Balfour to ask for new trial in Hudson murders

William Balfour could be sentenced Tuesday in murder case involving Jennifer Hudson’s family

July 23, 2012

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(AP Photo/Illinois Department of Corrections)
William Balfour, convicted of murdering the mother, brother and nephew of singer Jennifer Hudson, could be sentenced Tuesday.

The Chicago man convicted of killing members of Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson’s family wants a new trial.

A Cook County jury found William Balfour guilty of three first-degree murders in May. Balfour’s attorneys are requesting a new trial on Tuesday. If the motions are denied, victim impact statements and sentencing could take place.

Back in 2008 Jennifer Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother, Jason Hudson, 29, were found shot to death in their Englewood home on Chicago’s South Side. Police recovered the body of Hudson’s seven-year-old nephew, Julian King, in a SUV on the West Side.

Balfour was married to Hudson’s older sister Julia at the time of the grisly murders. Prosecutors say Balfour pulled the trigger out of jealousy. Julia Hudson testified that Balfour told her at least 25 times, “If you leave me, you’ll be the last to die. I’ll kill your family first.” She also testified that Balfour stole her brother’s .45-caliber gun, which was the weapon used in the murders.

The 31-year-old’s defense team say police scrambled to pin the murders on Balfour because of the case’s celebrity factor. The defense also pinned the crimes on violence in the Englewood neighborhood, where the family lived and, according to trial testimony, Jason Hudson dealt drugs.

Neither Balfour’s DNA nor fingerprints were on the murder weapon.

Jurors said Jennifer Hudson’s star power had no bearing in their verdict.