Latino State News
Jennifer Hudson Testifies at Murder Trial of Man Suspected of Killing 3 Members of Her Family
Monday, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson took the stand in a Cook County court room for the trial of the man accused of killing multiple members of her family.
Hudson testified that having known William Balfour, 30, since middle school, she never liked him. The Grammy winner’s dislike for him only increased when her sister Julia married Balfour and Hudson saw how terribly he treated her.
In the end, Julia Hudson would leave Balfour, but the man prosecutors described as “jealous and vindictive” would not accept it and move on.
In October 2008, Hudson would have to fly home to Chicago to identify the bodies of her 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson and her mother Darnell Donerson, 57. Later that week police would find the body of her nephew, Julian King, 7, in Jason’s SUV, which Balfour had stolen, and Hudson would once again have to make a positive ID.
Hudson was the first witness called after prosecutors and Balfour’s attorneys finished their opening statements. Balfour has pled not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder.
Balfour’s attorney stated the police pinned the murder on him because of the case’s high profile and the pressure to make an arrest. At the time of the murders, Balfour was on parole after serving almost seven years for attempted murder and vehicular hijacking. He was once a confirmed member of the Gangster Disciples, with the gang name of “Flex.” Should he be convicted of at least two of the Hudson family murders, he faces a mandatory life sentence.
The family lived in the same Englewood neighborhood home Hudson had lived in before moving out in 2006, two years after appearing on American Idol, which launched her career. Though she did not win the TV singing competition, she went on to win a Grammy for her debut album and later an Academy Award for her role in Dreamgirls.
It is expected that she will attend every day of testimony.