(CHICAGO) — A jury has found William Balfour guilty of murdering actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in 2008.
Balfour, 30, was accused of killing the three in a jealous rage, believing that his estranged wife, Julia Hudson, Jennifer Hudson’s sister, was dating another man.
The jury found Balfour guilty of all counts against him after some 18 hours of deliberations over three days.
Balfour, charged with three counts of first-degree murder and additional charges including kidnapping and burglary, pleaded not guilty. Convicted on all counts, he now faces life in prison.
Jennifer Hudson, her fiance and her sister, Julia Hudson, entered the courtroom shortly before the verdict was to be read. The verdict came shortly after the jury told the judge that it was split, prompting the judge to tell jury members to resume deliberations in hopes of reaching an agreement.
The trial began on April 23 in Chicago. Prosecutors called more than 80 witnesses over two weeks, and the defense rested its case after 30 minutes, calling only two witnesses to the stand. Balfour did not testify.
Prosecutors alleged that Balfour fatally shot Hudson’s mother Darnell Donerson, 57, in her living room, and then shot Hudson’s brother Jason Hudson, 29, as he lay in bed. He then kidnapped Hudson’s nephew Julian King, who was 7. Investigators believe the boy was shot in the head as he lay behind the front seat of an SUV.
Prosecuting State Attorney Veryl Gambino said Balfour was in a state of rage over Julia Hudson’s dating another man, and said Balfour had issued several threats against her and her family. Balfour allegedly was enraged Oct. 24, 2008, after he saw balloons another man sent to Julia Hudson and punched them.
The killings happened in the family home in Chicago’s tough Englewood neighborhood, where Jennifer Hudson grew up.
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Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Media Relations
Mike Price EastIdahoNews.com