Day 7 of Hudson murder trial

May 2, 2012

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The drug dealings of actress Jennifer Hudson’s late brother is again in the spotlight in a Chicago murder trial.

Reginald Jones Sr., 55, lived across the alley from the Hudson family in the Englewood neighborhood.

He testified on Tuesday that he ran errands for close friend Jason Hudson and bought crack from him. During cross examination Jones said Jason sold crack from the house, often through the wee hours of the morning. Jones would answer the door for customers.

This conflicts with testimony from last week that Jason didn’t sell drugs from his home on South Yale, where he and his mother were found murdered. Lonnie Simpson, a half brother of the Hudson siblings, had testified that Jason only sold dime bags of crack out of his SUV.

William Balfour faces three counts of first-degree murder for killing Jason Hudson, Darnell Donerson and Julian King in October 2008. They are the brother, mother and nephew of Jennifer Hudson.

The defense suggests Jason's line of work factored in the grisly killings. Lawyers also highlight violence in Englewood. Neighbor Brittaney Simmons testified on Tuesday that she heard gunshots around 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 24, the day of the murders. But she didn't call the police "because gunshots are common in that area."

Prosecutors paint the murders as a domestic issue.

Julia Hudson was married to Balfour, who also sold crack to Simpson. The couple was estranged at the time of the murders. Cook County state’s attorneys say he killed Jason, Darnell Donerson and seven-year-old Julian King out of jealousy.

Simpson also testified that he saw Balfour lurking in the dark around the Hudson home in summer 2008. Witness Maria Wilkes testified that she heard Balfour tell Julia Hudson "if she was to call the police, he would kill her and her family."