Originally posted by The Chicago Sun-Times (suntimes.com)Balfour found guilty of murdering Jennifer Hudson’s family
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN AND LAUREN FITZPATRICK Staff Reporters firstname.lastname@example.org May 11, 2012 10:24AM
Updated: May 11, 2012 4:52PM
Jennifer Hudson’s former brother-in-law was convicted Friday of shooting and killing the Academy Award winner’s mother, brother and nephew.
Cook County jurors returned guilty verdicts against William Balfour after about 18 hours of deliberation over three days.
Jennifer Hudson had her head down when the verdict was announced. She then talked to her fiance, David Otunga, who put his arm around her. She then began to get emotional.
She was soon taken out of the courtroom — but reporters were not allowed to follow her.
Balfour, who turned 31 on Thursday, had no reaction. His family, however, began tearing up after the verdicts.
In addition to the murders, Balfour was also convicted of home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle for the 2008 crimes.
Jennifer Hudson and her sister, Julia, who was married to Balfour, were in the courtroom when the clerk read the decision.
Balfour now faces mandatory life in prison.
Jurors heard evidence for 11 days from 84 witnesses, ranging from crack addicts to ballistic experts to officers who found the bodies of Darnell Donerson, 57, Jason Hudson, 29, and 7-year-old Julian Hudson. Balfour did not testify in his own defense.
Prosecutors said Balfour shot Donerson and her son in their Englewood home, in the 7000 block of South Yale on Oct. 24, 2008.
Prosecutors believe he coaxed the child out of the house and then shot him in Jason Hudson’s SUV. The white suburban turned up three days later on the West Side.
Though he had at least three girlfriends, Balfour was angry that his then wife, Julia Hudson, was seeing another man, witnesses testified. He had repeatedly threatened to kill her and her family if she left him but Julia Hudson didn’t take him seriously, witnesses said.
She told him she had plans to get intimate with her new boyfriend on her birthday Oct. 23, 2008. But she actually spent the day celebrating at a Red Lobster with her girlfriends and her son, Julia Hudson testified.
Balfour was sent in a rage when he came to the Hudsons’ home the next day and spotted balloons she had received from her boyfriend on Sweetest Day, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys argued that the murders were a drug hit brought on by Jason Hudson’s crack business. They accused police and prosecutors of rushing to make a case against Balfour once they discovered his connection to the Oscar-winning actress.
No DNA evidence or fingerprints from the crime scenes linked back to Balfour, Assistant Public Defender Amy Thompson said. And keys police said they found on Balfour weren’t tested to see if they worked on Jason Hudson’s SUV for three years.
Jennifer Hudson, who was the first witness to testify against Balfour, sat through most of the trial that attracted press from across the country. She was escorted into Judge Charles Burns’ courtroom by a private security team who shielded from spectators who watched the trial. She was also brought in to the Criminal Courthouse through an underground passage to avoid the cameras.
I don't think this verdict was a surprise but know it's known for sure.
A side effect of this verdict is it should put David Otunga back on the clock for a return to WWE television - my best educated guess is to look for his personal leave of absence to conclude either at RAW, or if they want to try a "surprise" they could hold him until an "Over the Limit" run-in a week from Sunday. Of course, Creative may also find they have nothing for him - one never knows for sure.
But people change their minds, or get help about their depression. I have a good friend who tried to commit suicide when she was a teenager. She swallowed a bottle of pills, and spent some time in the hospital. Guess what?