A jury today found William Balfour, 31, guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, and one count each of home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle in connection with what occurred on Oct. 24, 2008. That was the day that Balfour, estranged husband of Hudson’s sister Julia, allegedly shot and killed Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson; her 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson; and 7-year-old nephew Julian King. Prosecutors said Balfour committed the crimes after visiting the Hudson family home in the Englewood section of Chicago and finding a balloon bouquet given to his former wife by a new boyfriend; they argued that he killed the Hudson relatives in a jealous rage, reportedly shooting 7-year-old King after stealing Jason Hudson’s SUV with the young boy inside.
The AP reports that as the verdict was read in the Chicago courtroom, Hudson was “overcome with emotion” and that her eyes filled with tears.
The trial began a little more than two weeks ago with emotional testimony from the Oscar winner and singer, who recalled the horrible events of that October day and also said of Balfour and her sister, “None of us wanted her to marry him. We did not like how he treated her.”
Balfour maintained his innocence throughout the trial, with his attorneys arguing that the evidence in the case was circumstantial.
The New York Times reports that the jury, evenly split between men and women, deliberated over the course of three days and was reportedly split before reaching its verdict. Balfour now faces a life sentence in prison.