Hudson Tragedy Timeline

Published November 1, 2008

Updated October 31, 2008 -- As the story of this horrifying case unfolds, check with BET.com for an updated timeline of the facts.

Friday, October 24, 2008 - Between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. – Neighbors of 7019 South Yale Avenue on the South Side of Chicago hear gunshots.

Friday, Oct. 24  – sometime before 2:44 p.m. – Jennifer Hudson’s cousin discovers the body of 57-year old Darnell Hudson Donerson in the living room. Donerson is the mother of the Oscar-winning singer/actress. Police are called to the scene.

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Friday, Oct. 24 – 2:44 p.m. - Officers arrive at Donerson’s home, and also find Hudson’s brother, 29-year old Jason Hudson killed in the bedroom. The victims had died of fatal gunshot wounds. Hudson’s 7-year old nephew, Julian King, the son of her sister Julia Hudson, is reported missing and kidnapped from the scene.

Friday, Oct. 24 – between 3 and 4 p.m. – Jennifer Hudson is notified while in Tampa, Florida and immediately leaves for Chicago.

Friday, Oct. 24 – late afternoon - Chicago police name 27-year old William Balfour as a suspect in the double homicide, which they believe stems from a domestic situation. Balfour is the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister, Julia. The couple shared a residence and a vehicle registration, and had been married for a year before separating.

Friday, Oct. 24 – evening – Police track Balfour’s whereabouts through his cell phone and find him at his pregnant girlfriend’s house and take him into custody. Balfour, out on parole after recently serving 7 years in prison for attempted murder and kidnapping, denies involvement in the disappearance of the boy. Balfour’s pregnant girlfriend is questioned by police, her statement contradicts Balfour’s alibi.

Friday, Oct. 24 – evening – Jennifer Hudson arrives in Chicago and accompanies her family to identify the bodies of her mother and brother.

Saturday, Oct. 25 – Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama tells Extra’s Mario Lopez that the Hudson tragedy was “heartbreaking,” and that he was trying to get a number to reach out to her. “She is someone who has campaigned for me. She also lives in my community. So we’re really gonna have to help her and pray for her and her family during this difficult time,” says Barack.

Saturday, Oct. 25 – evening - Julia Hudson pleads for her son’s safe return at a press conference at Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side of Chicago. “I don’t care who you are, just let my baby go,” she said. “I just want my son back. He doesn’t deserve this.” Julia said that when she told Jennifer the news, she was screaming and flew in right away.

Sunday, Oct. 26 – Jennifer Hudson offers a 100,000 reward for the safe return of her nephew, whose nickname was “Juice Box” and “Dr. King.”

Monday, Oct. 27 – 7:06 am – A 1994 White Chevrolet Suburban identified as the vehicle belonging to Jason Hudson was discovered with a body in the rear seat. People in the neighborhood told the local TV station that they did not recall seeing the vehicle on Friday or Saturday. The body is believed to be that of Jennifer Hudson’s nephew.

Monday, Oct. 27  - 3:54 p.m. – TMZ.com reports that the boy suffered at least one gunshot to the head. Jennifer Hudson was en route to identify the body of a 7-year old found in the back of the vehicle believed to be Julian King.

Monday, Oct. 27 -- 5:00 p.m. -- Police confirm that the body found in the car is the nephew of Jennifer Hudson, Julian King. They are reviewing surveillance tapes in the neighborhood where the SUV was found to try to determine what time the SUV arrived there. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.

Tuesday, Oct. 28 -- An autopsy reveals that Julian King died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. His death is ruled a homicide.

Wednesday, Oct. 29 -- A .45 caliber handgun is found in the vicinity where police discovered the SUV with Julian King's body.

Friday, Oct. 31 -- Police confirm that the gun found was the murder weapon.

Written by BET-Staff

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