Hudson Heartbreak

Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew's murder was allegedly triggered by the ex husband who believed a gift given to his estranged wife was from a new boyfriend.

Julia Hudson, Jennifer Hudson's sister, celebrated her birthday the night before the murders with a small party at home. The next morning Balfour, her estranged husband, showed up at the home and spotted what he believed to be a gift from another man.

That jealousy sparked a rage which allegedly led to Balfour waiting for Hudson to leave for work, then entering the home and shooting Darnell Donerson and Jason Hudson to death, then kidnapping 7-year-old stepson Julian King -- and later murdering him, as well.

Police say that physical evidence helps provide a strong circumstantial case. Cook County Assistant State's Attorney LuAnn Snow says gunpowder residue found in Balfour's car "is indicative that he fired a handgun. So yes, indeed, there is physical evidence."

Prosecutors say Balfour had threatened Julia several times before the murders, warning her he would hurt her family if she continued dating other men. Balfour's own girlfriend says he confessed the murders to her.

But that confession was not to police, and therefore doesn't really matter. "He's not confessed to these crimes," said police Superintendent Weis. "You never know how a jury is going to decide cases, so whenever you go to trial, it is somewhat a roll of the dice. But I am confident that the evidence has been collected, the testimony that's been secured is strong, and I think we can make a very viable case in court."

Jennifer Hudson canceled a video shoot for her new album this week that had been arranged prior to the murders.

December 15, 2008

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