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Jury Finds Balfour Guilty Of Killing Three Members Of Jennifer Hudson's Family

By Samantha Abernethy in News on May 11, 2012 10:15PM

William Balfour
A jury found Jennifer Hudson's former brother-in-law guilty of three counts on first-degree murder for the 2008 murder of the singer/actress's mother, brother and nephew. William Balfour, 31, could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson, 57, and her brother Jason Hudson, 29, were found shot to death at their Englewood home on Oct. 24, 2008. Three days later, the body of 7-year-old Julian King, son of Julia Hudson, was found in a stolen SUV. Balfour was the estranged husband of Hudson's sister Julia Hudson at the time of the murders, and he had been at the home arguing with Julia earlier in the day.

Prosecutors focused their arguments on witnesses who testified Balfour had made verbal threats to Julia Hudson and her family. One witness also said he had seen Balfour in possession of the murder weapon. Another witness says Balfour asked for an alibi, and his mistress testified he had confessed the murders to her.

Defense attorneys argued the evidence was largely circumstantial and said the murders could have been linked to Jason Hudson's drug activity. Testimony wrapped up Tuesday, and the jury spent three days deliberating the verdict.

Jennifer Hudson was the first witness to take the stand and remained in the courtroom for much of the proceedings, although she and her sister left when photos of the crime scene and more graphic testimony took place. Some say the court has been too accommodating for the celebrity, but the judge's liaison said she has received treatment no different from other victims.