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Dispatches from the Hudson Family Killings trial

  • Illustration of Jennifer Hudson on the stand at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Monday, April 23, 2012, during the trial of William Balfour, who is accused of killing the mother, brother and nephew of Jennifer Hudson.
Illustration of Jennifer Hudson on the stand at the Cook County Criminal… (Cheryl A. Cook/for the Chicago…)
April 24, 2012|RedEye

RedEye is on the scene at the Cook County Courthouse, where the trial for William Balfour, who is accused of killing three members of actress and singer Jennifer Hudson's family in 2008, is taking place. Here are some dispathces from the trial so far, and will be updated as new information unfolds:

Day 4
10:44 a.m.: Day 4 of the William Balfour trial is beginning soon. Jennifer Hudson is in the courtroom wearing an oatmeal colored sweater and her hair loose with a braid.

11:05 a.m.: First witness of the day is a retired CPD forensic investigator. Photos are shown of William Balfour at the police department the night of Oct 24, the day of the killings.

11:41 a.m.: On the witness stand is Jarvis Williams, who said he was "very close" to Jason Hudson, Jennifer Hudson's brother. Jarvis Williams testifies Julia Hudson asked him to check to see if her mother was dead. Williams said he went into the Hudson home and confirmed she was dead.

12:03 p.m.: On the witness stand is James Payton, who said he is a longtime friend of the Hudson family. He testifies Jason Hudson sold dimebags of cocaine and identifies a gun as Jason Hudson's.

12:09 p.m.: James Payton cries as he's asked when the last time he saw Jason Hudson alive: Oct 23, the day before he was killed, in front of his home.

12:24 p.m.: James Payton said he used to date Jennifer Hudson. During his testimony, Julia Hudson holds a small bag of tissues.

12:37 p.m.: On the witness stand is Diana Grant. She testifies she met William Balfour in 2007. She said she gave him her number. She said Balfour was her boyfriend in 2008. She said she didnt initially know he was married, and found a few months later.

12:46 p.m.: Diana Grant testifies the night before the killings was unusual because Balfour "didnt want to have sex with me." She said he left in the morning of Oct 24 when it was dark out.

1:18 p.m.: On the witness stand is Robin Myers, who said his wife was friends with Julia Hudson. He said William Balfour told him at a birthday party he thought Julia was cheating on him and if that was the case Balfour was going to [bleep] Julia and the guy up.

2:35 p.m.: Court resumes with defense questioning Robin Myer, whose wife worked with Julia Hudson. He's testifying about his son's birthday party in August 2008. Myer said he spotted William Balfour with a gun at the party.

2:46 p.m.: Robin Myer testifies he didnt tell police or Julia Hudson that William Balfour had made threats against the Hudson family to him.

2:55 p.m.: On the witness stand is Debra Hampton, who said she bought crack cocaine from William Balfour. She said she went to the backyard of the Hudson home to buy crack and Balfour said, "I'm watching Julia and her new boyfriend."

3:43 p.m.: Court resumes after short break. Witness on the stand is Christopher Mitchell, who is wearing a Dept of Corrections uniform. He said he was lifelong friends with Jason Hudson. He knew William Balfour.

4:12 p.m.: On the witness stand is Lynette Williams, who said she spotted an SUV on her block Oct 25, the day after Hudson's mother and brother were killed.

4:18 p.m.: Williams said she called the police two days after seeing a white SUV on her block because she had seen a news report about the Hudson family killings and knew the police were looking for an SUV.

Day 3
April 25, 2012
10:56 a.m.: Court has started for the day. Jennifer and Julia Hudson not in the courtroom. Jennifer's fiance is in the room.

11:14 a.m.: The Medical Examiner who reviewed Julian King's body said she observed two gunshot wounds to the 7-year-old's head. A bloody picture of Julian is put up on the screen for jury and those in the courtroom.

11:23 a.m.: Medical Examiner who performed Julian King's autopsy said his "brain was very severely injured" by a bullet. Some Hudson family members crying, clutching tissue as photos of Julian's body shown.

11:43 a.m.: A Chicago Police sergeant takes the stand. Jennifer and Julia Hudson  enter courtroom for first time today. Jennifer is wearing a long sleeved gray shirt and high waisted black pants.

12:23 p.m.: Chicago Police testifying they used cell phone information from Sprint to try to locate William Balfour after the killings.

1:08 p.m.: Charles Honore of Chicago Police Department describes arresting William Balfour. Honore said he entered a house on the West Side and Balfour moved down a hallway carrying a cellphone.

Day 2
April 24, 2012
11:15 a.m.: Jennifer Hudson arrives in court for day 2 of Balfour trial, wearing black sweater and green skirt. Her fiance David Otunga accompanies her.

11:30 a.m.: Chicago Police sergeant first witness of the day. He said he saw a woman lying on her stomach w/gunshot wounds in her back at the Hudson home in Oct 2008.

11:35 a.m.: Police sergeant describes finding Jason Hudson covered in blankets and searching the Hudson home for 7-year-old Julian King.

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