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Jennifer Hudson’s Sister Testifies in Murder Trial

Jennifer Hudson
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Continuing in the dramatic and heartbreaking Jennifer Hudson family murder case, her sister — and mother of seven-year-old victim Julian King — testified in court today. We once again advise readers to read at their own discretion, as some of the testimony is very disturbing.

Julia Hudson testified that defendant William Balfour threatened to kill her “between 24 and 26 times” throughout their marriage. When on the stand, Julia also claimed that Balfour threatened to kill her “all the time” if she ever left him, and that on May 6, 2008, he told her, “I can’t do this without you. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep.” Julia testified that when she refused to reunite with Balfour, he said, “If you leave, you will be the last to die.”

Julia told the court that in September, about a month before the murders of her mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, brother Jason Hudson, 29 and son Julian “Juicebox” King, she told Balfour for good that their relationship “wasn’t going to work.” Balfour’s reply was simple but chilling: “Remember, if you leave me I will kill you.”

E! Online reported that Julia said about a week prior to the murders, she saw Balfour while driving her school bus route. She says that Balfour told her he’d shown up at her job earlier that day to kill her and that he was “thinking about taking Julian.” (Julian is not Balfour’s son.)

Prosecutors claim that on Oct. 24, 2008 — the day of the murders — Balfour saw balloons at the house Julia shared with her mother and brother. Julia said he punched the balloons, then asked if he could see her later. Julia refused, and Balfour told her he’d seen her mother earlier that day.

This is where the prosecution’s claims come in. The state claims that Balfour went back inside the family’s house at about 9AM and used a .45-caliber handgun to murder Donerson in the living room, then shot Jason twice in the head as he lied in bed. The prosecution said that immediately after the murders of Donerson and Jason, Balfour sped off in Jason’s SUV with Julia’s son Julian lying behind a front seat. Authorities claim Balfour shot Julian in the head; his body was found in the abandoned SUV after a three-day search.

Julia said that Balfour asked her numerous times to see him that day and she adamantly and continually refused.

When Julia returned home, she found her mother’s body bleeding and raced outside to call 911, telling dispatchers, “Someone killed my mom.”

Julia’s testimony came after J-Hud’s, who took the stand first thing today. Jennifer Hudson is expected to be at every day of the trial, which is expected to last a month. Our thoughts are with the Hudson family.

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