Three and a half years after a senseless killing spree took the lives of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew, Jennifer Hudson may finally see justice done in a court of law. The man accused of the murders, William Balfour, will stand trial beginning April 23.
In October of 2008, Balfour, the estranged husband of Jennifer's sister Julia, allegedly broke into the Hudson's Chicago home in a jealous rage. He then gunned down mother Darnell Donerson, 55, brother Jason Hudson, 29, and nephew Julian King, 7.
Young Julian was not found until three days later, when his body was discovered in the back of Balfour's SUV.
The Oscar-winning actress and singer has rarely spoken on the tragic loss, save for an emotional appearance on Oprah in February of last year. At the time, she spoke of the difficulty of making sense of it all.
"It's such a shocking thing," she said. "It's a lot to take in. It's like, 'OK, is this real? Did this really happen?' It's hard to put it in sync with reality."
Hudson went on to say that the spirit of her mother persists as a driving force in her life.
"I try to do everything to say, 'OK, will my mother like this? Will she be pleased? Will she be proud of that? How do I know she's happy and she's smiling down at me from heaven?'" she said. "That's what I try to go by and walk by."
Balfour, who was arrested in December of 2008, is facing multiple counts of first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and home invasion. His lawyers had succeeded in delaying his trial for years, but yesterday Cook County Judge Charles Burns decreed that the case must move forward. Jury selection begins April 9.
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(Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)