UPDATE: 4:40pm EST
Jurors in the trial of William Balfour have reached a verdict, court officials say. It will be announced at 4:30 p.m.
The verdict comes a little more than a hour after the jury had sent out a note telling the judge they are split but still trying to reach a verdict after more than 17 hours of deliberations.
Jurors in the trial of William Balfour, 31, the man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson’s family, are deadlocked as they have sent out a note telling the judge they are split but still trying to reach a verdict after more than 17 hours of deliberations.
Today, shortly after 2 p.m., the panel sent a note to Judge Charles Burns asking how they should proceed as they weigh the fate of Balfour in the murders of Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the note apparently gave a breakdown of votes, and it was discussed behind closed doors by the judge and attorneys for both sides.
A second note, issued at the same time, asked for all available evidence about the “cell phone tower coverage.” The note concluded by saying “we are trying,” an apparent reference to their continued talks.
The judge agreed to send back a transcript of the testimony of FBI Special Agent Nikki Skovran, who performed a forensic analysis of Balfour’s cell phone from the day of the murders that placed him near the Hudson home around the time the victims were shot.
“With regard to the first question, please continue to deliberate,” Burns wrote.
The notes were sent out hours after jurors requested two videos: One from a high school showing the time Balfour's car was left parked on the street, and the other a video showing the police interrogation of Balfour claiming he left it there about 8:30 a.m. on the day of the murders.
Prosecutors contend that Balfour had the motive to kill Hudson’s brother, mother and nephew, as he was upset that his estranged wife, Hudson's sister, Julia, wanted a divorce and was seeing another man.
All the evidence presented by prosecutors indicated that Balfour was near the Hudson family home in Englewood on the October 2008 morning that Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, 57; brother Jason Hudson, 29; and 7-year-old nephew Julian King were fatally shot.
Julian’s body was found three days later in an SUV stolen from the Hudson home. Balfour did not take the stand during the trial as his lawyers only put two witnesses to testify while the state presented 83 witnesses over 11 days of testimony.