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Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial: Singer Exits Courtroom as Crime Scene Photos Are Presented

Jennifer Hudson
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson has put on a brave face during the trial of William Balfour, who horrifically murdered three of her family members, but a recent moment in court proved too much for the ‘Dream Girls’ star. Hudson exited the courtroom quietly when crime scene photos of her slain nephew were presented as evidence.

Hudson was too overcome with grief to view the images, and she and sister Julia left the room during proceedings. Defendant William Balfour, on trial for the murders of Hudson’s mother Darnell Donerson, brother Jason Hudson and 7-year-old nephew Julian King, reportedly teared up when autopsy reports and gruesome photos were presented to the jury.

Though the details were too macabre for Hudson to handle, they are crucial to the case. The Cook County medical examiner testified that based on evidence, King had been dead between 36 and 72 hours from the time his body was found.

Since Balfour was taken into custody the day of the shootings of Donerson and Jason Hudson, it’s possible for Balfour to be guilty if King died within the 72-hour mark. However, if King passed away in the 36-hour period, Balfour could not have committed that murder, because he was already being questioned by police.

Despite this, the evidence against Balfour is pretty damning as it is. As previously reported, the prosecution claims Balfour, went to the Hudson family’s house at about 9 AM on Oct. 24, 2008, and used a .45-caliber handgun to shoot Donerson in the living room, then shot brother Jason Hudson twice in the head as he lie in bed.

The prosecution said that immediately after the murders of Donerson and Jason, Balfour took off in Jason’s sports utility vehicle with King lying behind a front seat. The prosecutors claim Balfour shot King in the head. King’s body was found in Jason’s stolen, abandoned SUV three days later.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Balfour was found and arrested four hours after Donerson and Jason Hudson’s bodies were discovered, and that Balfour had a key to Jason Hudson’s SUV on his person at the time of his apprehension.

Prosecutors also pointed out Balfour’s cell phone signal “pinged” off of a tower near the Hudson family home the morning of the killings — and that despite being a “incessant” cell phone user, Balfour’s cell phone was turned off during the four hours in which he’s accused of murdering Donerson, Jason Hudson and King. However, Balfour’s attorney pointed out that the defendant’s cell phone was often turned off for hours at a time on other days and that he frequently made calls and sent messages from the tower located near the Hudson house.

Our thoughts are with Jennifer Hudson and her family. We hope justice prevails so everyone involved can achieve some closure and peace.

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