Oscar winner was on hand when the jury read verdict convicting Balfour on all counts on Friday afternoon.
By Gil Kaufman
After two-and-a-half days of deliberation, the jury in the murder trial of William Balfour returned a guilty verdict on all counts on Friday afternoon (May 11).
Balfour was on trial for the murders of Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson‘s mother, brother and nephew. The jury returned guilty verdicts on three counts of murder, as well as one count each of home invasion, residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, and aggravated kidnapping.
Because Illinois no longer has a death penalty, Balfour will spend the rest of his life in jail without the possibility of parole. According to the Chicago Tribune, an hour before reading the verdict, the jury sent a note to Judge Charles Burns informing him that they were split, but still working to reach a verdict. Around the same time, Burns received another note asking for all of the evidence about the cell-phone tower coverage in the area of the murder.
The judge sent back a transcript of the testimony of FBI Special Agent Nikki Skovran, who performed a forensic analysis on Balfour’s cell phone on the day of the murders that placed him near the Hudson home around the time the victims were killed. Earlier, the jury of six men and six women had requested copies of two videos in evidence: one from an area high school that showed the time Balfour’s car was parked on the street and another of the police interrogation of Balfour, in which he claimed he left it there around 8:30 a.m. on the morning of the murders.
During the trial, prosecutors had argued that the time stamp on the school surveillance video provided proof that Balfour, 31, was lying about his whereabouts that morning. Balfour is alleged to have shown up at the Hudson home on the morning of the killings appearing agitated, saying he’d been up all night drinking. He spotted balloons that Julia received from a new boyfriend for the holiday Sweetest Day, got angry and punched the balloons, according to police. When Julia left the house to go to work, Balfour remained behind outside.
The jury began their deliberation on Wednesday night and had been sequestered at a hotel for two nights.
As the verdict was read, Hudson, huddled close with her fiancRead also...