William Balfour Guilty Of Hudson Family Murder
Jennifer Hudson’s former brother-in-law was convicted of shooting and killing her mother, brother and nephew in a jealous rage in October 2008.
Williams Balfour, the estranged husband of Hudson’s older sister Julia, was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in the triple homicide of Jennifer’s mother Darnell, her brother Jason and her seven-year-old nephew, Julian King.
The bullet-riddled bodies of Darnell, 57, and Jason, 29, were discovered in the family’s South Side Chicago home. King was found three days later in an SUV abandoned on the city’s West Side. He suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
The decision comes after a two-and-a-half-week trial in which Hudson took the stand as the first witness and gave emotional testimony against Balfour. During her testimony, Hudson fought back tears as she told jurors how she’d disliked Balfour ever since the pair were middle school classmates. She said she was distraught when her older sister — Julia Hudson — told her of their plans to wed.
Prosecutors claimed Balfour, 30, shot the family in a jealous rage because Julia was dating another man. Cook County Assistant County District Veryl Gambino described Balfour as a jealous and vindictive man, who systematically instilled fear in his bride.
“Julia, if you leave me, I’ll kill you. I’ll kill your family first and then I’ll kill you. You’ll be the last to die. These weren’t just words. They weren’t just threats. They were deadly warnings of what was to come.”
Jennifer held fiancé David Otunga close in the Chicago courtroom jurors announced guilty verdicts following hours of deliberation over three days. Earlier in the day, jurors sent the judge a note indicating that they were having trouble reaching an unanimous verdict. During its final day of deliberations, the jury also requested transcripts from an FBI cell phone expert’s testimony as well as video of Balfour’s post-arrest interrogation.
In addition to the murders, Balfour was also convicted of home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
The defense told jurors during closing arguments that prosecutors had failed to prove their case and were asking the jury to “throw logic away.” Prosecutors countered that they had presented “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that Balfour was the killer and they showed jurors photos of the victims’ bloody bodies next to pictures of them alive.