William Balfour, the only suspect so far charged in the murders of Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew, was denied bail in Chicago on Wednesday (December 3), according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, even though Balfour’s defense attorney argued that the evidence against him was circumstantial at best.
On Tuesday, Balfour, 27, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion in connection with the deaths of Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson and Julian King.
Prosecutors contended that Balfour killed the three family members because he was angry that his estranged wife, the singer’s sister Julia, was dating another man, and said that he went to the family’s home the morning of the killings and confronted her. Prosecutors told the court that Balfour had driven to the Hudson home on October 24 (despite his claim that he took an “L” train), that he and Julia had left the house together and that she saw him walking toward a car. They said he returned to the home at the time of the shootings with a weapon that belonged to Hudson’s brother, Jason (believed to have been taken without permission).
Balfour’s mother, Michelle Davis-Balfour, countered that he was dating three other women at the time, and that jealousy would not have been an issue. She told reporters outside the courthouse that the police and prosecutors’ version of events “doesn’t make any sense.” “My son did not do this,” she insisted.
Prosecutors said that they had cell phone tower records proving Balfour was in the area of the Hudson home and not his home, as Balfour claimed to police. Public-transit records and surveillance-camera footage would prove that he did not take an “L” train as claimed, the prosecutors argued. They said they had multiple witnesses who claim to have seen Balfour with a gun or heard him say he had a weapon. And they said they found gunshot residue on the steering wheel of the car that they claimed he had driven the morning of the murders.
Balfour’s attorney, Joshua Kutnick, disputed the evidence, saying that there were no witnesses to the murders, and there was no connection between Balfour and the gun believed to be used in the murders.
On October 24, Jennifer Hudson’s mother and older brother were found dead inside the home the actress grew up in, and her 7-year-old nephew was reported missing. A few days later, his body was found in an abandoned SUV. All three victims died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Balfour is due back in court for a parole-violation hearing on December 10. If he’s found to have violated his parole, he will have to serve out the remainder of a term on attempted-murder, carjacking and stolen-property charges through May 2009.
Judge Raymond Myles set the next hearing in the Hudson murders case for December 30.