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HUDSON, DARNELL DONERSON - JASON HUDSON - JULIAN KING - WILLIAM BALFOUR PRE-TRIAL - TRIAL & CONVICTION

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Jan 19 12 9:56 PM

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2012 - January 19 -  PRE-TRIAL HEARING  
 
                      JURY SELECTION DATE SET FOR APRIL 9, 2012

William Balfour is charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting of Darnell Donerson Hudson,

Jason Hudson and Julian King, relatives of singer Jennifer Hudson.
 
 
Fox News: "He shot the family because he was upset that Hudson's sister was dating someone else."
 
Note: It was reported in news media at the time of the murders, that Balfour had a girlfriend.
         

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#1 [url]

Feb 8 12 4:01 PM

2012 - February 7 - Defense aims to interview Actress/Singer Jennifer Hudson 

SUNTIMES

"Lawyers for the man accused of killing Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer
Hudson's family members said they'd like a face-to-face with the singer in case
she is called to the stand during the April murder trial. Hudson had never been
identified as a witness in the case against William Balfour, but defense attorney
Amy Thompson pointed to the possible evidence of a text Hudson exchanged
with her mother around the time of the older woman's fatal shooting."

"Thompson, who is seeking to have Balfour's arrest thrown out, argued he wasn't
doing anything illegal when he wa spicked up after officers traced his cell phone
to his girlfriend's apartment. But Assistant State's Attorney James McKay urged
Judge Charles Burns to consider the testimony of officers who described how
Balfour constantly threatened to kill Hudson's sister Julia in the days leading
up to the murders.
 

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#2 [url]

Feb 8 12 4:10 PM

EXAMINER.com

"The upcoming murder trial of William Balfour, who is accused of killing three members
of singer Jennifer Hudson's family, may be one of the first to be televised in Illinois. The
state's Supreme Court recently decided that microphones and cameras may be used in
the courtroom.
 
According to a statement released by a court spokesperson, “This is another step to bring
more transparency and more accountability to the Illinois court system. The provisions 
of this new policy keep discretion in the chief circuit and the trial judge to assure that a fair
and impartial trial is not compromised, yet affords a closer look at the workings of our court system to the public through the eyes of the electronic news media and news photographers.”

The trial of infamous accused murderer, former police officer Drew Peterson will likely also be affected by the decision and also be televised."

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#3 [url]

Apr 4 12 5:58 PM

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"William Balfour called a former girlfriend and asked her to create a false alibi for him
on the day he allegedly killed three members of actress Jennifer Hudson’s family,
prosecutors said in a court filing. Prosecutors want to call the woman, Brittany Acoff-Howard,
to testify at Balfour's upcoming trial but believe she may be hostile to the prosecution. They
asked Judge Charles Burns to send a certificate to Berkeley County, South Carolina, where
she now lives, naming her as a material witness. On Friday, Burns signed the certificate
stating Acoff-Howard had failed a polygraph examination last December."

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HUFFINGTON POST
"William Balfour, who will stand trial in April for the murders of Oscar winner Hudson's
mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, had reportedly threatened the family of his
extransged wife, Hudson's sister, in the months leading up to the killings."

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#4 [url]

Apr 4 12 6:11 PM

TRIAL DATE - OPENING STATEMENTS SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 23, 2012
 
MY FOX CHICAGO
"At the hearing, the prosecution said Balfour had threatened to kill members of the
family at least two dozen times before the October 2008 slayings. Assistant State's
Attorney James McKay said the threats began in February of that year, when Balfour
moved out of the family's house, where he had been living with his wife, Hudson's sister
Julia. McKay said the last of the threats came the same day the bodies were found, on
Oct. 24, 2008. He said Julia Hudson let her estranged husband into the home and he
became enraged when he saw balloons that a new boyfriend had given her."

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2012 - APRIL 3 - JUROR QUESTIONING STARTING ON APRIL 5, 2012

"With juror questioning starting Thursday, Balfour’s attorneys asked trial Judge

Charles P. Burns to sign an order for a jail haircut for Balfour, 30, in the meantime.

Burns did Monday, and also confirmed that Balfour will be allowed for the trial to

change his clothes — out of his jail uniform into civilian garb — in a room behind

the courtroom.

 

Opening statements in the trial are scheduled for April 23."

 

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#5 [url]

Apr 14 12 3:38 PM

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - JURY SELECTED IN BALFOUR TRIAL - OPENING STATEMENTS TO BEGIN APRIL 23, 2012

"A jury of 12 people and six alternates has been selected in the trial of William Balfour on
charges he killed three members of singer and actress Jennifer Hudson's family, setting
the stage for opening statements later this month."

"The jury of 10 women and eight men is a racially mixed group from many different walks
of life. Burns has not said which of the six would serve as alternates."

"Opening statements are scheduled to take place on April 23."


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#6 [url]

May 5 12 9:09 PM

CHICAGO SUN TIMES
"Julian King’s life ended at 7 years. He was 4 1/2 feet tall and weighed 94 pounds.

He was the nephew of famed singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, who called him her

 “Tugga Bear.”   But in 2008, Julian became Cook County morgue case No. 414 October

2008. The child died face down, of two bullets to the back of his head, a pathologist testified Wednesday. His short life likely ended in the same place police found him on Oct. 27, 2008:

in his uncle’s stolen white SUV on the West Side, wrapped in a shower curtain, miles from

Julian’s Englewood home.  He was wearing his nightclothes; near him lay his flip-flops."

"Medical Examiner Nancy Jones showed jurors the gunshot wounds that killed Jason Hudson,
one fired through his head, one bullet lodged in his brain. The wounds they left showed the 489-pound man was killed lying in bed. Donerson took a bullet to the back, another through the wrist and a third through the center of her chest that pierced her heart and lungs. She was likely
running away from her attacker, and had fallen to the ground when the third shot hit her, Jones said."

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FOX NEWS

Julia Hudson testified Monday that Balfour was so prone to jealousy that, when he lived
in the Hudson family home before moving out in early 2008, he even became angry when
Julian kissed her. "He'd say, 'Get off my wife,'" she said.

Jennifer Hudson recounted on the stand Monday how she offered reward money for
Julian's safe return during a frantic three-day search before the boy was found dead
in the SUV. "We were trying everything to get him back," Hudson said softly, tears
rolling down her cheek. Hudson also described her sister screaming when she saw
on the TV news her son's body had been found."

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#7 [url]

May 5 12 9:25 PM

CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"Robbin Myers, whose wife was good friends with Hudson’s sister, Julia, testified Balfour
came to a birthday party at his home in August 2008 and “went on a rant” about how he
suspected his wife was seeing a co-worker. “If I find out she’s cheating on me, I’m gonna
 (expletive) her and him up,’” Myers quoted Balfour as saying. Myers said Balfour referred
to Hudson’s bother, Jason, as “that fat ass” who had accused him of stealing his handgun
from the Hudson home. Myers also said Balfour was upset that the Hudson family hated
him, including Jennifer Hudson, who he said “thinks she’s better than everybody else.”  
During their conversation, Myers testified, Balfour threatened to kill the Hudson family “at
least 10 times” and became agitated and raised his arms, exposing a handgun stuck in his waistband. Prosecutors alleged that Balfour had stolen the gun from Jason Hudson and later
used it to commit the murders. Myers also testified he saw Balfour just days before the
slayings in October 2008 slouched down in his car outside the bus company where Julia
Hudson and Myers’ wife worked. He said he saw Balfour get out of the car with a gun in his waistband and start walking toward the building, but Myers interrupted “what he was about
 to do” by honking his horn."

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#8 [url]

May 5 12 10:02 PM

CHICAGO SUN TIMES

"Jennifer Hudson’s brother-in-law confessed that he killed two members of the superstar’s

family, his mistress testified Friday. “He said, ‘They got shot,’ and I said, ‘Who?’ He said,

"Her mother and her brother,’ and I was looking at him crazy … like bug eyed, and just

staring at him,” Shonta Cathey told jurors. “He say he went in and the brother rushed him,

and he shot him, and the mother was coming down the stairs, calling his name, and he

shot her.”

 

Cathey wanted to know what happened to the little boy she knew lived there. Balfour

claimed the child was outside the home in the 7000 block of South Yale the whole time,

Cathey said. “I told him kids don’t got nothing to so with what grownups go through, I

hope it ain’t nothing happen to the little boy,” she continued. “He said I had nothing to

worry about. He laid back down watching TV.”

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#9 [url]

May 5 12 10:16 PM

MORRIS DAILY HERALD
"Pauline Gordon, an analyst for the Illinois State Police, told jurors she tested the .45-caliber
Sig Sauer pistol and found a “very low-level, very limited” amount of DNA belonging to a male,
but the sample excluded Balfour as the person who left the genetic material. She said the DNA could have been left by Hudson’s brother, who owned the weapon, but the sample was too
small to provide an exact match. She explained that DNA would not be present if the killer was wearing gloves or wiped down the weapon. She said DNA can degrade quickly if it is exposed to weather."

"In earlier testimony, Illinois State Police forensic analyst Robert Berk testified he found gunshot residue on the ceiling above the rear seat of the SUV as well as on a steering wheel cover in Balfour’s green Chrysler, which was found on the day of the murders parked about a mile from the Hudson home. Berk said the residue on the steering wheel cover was consistent with someone firing a gun, then driving the car."

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#10 [url]

May 5 12 10:22 PM

CHICAGO SUN TIMES

"He pitched in to buy her prom dress, treated her like a little sister, and when the bodies

of his in-laws were discovered in their Englewood home, William Balfour asked Brittany

Acoff Howard to cover for him, the woman testified Wednesday. “He told me that if anybody

asks you, I’ve been out west all day,” Acoff Howard said Ocsar-winning actress Jennifer

Hudson’s brother-in-law told her in the late afternoon of Oct. 24, 2008."

 

"Acoff Howard, a former neighbor of the Hudsons, said she initially called Balfour on her

brother’s cellphone to ask him if he heard rumors about Jason Hudson being “hurt” or

“dead” in the family’s home in the 7000 block of South Yale. Balfour said he did not know

what she was talking about. Four minutes later at 3:19 p.m., Acoff Howard’s brother’s

phone rang. It was Balfour making the request, Acoff Howard, now 21, said."

 

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#11 [url]

May 27 12 10:57 AM

Julia Hudson's 911 tape released NBC Chicago

 CHICAGO TRIBUNE



Reginald Jones, 55, testified that he was good friends with Hudson’s brother, Jason Hudson, and would often perform odd jobs for the family, including walking their dog, fixing cars and running errands. Jones, who admitted he had a crack cocaine habit, also bought drugs from Jason Hudson and would occasionally help him sell “dime bags” of crack from the Englewood home.

In the summer of 2008, Jones testified, he was walking back toward the rear of the Hudson home late one night when he was startled by Balfour, who was sitting in the dark on the bottom of the rear stairs underneath the bedroom window of his estranged wife, Julia Hudson, who is Jennifer Hudson’s sister. “I was walking and somebody says, ‘Reggie, what the hell are you doin’ here?’” Jones testified. “It shocked me.”



 

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NBC CHICAGO

"Officer Terrence Fowler testified that he was searching the blocks around the crime
scene when he found a gun. Fowler was one of dozens of Chicago Police Academy
recruits asked to help after the bodies of Hudson's mother, brother and later, nephew,
were found. Fowler said he swept his baton through high weeds when he hear a clink
and found the gun."

More at link

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#12 [url]

May 27 12 11:05 AM

2012 - May 11 - GUILTY VERDICT - 3 counts

HUFFINGTON POST

 "Jurors told reporters afterward that their deliberations were thorough and cordial, and
that Jennifer Hudson's celebrity didn't influence them. They said it took time to piece
everything together, and that a key was cellphone records showing Balfour was in the
area when the killings happened."

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#13 [url]

Aug 3 12 8:33 PM

2012 - July - William Balfour Sentenced
 
Washington Post
"The Chicago Tribune reports that a Cook County, Ill., judge today gave Balfour, 31,
 three back-to-back life sentences on each of his three first-degree murder convictions,
plus 120 years for home invasion and aggravated kidnapping."


CHICAGO

"In blistering comments, Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns rejected William
 Balfour's claims that he was innocent of the crimes.

"You have the heart of an arctic night," Burns told Balfour. "Your soul is as barren as dark
space."

Burns' harshest comments Tuesday came in regards to Julian's death. The judge's voice
cracked as he recounted how terrified the child must have been in the second before he
was shot twice in the head. "I have no doubt in my mind he looked to you when you put
bullets in his head," the judge said."

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