William Balfour

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Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial Ends In Life Sentence For William Balfour


In the wake of murders in Colorado last week, we have all been a bit on edge and in desperate need of some justice. So, we welcome today’s news about the sentencing for the man who murdered Jennifer Hudson‘s mother, Darnell Donerson, brother Jason Hudson, and 7-year-old nephew Julian King in 2008. Finally, after an overwhelming amount of pain and loss for JHud’s family, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

William Balfour has been sentenced to serve three consecutive life sentences in prison. While Balfour is probably not to keen on his future behind bars, his sentence gives us all some peace of mind. Balfour’s sentence follows his May 11 conviction on three accounts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jennifer’s beloved family members, along with home invasion, residential burglary, aggravated kidnapping and possession of a stolen vehicle. While such allegations against Balfour have certainly gained him the least popular vote in media, and have evidently not earned him much sympathy in the courtroom, Balfour has continued to proclaim his innocence. After the prosecution cited “overwhelming circumstantial evidence,” including death threats against his estranged wife and Jennifer’s sister, Julia Hudson, this guy still would not let up. He even blamed Jennifer Hudson’s fame for his guilty verdict, to no avail. According to TMZ, during his sentencing hearing, the judge told Balfour, “Your soul is as barren as dark space.”

[Photos: Getty Images]

by (@hallekiefer)

Man Who Murdered Jennifer Hudson’s Relatives Says JHud’s Fame Played A Role In Guilty Verdict

Jennifer Hudson Family Murderer Demands Retrial

After being convicted of murder last month, William Balfour, the man who killed Jennifer Hudson‘s mother, brother and nephew in October 2008, is apparently looking for a retrial. According to Balfour and his attorney, it was Jennifer Hudson‘s fame that was at least partially responsible for his guilty verdict. Uh…huh. “The testimony was irrelevant, and because of the fame of the witness, the prejudicial effect of the testimony on the jury outweighed any probative value that it would have,” Balfour’s assistant public defender Amy Thompson said in a motion she submitted today; Hudson was the first witness to testify against her former brother-in-law in court. That’s how being famous works, right? Juries just convict people based on whether they liked Dreamgirls? Oh no…considering everyone liked Dreamgirls, we now face the complete collapse of the American judicial system!

In JHud’s defense, the prosecution in Balfour’s case reportedly called over 80 witnesses, presented evidence of death threats made by Balfour toward Hudon’s sister Julia and cited “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” against him. Meanwhile, the defense called two witnesses and rested their case after 30 minutes. Is all we’re saying. Either way, we hope justice will be served, but come on…let’s give jurors at least some credit.

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@hallekiefer)

Accused Murderer William Balfour Found Guilty On All Counts In Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial

William Balfour Found Guilty In Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial

Just a few weeks after the trial of William Balfour, the man accused of murdering Jennifer Hudson‘s mother, brother and nephew, began, the jury delivered it’s verdict: guilty. Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson and 7-year-old Julian King lost their lives in 2008 after Balfour allegedly killed the family members upon finding out that his estranged wife, Jennifer’s sister Julia Hudson, was dating someone else. The prosecution cited “overwhelming circumstantial evidence,” including Balfour’s death threats against Julia, in their case, and called over 80 witnesses; the defense called only two witnesses and rested their case after 30 minutes.

“We are disappointed in the verdict, but we do appreciate all of the hard work the jury did in this case,” Balfour’s attorney Amy Thompson told the press after the verdict had been announced. “We’re hoping that the appellate court will take a look at this case with a very critical eye.” The verdict came after 18 hours of deliberation over three days, and shortly after the jury told Judge Charles Burns that it was split on a decision. After further deliberation however, Balfour was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder, home invasion, residential burglary, aggravated kidnapping and possession of a stolen vehicle. Jennifer joined her fiance David Otunga and sister in the courtroom today, and wept when the verdict was read.

Related: Jennifer Hudon’s Family Tragedy Remembered As William Balfour Jury Selection Begins
Related: Jennifer Hudson Tearfully Testifies: Family “Did Not Like” Accused Murderer

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@shalapitcher)

Jennifer Hudson Tearfully Testifies: Family “Did Not Like” Accused Murderer

Our hearts go out to Jennifer Hudson today, after she took the stand to testify in the murder trial of her sister’s estranged husband, William Balfour, who is accused of murdering her mother, brother and nephew in 2008. Today is the first day of the trial in Chicago, and Hudson was one of the first witnesses for the prosecution. She spoke about how close she was to her mother, Darnell Donerson — they slept in the same bed until she was 16, and they spoke every day, which is how the singer/actress knew something was wrong on the morning the bodies of her mother and brother were found in their apartment.

“I noticed that — I’m looking to see the text from my mom and it wasn’t any,” she said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I kept sitting there wondering, like that’s strange. That was the first thing I said, ‘My mom didn’t text me.’

“My sister called my fiance’s phone,” Hudson continued. “I remember it like yesterday, obviously. And he couldn’t understand what she was saying because she was so hysterical and I grabbed the phone form him and that’s when she told me.”
Read more…

by (@shalapitcher)

Jennifer Hudson’s Family Tragedy Remembered As William Balfour Jury Selection Begins

When Jennifer Hudson sang a tribute to Whitney Houston at this year’s Grammys, we were reminded of the extra layer of emotion she brought: Hudson knew something of what Bobbi Christina Brown was going through, and months after the murder of Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew in 2008, it was Whitney Houston who presented her with a Grammy. Now, the Oscar winner is no doubt bracing herself to relive that tragedy once more, as jury selection begins today for the trial of William Balfour, the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister, Julia.

Balfour is accused of killing Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson and 7-year-old nephew Julian King (Julia’s son) in a jealous rage. Hudson is on the list of 300 prospective witnesses and is expected to attend the trial when opening statements are scheduled to begin on April 23. Jury selection will be a painstaking process, to assure they won’t be swayed by Hudson’s star status.

All these years later, we still get choked up remembering JHud’s brave return to the public eye at the Super Bowl and the Grammys following the murders. And just try not to tear up watching her Behind the Music interview from 2010 above.
Read more…

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William Balfour Arrested In Hudson Family Murders


William Balfour was arrested yesterday in the murders of Jennifer Hudson‘s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. Balfour, who is Hudson’s estranged brother-in-law, was previously a “person of interest” in the case. He was being held on suspicion of parole violation.

Balfour’s attorney, Joshua Kutnick, told reporters outside a Chicago police station that his client is innocent. “He vehemently denies that he is guilty in this case,” Kutnick said. “Any evidence pointing to Mr. Balfour is not even thin. It is very, very weak.”

Police haven’t yet disclosed a motive for the killings, but Balfour’s relationship with Julia Hudson (J-Hud’s sister) had deteriorated. On the morning of the killings, Julia called Balfour after learning that her paycheck had been garnered due to unmade payments of a car that Balfour had taken.

Jennifer Hudson has layed low since the tragedy, spending time with her sister and fiance (David Otunga, aka Punk on VH1) in Chicago. Last month, she used her MySpace page to thank fans for their support — and her profile picture still features Julian King, her murdered nephew.

by (@katespencer)

Hudson Suspect Not Going Free, Girlfriend Says He’s Involved

William Balfour, the only suspect in the triple murder of Jennifer Hudson‘s mom, brother and nephew, will not be walking out of jail today. Balfour is currently being held on a parole violation, but was thisclose to being released if there were no other violations found to keep him behind bars. His pregnant girlfriend is responsible for extending his lockdown, after she told cops he was in possession of a gun that matched the one used in the murder.

His girlfriend has also told authorities that Balfour confessed to being involved in the murders, and he has admitted to being at the Hudson home the morning the family members were gunned down. Looks like confession-watch has officially started.  [ChicagoTribune. Photo: FilmMagic]

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Jennifer Hudson’s Mom And Brother Murdered, Suspect In Custody, Nephew Still Missing

William Balfour (above), who is the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson’s sister and the prime suspect in the killings of her mother and brother, is in custody. He has not been charged with any crimes at this time. The Chicago Police Department released a photo of seven-year-old Julian King (pictured at right), who has been missing since the murders. A nationwide Amber Alert has been issued in an attempt to find him.

Gossip outlet TMZ, which appears to be scouring the block on the South Side of Chicago where the murders took place in the longtime home of the Hudson family, is claiming that police are focusing on a dispute over a car.

“TMZ has spoken with several other neighbors this morning who say Julia complained to them that William Balfour sold one of their cars without permission. One neighbor told TMZ the dispute got so heated William threatened to “kill Julia’s family” but she didn’t report it because she didn’t take it seriously.”

Bloggers and Internet users, hungry for information on the only known murder suspect, have been surprised to discover that William Balfour’s MySpace page has not been taken down. On the page, William describes himself as follows:

“I AM A 26 YEAR OLD, I RESIDE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO, I HAVE A WIFE HER NAME IS JULIA, AND I ALSO HAVE A 6 YR OLD STEPSON, I DON’T TOLERATE BULLSHIT, SO DON’T COME TO ME WITH IT, I LIKE TO LIVE LIFE AND EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING THATS WHY I’M HERE SEEING WHAT IT’S ABOUT, I MIGHT AS WELL LET YOU ALL KNOW THAT JENNIFER HUDSON IS MY WIFE’S SISTER I’M PROUD OF HER AND WISH HER NOTHING BUT THE BEST IN WHAT SHE DO BUT DON’T HIT ME UP ASKING BOUT HER, OTHER THAN THAT IT’S ON!”

The following picture of Jennifer’s murdered brother Jason was posted recently to Julia Hudson’s MySpace page. (Be sure to read the caption!)


This tragedy strikes Jennifer Hudson at a time when her career is skyrocketing. After winning an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007′s Dreamgirls, Jennifer not only performed at the Democratic National Convention at the request fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama but her single “Spotlight” is at the top of the R&B charts. She also had roles this year in Sex and the City and The Secret Life of Bees. Even more tragic: The killings come mere months after her engagement to David Otunga, aka Punk from I Love New York.

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