William Balfour Appears In Court For Jennifer Hudson Family Murders

Judge approves moving suspect closer to his lawyer.

William Balfour, the suspect in the killings of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, appeared in court Tuesday (January 27).

Balfour, 27, the estranged husband of [artist id="2481017"]Hudson's[/artist] sister, has been locked up at the Stateville Correctional Center near Joliet, Illinois, since his December arrest in connection with the slayings. According to The Associated Press, his lawyer, Joshua Kutick, had asked the court to move Balfour to the Cook County Jail in order to make it easier to consult with his client. That motion was granted Tuesday, and Balfour will be transferred soon.

Following his indictment in December, Balfour entered a "not guilty" plea last week, and his attorney has said that there is no forensic evidence linking his client to the killings. Tuesday's court date was the first time Balfour appeared before the new judge, Marjorie Laws, who was appointed to the trial last week after prosecutors asked that Judge Evelyn Clay be removed from the case, according to CNN. Prosecutors did not say why they asked for Clay to be taken off the trial.

Balfour was detained for questioning October 24, the day authorities found the bodies of Hudson's mother and brother shot to death in their home on Chicago's South Side. The body of Hudson's 7-year-old nephew was found a short time later. Balfour was the boy's stepfather, and he's been charged with first-degree murder and home invasion in the case. No other suspects have been arrested in the case.

Hudson has been in seclusion since the murders but will make her first public appearance on Sunday when she sings the national anthem at the Super Bowl. The next date in the case is set for February 23.