UPDATE: Jennifer Hudson and her sister Julia released the following statement this evening:
We have many people to thank but our first thank you is to God, always. We are so grateful to prosecutors James McKay, Jennifer Bagby and Veryl Gambino and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and her team for their dedication and tireless work from the beginning.
We have the best police department and they have been with us every step of the way. We thank all of the State’s witnesses who came forward on our behalf.
We have felt the love and support from people all over the world and we’re very grateful. We want to extend a prayer from the Hudson family to the Balfour family.
We have all suffered terrible loss in this tragedy. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them (2 Corinthian 4:3-4). It is our prayer that the Lord will forgive Mr. Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance someday.
William Balfour, 31, the man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson’s family, was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder by a jury today.
First-degree murder of Darnell Donerson: GUILTY
First-degree murder of Jason Hudson: GUILTY
First-degree murder of Julian King: GUILTY
Aggravated Kidnapping: GUILTY
Residential Burglary: GUILTY
Possession of a Stolen Vehicle: GUILTY
Hudson bowed her head as jurors entered the courtroom around 4:40 p.m. She leaned forward as the verdict was read and relatives squeezed her shoulders. She softly cried as her fiancé comforted her. Balfour’s verdict carries a mandatory life sentence in prison. Post trial motions set for June 8.
Prosecutors proved 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 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.