July 24, 2012


Hudson Family Murderer Receives 3 Life Sentences

Michael Buckner
Michael Buckner

A little over two months after being found guilty of murdering Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, William Balfour received his sentence today: He will serve three consecutive life sentences. Balfour's attorney's request for a new trial was denied by the Cook County, IL, judge.

Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson, 57, brother Jason Hudson, 29, and nephew Julian King, 7, were found dead in October 2008. Darnell and Jason were found shot in the family's Chicago home, and Julian was found shot to death several days later in a stolen SUV. Balfour was the husband of Jennifer Hudson's sister, Julia, and the 7-year-old boy's stepfather. Julia Hudson was granted a divorce from Balfour by the courts while he was in custody.

During the closing arguments of the three-week trial, the prosecution described a "tsunami" of circumstantial evidence, including firearm-related evidence and witness testimonies that Balfour repeatedly threatened to kill his wife's family. The prosecution alleged that Balfour committed the murders in a jealous rage, thinking his estranged wife was seeing another man. The defense noted that neither Balfour's DNA nor fingerprints were found at the scene. After 18 combined hours of deliberation, the jury found Balfour guilty on May 11.

The day after Balfour was found guilty, Jennifer and Julia Hudson released the following statement: "It is our prayer that the Lord will forgive Mr. Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance someday."