11 May 2012

William Balfour Found GUILTY In Hudson Family Murders!

1x1.trans William Balfour Found GUILTY In Hudson Family Murders!

William Balfour has been convicted of the murders of actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.

Hudson bowed her head as jurors entered the courtroom around 4:40 p.m. The Academy Award-winning actress, who attended each day of the trial, leaned forward when the verdict was read and softly cried as her fiancé comforted her and family members squeezed her shoulders.

When jurors walked out of the courtroom, Hudson stood on tiptoe to watch them.

The family of Balfour cried on hearing the verdict. He faces mandatory life in prison.

The verdict came less than three hours after jurors sent out a note telling the judge they were split but still trying to reach a decision. Jurors gave a breakdown of their votes but Judge Charles Burns did not disclose it.

A second note, issued at the same time, asked for all available evidence about the “cell phone tower coverage.” The note concluded by saying “we are trying,” an apparent reference to their continued talks.

The judge agreed to send back a transcript of the testimony of FBI Special Agent Nikki Skovran, who performed a forensic analysis of Balfour’s cell phone from the day of the murders that placed him near the Hudson home around the time the victims were shot.

“With regard to the first question, please continue to deliberate,” Burns wrote.

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12 Apr 2012

Hudson Family Murder Trial: Judge Bans Jurors From Watching American Idol!

1x1.trans Hudson Family Murder Trial: Judge Bans Jurors From Watching American Idol!

Opening statements are scheduled to take place on April 23. The delay resulted from a prior commitment of the judge. Burns warned jurors to avoid any media coverage of the case or Hudson. He specifically cited an expected appearance by Hudson on an episode of “American Idol.”

“I am told that one of the witnesses in this case may be appearing on television Thursday night,” Burns said in a clear reference to Hudson.

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11 Apr 2012

Hudson Family Murder Trial: 14 Jurors Selected

1x1.trans Hudson Family Murder Trial: 14 Jurors Selected

William Balfour now knows most of the people who will decide whether he spends the rest of his life in prison in the slayings of singer Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew.

So far they include a college student, a junior high math teacher, a physical therapist, a truck driver, a former prison guard and a woman who works for a local chocolate company.

Fourteen people were picked Monday for the Balfour jury in part because of their ability to maintain an impassive demeanor under intense questioning.

But as every trial attorney and courtroom observer knows, looks can be deceiving – particularly in a high-profile case involving a celebrity.

Balfour, who was estranged from Hudson’s sister, Julia, at the time of the 2008 murders, is accused of fatally shooting the actress’ mother, Darnell Donerson, brother Jason Hudson and nephew Julian King, 7. The killings marked a tragic turn in an inspiring rags-to-riches story that elevated Hudson to iconic levels in her hometown.

1x1.trans Hudson Family Murder Trial: 14 Jurors Selected

Given her local popularity, Balfour’s legal team faces the arduous task of finding 18 people – 12 jurors and six alternates – who won’t let the horrific or high-profile nature of the case affect their judgment, legal experts said. It’s easier said than done as jurors aren’t always forthcoming about their biases or preconceived notions about celebrity trials, experts said.

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13 Mar 2012

Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial Update!

1x1.trans Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial Update!

James Balfour, the man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, had threatened to kill members of the family at least two dozen times before the October 2008 slayings, a prosecutor said during a Friday hearing in Chicago.

Assistant State’s Attorney James McKay said the threats began in February 2008, when James Balfour moved out of the family’s house where he had been living with his wife, Hudson’s sister Julia. The threats continued right up until the day the bodies were found, on Oct. 24, 2008.

“He said, `If you ever leave me, I’m going to kill you, but I’m going to kill your family first,’” McKay said at the hearing. “‘You will be the last to die.’”

Friday’s hearing comes about a month before Balfour is scheduled to stand trial in the slayings. Prosecutors allege Balfour shot the family members because he was furious his wife was dating another man. Balfour has pleaded not guilty.

On the day of the killings, Julia Hudson noticed her estranged husband in an alley beside the home as she was getting ready to head to work and let him inside, McKay said. The prosecutor said Balfour became enraged when he saw balloons that a new boyfriend had given her and he realized at that point that his marriage was “crumbling.”
“All of this is boiling over and when he sees those balloons it’s time to act,” McKay said.
Julia Hudson worked as a bus driver, and Balfour made one of the threats in person when he got on her bus a month before the killings. He told his wife, “I’m thinking of taking Julian,” said McKay, calling the words a clear threat to kidnap her son from a previous relationship.
Seven-year-old Julian King was one of those killed. The others were Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother, Jason Hudson, 29.

Police recovered a gun from bushes near the vehicle in which King’s body was found and have linked it to the shootings.

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20 Jan 2012

Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial Date Set!

1x1.trans Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial Date Set!

A Cook County judge today set an April trial date for a man accused of killing three members of actress Jennifer Hudson’s family despite strenuous objections from defense attorneys that they need more time to review evidence.

Judge Charles Burns said jury selection for William Balfour, 31, will begin on April 9 followed by opening statements on April 23. The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

Balfour, Hudson’s former brother-in-law, is charged in a 77-count indictment with first-degree murder, home invasion and aggravated kidnapping in the 2008 slayings of Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57; brother, Jason Hudson, 29; and nephew, Julian King, 7.

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11 Apr 2010

Jennifer Hudson Starts The Hudson-King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims

1x1.trans Jennifer Hudson Starts The Hudson King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims

Jennifer Hudson has started a charity for the families

of slain victims. I think this is a great thing for her to do.

If anyone knows first hand how hard it is to grieve a

murdered family member she does. Im glad she was able to

come out on top helping people who are dealing with the

same type of issues.

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