William Balfour Found Guilty of Murder in Jennifer Hudson Family Trial

Faces life in prison for killing Hudson's mother, brother and nephew.

Posted: 05/11/2012 05:48 PM EDT
William Balfour

(Photo: Courtesy of the Illinois Department of Corrections/Landov)

After three days of deliberation, a jury has found William Balfour guilty of all charges, including three counts of murder. Balfour stood trial for the grisly 2008 murders of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew. He faces a mandatory life sentence.

The verdict was announced this afternoon, shortly after jurors had sent the judge a note saying they were split. "We are trying," the note said.

The jury went out for deliberation on Wednesday afternoon, inching closer to an ending to the two-week trial. They heard from 83 witnesses, including Hudson herself, who gave tearful testimony of the last time she saw her family members alive. The singer also said she warned her sister Julia Hudson not to marry Balfour. 

The defense staged a 30-minute presentation, calling just two witnesses to the stand in a bid to prove that detectives had botched the investigation. Balfour declined to testify in his own defense.

The trial took place in Hudson's hometown of Chicago, and the singer was present for each day of the proceedings, frequently with fiancé David Otunga at her side. Hudson stepped out of the court room when crime scene photos of her dead family members were shown to the jury.

Balfour and Julia Hudson were estranged but not yet divorced when the shootings occurred, and prosecution witnesses testified that he threatened to kill the Hudson family dozens of times if Julia refused reconciliation. A witness also concluded that Balfour embarked on the murderous rampage after learning Julia was seeing another man.

Jennifer Hudson was in the courtroom when the verdict was read. 

BET
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