Witness says defendant was enemy of Jennifer Hudson's brother

May 3, 2012

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Today on The Afternoon Shift, Steve Edwards talks with hosts of The Barber Shop Show Richard Steele and Kimbriell Kelly in North Lawndale about the trial of William Balfour


Kent Williams smiled on the stand in Cook County Criminal Court as he remembered friend and neighbor Jason Hudson.

When Williams learned about the October 2008 murders of Jason, 29, and his mother Darnell Donerson, 57, in their Englewood home, he rushed home from work to get back on the block.

“That’s my family.... These just ain’t people I know,” Williams said.

A few days later seven-year-old Julian King’s body was discovered in a SUV on the West Side. His mother was Julia Hudson, actress/singer Jennifer Hudson’s sister.

William Balfour is on trial and faces three counts of first-degree murder. He was married to Julia and the couple was estranged at the time of the murders.

The defense has a theory that Jason’s drug dealing played a role in the killings. Williams admitted that he had seen Jason’s .45-caliber gun, which was used in the shootings, and Julia said Balfour stole from her brother.

The prosecution says Balfour’s jealousy is the reason.

Under cross examination, the defense asked Williams if Jason had any enemies. Williams responded, “besides that cat sitting over there, no.”

Williams then stood and pointed to defendant Balfour.

Balfour’s public defenders are also suggesting that the violence of Englewood contributed to the Hudson murders.

It’s “common to hear gunshots in Englewood, not on Yale (Street)," Williams said. The Hudson family lived on 70th and Yale, a block where neighbors know one another well, and many have testified over the past several days.

On Thursday, a fingerprint expert testified that there were no latent prints of Balfour's in the stolen SUV where Julian King's body was found. The trial resumes on Monday. Jennifer Hudson and her sister have been in court every day since the proceedings began on April 23.