Oscar-winning Jennifer Hudson listened in court on Friday, as her brother-in-law was found guilty of murdering her family members. William Balfour was found guilty in the murders of Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew. Balfour was married to Hudson’s sister at the time of the murders and was a drug dealer and one-time member of a Chicago street gang.
The prosecution claimed that Balfour shot Darnell Donerson, Hudson’s mother, and Jason Hudson, her brother at the home where the actress was raised. He abducted Hudson’s seven-year old nephew and later murdered him as well, dumping the youngster’s body in a car that was abandoned. Balfour killed the family members after his wife Julia, Hudson’s sister told him she wanted a divorce.
Hudson was a 2004 American Idol finalist and won a supporting actor Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls a 2006 musical. She was raised in the crime-infested South Chicago area and returned their often to be with family to escape the constant pressures of stardom.
She knew Balfour from school and never liked him, she had told the court. She also had told her sister not to marry Balfour. Following his marriage to Julia, Balfour had moved into the home, but the relationship soured quickly.
As the jury foreman read the verdict to the court, tears could be seen running down the face of Hudson as she bit her lip. She and her surviving sister issued a statement that said, “We hope and pray the Lord will forgive William Balfour of his heinous acts someday.” They thanked prosecutors and praised the help of the police and all the witnesses who testified.