balfour’s defence attorney Amy Thompson, who referred to her client as a “very stoic young man”, said she planned to ask for a new trial at a hearing on June 8. She said she believed there were grounds for appeal.
Prosecutors relied on what they said was a “tsunami” of circumstantial evidence since they had no DNA or fingerprints directly linking Balfour to the slayings, and no one alive witnessed the killings. — Reuters