The Freeland File
Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
Counterparties: Today's Best Links
Dem presidents create more jobs?
Nearly two-thirds of private sector job creation has come under Democratic presidents during the last five decades, according to a new study by Bloomberg News. Read more at Counterparties
Homeowners wait months to refinance
Sign up for the Counterparties newsletter!
Green Mountain founder feeling burned by stock flap
09 May 2012
Same-sex couples should be able to marry: Obama
09 May 2012
UPDATE 2-Wreckage of Russian Sukhoi plane strewn on Indonesian mountain
Ex-Senator Edwards' wife wanted mistress gone: witness
09 May 2012
Putin not attending Camp David G8, will send Medvedev
Obesity fight must shift from personal blame: U.S. panel
Florida nabs white supremacists planning ”race war”
Obama says same-sex couples should be able to marry: ABC
World's rarest gorilla makes camera-trap debut
Wed, May 9 2012
Russian plane goes missing in Indonesia
Wed, May 9 2012
Striking workers clash with police
Wed, May 9 2012
Our day's top images, in-depth photo essays and offbeat slices of life. See the best of Reuters photography. See more | Photo caption
Photo focus: Illumination
Exposing for the light often creates a dramatic focal point in the image. Slideshow
A look inside Syria as mass protests against President Bashar al-Assad give way to armed rebellion. Slideshow
Jury begins deliberations in Jennifer Hudson family killings
Colorado prosecutors using DNA to free man convicted of 1994 murder
Mon, Apr 30 2012
Jennifer Hudson says always disliked man accused of killing her family
Mon, Apr 23 2012
Analysis & Opinion
In Gupta case, new filings crystallize prosecution’s challenge
Los Angeles: Home Sweet Home
Singer Jennifer Hudson (R) and her fiance David Otunga are seen in this courtroom sketch during the start of the murder trial of William Balfour, who is accused of killing three members of Hudson's family, at the Cook County criminal courthouse in Chicago, April 23, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Tom Gianni
By Andrew Stern
Wed May 9, 2012 11:02pm EDT
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Not a single fingerprint or scrap of DNA was found to prove who murdered three family members of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson in 2008, but prosecutors said there was overwhelming circumstantial evidence to convict her jealous brother-in-law as the jury began deliberations on Wednesday.
Hudson, her head bowed at times when graphic photographs were shown to the jury, sat with family members in the Chicago courtroom.
The defense attorney for accused killer William Balfour poked holes in the prosecution's mostly circumstantial case in her final statement and accused the police of concocting evidence to convict her client.
"They were trying to convict a pre-chosen defendant," defense attorney Amy Thompson told the Cook County Criminal Court jury in her closing statement following two weeks of testimony.
The jury deliberated for five hours Wednesday night without a verdict, and were sequestered by Cook County Judge Charles Burns. Deliberations resume Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. local time.
Balfour, 30, a sometime drug dealer married to Hudson's sister Julia, is on trial for shooting to death Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson, 57, her brother Jason Hudson, 29, and her nephew Julian King, 7.
Balfour's lawyer said police fixated on Balfour, while the real killer was an unknown enemy of Hudson's drug-dealing brother, Jason Hudson, whose body was found in his bed, shot twice in the head while he slept.
Donerson, armed with a broom, was shot three times, and Julian was killed in the back seat of Jason Hudson's sports utility vehicle. His body was not discovered until three days later in the vehicle, which had been abandoned.
Jennifer Hudson had testified on the first day of the trial that she had never liked Balfour, and begged her sister not to marry him.
She flew back to Chicago on October 24, 2008, after learning that her mother and brother were dead in the South Side home they had shared, and her nephew was missing. She ultimately identified all three of their bodies.
Jennifer Hudson burst on the music scene in 2004 when she performed on the television singing contest "American Idol." She subsequently won a Grammy for her debut album, and an Academy Award for her supporting role in the movie "Dreamgirls."
PROSECUTOR PAINTS JEALOUS STALKER
Hudson hung her head or buried it in her fiancé David Otunga's shoulder when prosecutor Jennifer Bagby showed gruesome photographs of the victims.
Balfour, Bagby said, was obsessed with his estranged wife, Julia, stalking her and consumed with jealousy, though he had several other girlfriends and the couple still occasionally had sex.
The night before the murders, prosecutors said, Balfour sent her text messages while in bed with one of his girlfriends, then went to the Hudson family home in Chicago's tough Englewood neighborhood to try to catch her with her new lover.
Using cell phone records and witness accounts, prosecutors painstakingly traced Balfour's whereabouts for the jury and how he enlisted friends to help him create an alibi. Balfour even went so far as to be purposely videotaped at a gas station, they said.
Prosecutors pointed to Julia Hudson's testimony that Balfour had frequently issued threats, saying he would kill her family first, then her. She had been angry with him the morning of the murders, blaming him for having her wages as a bus driver garnished.
Balfour changed his clothes three times the day of the murders, and avoided telling Julia Hudson where he was when she called after the bodies were found, prosecutors said. He had turned off his cellphone for four hours, giving him time to get rid of evidence and wipe down the discarded gun and stolen SUV, they said.
"If you're innocent, you get back to your wife. You man up," prosecutor James McKay said, gnashing his teeth in anger. "A child is missing."
"A guy who changed his clothes three times, do you really expect him to leave fingerprints? To leave DNA?" McKay said.
(Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.