June 13th, 2012 by edsel
Jennifer Hudson may have to put on a repeat performance as a star witness in a new trial for the Hudson family murders.
According to Perez Hilton, the lawyers of William Balfour -the man convicted for murdering Hudson’s mother Darnell, brother Jason, and nephew Julian King- asked for a new trial this Friday. Chicago Judge Charles Burns set a July 24 date to rule on the matter.
The Huffington Post reported that Cook County prosecutors and defense attorneys will argue the motion for a new trial. If Judge Burns allows the conviction to stand, William Balfour will be receiving sentence for a total of seven counts of first-degree murder, home invasion, residential burglary, aggravated kidnapping, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Four years ago, Darnell Hudson and Jason Hudson were murdered in their home. Julian King -7-year-old son of Julia Hudson and the nephew of Jennifer Hudson- initially went missing. His body was found in a car owned by defendant Balfour.
Ex-convict William Balfour was previously married to Julia Hudson sister, the sister of Jennifer Hudson. Prosecutors asserted that Balfour shot the Hudson sisters’ family members due to jealousy. A jury pronounced Balfour guilty of the Hudson family murders last month.
May 10th, 2012 by edsel
‘Dreamgirls’ Jennifer Hudson approaches the end of a weeks-long nightmare as the court wraps up the last testimonials for her family’s murder trial this Tuesday.
Defendant William Balfour, the former brother-in-law of Jennifer Hudson, refused to take the stand. ”He’s determined he does not want to testify,” his attorney, Amy Thompson, told the judge.
William Balfour stands accused of killing the mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew of Jennifer Hudson. He was still married to the award-winning actress’ sister Julia Hudson when the crimes took place in 2008.
The 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, her 29-year-old son Jason Hudson, and her 7-year-old grandson Julian King were found dead. Julia Hudson found the bodies of her mother and brother in their home on Oct. 24. Her son Julian (who was not sired by William Balfour) was found dead three days later in Balfour’s SUV.
The prosecution presented technical evidence and tearful testimonies from Jennifer Hudson and Julia Hudson. They also presented a recording of the 911 call Julia made after discovering her mother’s body.
“She’s on the floor and I see blood coming from her head,” Julia wept during the 911 call. “I just came home from work and there’s a bullet hole in our front door… she’s 57 years old.” Julia Hudson begged the 911 operator to, “Please help my mama. Please just send an ambulance.”
The defense countered that the evidence against William Balfour is circumstantial. Balfour’s lawyers recalled two police officers who were earlier called by the prosecution. The defense then rested its case.
Wednesday morning will see both sides present closing arguments. As she earlier promised, Jennifer Hudson attended every day of the the trial, only leaving the courtroom when prosecutors brought out graphic photos of her dead family.
May 4th, 2012 by edsel
Judge Charles Burns has enacted a cell phone ban during the trial of William Balfour for the murder of the mother, brother, and nephew of Jennifer Hudson. Perez Hilton reported that reporters were initially permitted to text and tweet updates on the proceedings. However, it did not occur to any of them to set their phones to silent mode.
After numerous interruptions and violations caused by cell phones ringing in the middle of Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Burns finally dropped the gavel on the use of cell phones. And just to be sure, Judge Burns has also banned Twitter and email from the court.
Sending tweets did not violate any law, but one journalist reportedly kept tapping on his mobile so much and so loudly that the judge added Twitter to the ban for principle’s sake.
The cell phone ban takes place Thursday, putting an end to play-by-play reports about the real-life drama that Jennifer Hudson faces.
May 3rd, 2012 by edsel
The judge of the Hudson family murder trial made public the emotional 911 call from the sister of ‘Dreamgirls’ star Jennifer Hudson on Monday.
Gossip Center shared that the prosecution originally asked that the gut wrenching 911 call be kept from public release. However, Judge Charles Burns allowed the tape to be released in the murder trial against William Balfour, the estranged husband of Julia Hudson.
E! News obtained a copy of the recording, where Julia Hudson is heard begging the dispatcher, “Help, please, oh, God. Somebody’s killed my mother, somebody’s killed my mother… Please help me. Oh my God, oh my God.”
Asked if she needed an ambulance, Julia Hudson stammered, ”I don’t know. I’m scared…please…please…can you please send an ambulance, please. Oh my God.”
The sister of Jennifer Hudson forced herself to describe the horrific scene during the 911 call. “She’s on the floor and I see blood coming from her head…I just came home from work and there’s a bullet hole in our front door…she’s 57 years old. Please help my mama,” she weeps. “Please just send an ambulance.”
Unaware of the whereabouts of her brother Jason Hudson, Julia Hudson can be heard asking a neighbor. “Where’s my brother? What happened? She’s on the floor… I’m here by myself,” she said over the 911 call.
William Balfour is the ex-husband of Julia Hudson, sister of Jennifer Hudson. He is on trial for the murders of the Hudson sisters’ mother Darnell Donerson, their brother Jason Hudson, and Jennifer’s 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, Julia’s son by an earlier liaison.
Balfour was allegedly provoked by jealousy when he suspected his ex-wife was seeing another man.
Jennifer Hudson has been attending every single day of the trial. The court has recently come under fire for reputedly granting her special privileges as a celebrity.
April 27th, 2012 by faye
“Dreamgirls” star Jennifer Hudson has decided to minimize her presence and agony at the courtroom for the murder trial of her family. The singer waited outside while the prosecutors showed graphic photos of her slain seven-year-old nephew.
During the murder trial of William Balfour, the suspect in the case of the Hudson family, Jennifer Hudson and her sister Julia refused to take a look at the graphic and horrendous images of the blood-soaked body of Julian King, who had been shot in the head.
The man accused of the crime, William Balfour, is the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson’s sister, Julia. He is said to have killed his own son after abducting him from the family’s Chicago home, following the killings of the mother and brother of Jennifer Hudson back in 2008.
Deputy Medical Examiner Mitra Kalekar, who conducted the autopsy of the Julian King, told jurors that the boy had two gunshot wounds in his head. Kalekar testified that he was killed while laying face-down on the SUV.
David Otunga, the fiance of Jennifer Hudson who is a Harvard-educated lawyer, professional wrestler and the father of Hudson’s 2-year-old son — remained in the courtroom while the graphic photos were shown and took extensive notes during the singer’s absence.
Prosecutors say William Balfour was bent on revenge when he opened fire inside Hudson’s home. He had a heated argument with his estranged wife Julia earlier in the morning and totally lost it in a jealous outrage after seeing balloons that he believed were a gift from Julia’s new boyfriend.
William Balfour allegedly shot down 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, mother of Jennifer Hudson, while she was believed to have used a broom in an effort to fend him off in her living room. Jason Hudson, on the other hand, was said to have been shot as he lay in bed. William Balfour then fled with his son, Julian King, in an SUV he stole from the family. The young boy was found dead in the abandoned vehicle three days later.
There is no DNA, fingerprints or other forensic evidence that links William Balfour to the crimes, the defense lawyer said in opening statements Monday.
With no surviving witnesses, prosecutors are hoping to build a case of overwhelming circumstantial evidence.
April 25th, 2012 by faye
Former “American Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson broke down into fits of tears as she testified at the murder trial of William Balfour – the man accused of shooting dead her mother Darnell Donerson, 57, her brother Jason Hudson, 29, and her nephew Julian King, 7.
According to reports, the 30-year-old singer burst into tears when the the prosecutor asked her about the last time she saw her family. Jennifer Hudson said her last visit was just days before the killing.
Jennifer Hudson testified about the tragic day of October 24, 2008, when she learned about the death of her mother and brother, and her missing nephew. She immediately flew back to her home in Chicago and identified the bodies of her mom and brother at the morgue.
Before Jennifer Hudson moved out in the summer of 2006, the family had lived together in the same house in Chicago where the bodies of her mother and brother were found. Her nephew, Julian King, was found dead in a white SUV that Jennifer had bought for her brother, Jason.
Prosecutors say William Balfour stole the vehicle, killed the seven-year-old boy in the back seat, and then abandoned it. The murder weapon, a handgun which had been stolen from Jason Hudson, was found in a vacant lot near the SUV.
The sister of Jennifer Hudson, Julia, married William Balfour in December 2006 without telling Jennifer her brother, or even their mother. The couple went to live at the Hudson family house.
Julia Hudson testified on Monday that her estranged husband became jealous when she received presents from other people, and was jealous even of her son, telling Julian not to kiss her. Balfour’s nickname for Julian was “the little monster,” Julia said.
She separated from William Balfour in February 2008, Julia Hudson said, and three months later he begged her to come back. When Julia said she could not, Balfour said he would kill her family..
“If you leave me, you’ll be the last to die,” Julia Hudson said William Balfour told her. “I’m going to kill your family first.”
Jennifer Hudson rose to fame in 2004 when she performed on “American Idol”. She subsequently won a Grammy for her debut album, and an Academy Award for her role in the movie “Dreamgirls.”