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Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial: Did William Balfour Confess to Killings?

William Balfour, Jennifer Hudson
Handout / Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

There was drama and groundbreaking new testimony in the Jennifer Hudson family murder trial, which may prove especially damning to defendant William Balfour. His mistress claims that Balfour confessed to killing two of Hudson’s family members.

 

Balfour’s girlfriend, Shonta Cathey, said that Balfour confessed to shooting J-Hud’s brother, Jason Hudson, and her mother, Darnell Donerson. Cathey told the court, “He said, if anybody asked, he was there at 10:00,” Cathey said. “Then he began to tell me what happened … He said, ‘They got shot,’ and I said, ‘Who?’ He said, ‘Her mother and her brother,’ and I was looking at him crazy … like bug eyed, and just staring at him,” The Chicago Sun-Times reports. “He say he went in and the brother rushed him, and he shot him, and the mother was coming down the stairs, calling his name, and he shot her.”

Cathey said that Balfour admitted to the murders a few hours after they occurred on the morning of Oct. 24, 2008, but that he swore he didn’t hurt Hudson’s nephew, seven-year-old Julian King. I told him kids don’t got nothing to so with what grownups go through, I hope it ain’t nothing happen to the little boy,” Cathey said. “He said I had nothing to worry about. He laid back down watching TV.” Balfour was arrested hours later in Cathey’s apartment.

Balfour maintains his innocence of all charges, but testimony from another witness may make it easier for the prosecution to convict him. The prosecution claims Balfour went to the Hudsons’ house at about 9 AM on Oct. 24, 2008 shot Donerson in the living room, then shot Jason Hudson twice in the head as he lie in bed. The prosecution argues that immediately after the murders of Donerson and Jason, Balfour left in Jason’s white sports utility vehicle with King lying behind a front seat, later shooting King in the head. King’s body was found in Jason’s stolen, abandoned SUV three days later.

Witness Bill Graham claims that he saw Balfour driving Jason Hudson’s white SUV, which he found unusual because he knew that Balfour usually drove a green Chrysler. “I wondered who would let him drive a truck like that because I never seen him drive one before,” Graham told the court.

Chicago Police officer Victor Perez was sent to investigate the abandoned vehicle and discovered King’s body. After shining a flashlight through the windows to examine the interior of the SUV, Perez told the court he saw a white cloth, then a small hand — and “quite a bit of blood.” Perez said he called dispatchers, though he knew “it was already too late to do anything.”

The drama wasn’t limited to the witness stand. Jennifer Hudson, who’s been present for every day of the trial, reportedly looked back at Balfour’s mother, who remarked, “What the hell is she looking at?” Outbursts like that, while not admissible to the jury for consideration, can’t bode well for Balfour’s defense.

Our thoughts are with Jennifer Hudson and her family during this difficult time. We hope everyone involved is brought to justice.

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