For years it has been alleged that William Balfour shot and killed three members of Jennifer Hudson’s family in a vengeful rage after her sister, Julia, rebuffed his advances to reconcile their marriage.
So when his trial began on April 23, it came as no surprise when prosecutors mapped out their case against him. They alleged that he used a stolen 45-caliber Sig Sauer automatic weapon to gun down the star’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother, Jason Hudson, 29, in their nine-bedroom home on Chicago’s South Side. He then stole the keys to Jason’s white SUV and took her nephew, Julian King, 7, who was found dead days later.
But what did come as a surprise was the lack of physical evidence linking Balfour to the crimes. During a dramatic opening argument, Cook County Assistant Public Defender Amy Thompson stated that Balfour’s DNA was not found on the gun or inside the white SUV where Julian’s body was found. “He was excluded from the SUV DNA test,” she said.
She said that the only reason Balfour is on trial is that the Chicago Police Department worked quickly to apprehend a suspect. They knew the case would garner a lot of media attention because of Jennifer Hudson’s celebrity status, she said.
“They had to find their man, and they had to find him quickly,” she told the racially diverse jury. But they got the wrong man in their haste, she said. She told jurors that they would find Balfour innocent. He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the October 2008 killings.
[William Balfour image via Cook County Sheriff’s Department via Getty Images]