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William Balfour convicted in Jennifer Hudson family murder case

William Balfour was found guilty on Friday of murdering three of Jennifer Hudson's family members.
William Balfour was found guilty on Friday of murdering three of Jennifer Hudson's family members.
Police photo/Getty Images

After a three-week trial and more than 80 witnesses, Jennifer Hudson's former brother-in-law, 31-year-old William Balfour, was found guilty on Friday of murdering her mother, brother, and nephew in October 2008.

The jury deliberated for three days before arriving at their verdict in the high-profile Chicago case, according to a CBS News report. Jurors found Balfour guilty on seven criminal counts: three counts of first-degree murder, one count of home invasion, one count aggravated kidnapping, one count residential burglary, and one count possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Balfour faces a life sentence for the shooting deaths of 57-year-old Darnell Hudson, 29-year-old Jason Hudson and 7-year-old Julian King. Prosecutors said that Balfour shot the family in a jealous rage after his ex-wife, Julia Hudson, started seeing another man.

The defense argued that evidence against Balfour was mostly circumstantial and that the police had acted in haste in order to close the case. Public defender Amy Thompson said she would appeal the verdict.

"It has always been our position and it still is that William Balfour is innocent of these murders," Thompson said after the verdict was announced.

Jennifer Hudson attended the trial for two weeks of testimony, and was visibly moved to tears during closing arguments, when prosecutors showed photos of her relatives' bloody bodies to the jury.

The jury of six men and six women, which was sequestered during deliberations, had sent the judge a note shortly before they arrived at a verdict, saying that they were split but were not giving up, according to a report in the New York Times.

"We are trying," the jurors wrote.

Jennifer Hudson was voted off of American Idol in 2004, finishing seventh, but went on to win an Oscar in 2006 for her portrayal of Effie White in "Dreamgirls."


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