CORDERO SLASH | STAFF WRITER
Jennifer Hudson has recently found herself back in the spotlight for a widely different reason than her music, award winning film performance, or those heartfelt Weight Watchers commercials many are used to seeing her appear in; this time she is standing trial against William Balfour the man, and her brother in law, who murdered three of her family members in 2008 including her mother-57, brother-29, and nephew-7. Hudson testified for nearly an hour in court on the first day of the trial as the primary witness in the case against Balfour, portraying him as a supremely jealous man who made threats against members in the Hudson family on numerous occasions. Hudson even noted that Balfour would show anger when Julia Balfour, his wife and the subject of his jealousy, would allow her own son to kiss her saying things like “don’t kiss my wife” to him.
During the recount of the events that happened the day of the triple homicide, when testifying, as well as when the prosecutors played the 911 tape made by Hudson’s sister, Jennifer was overcome with emotion and wept quietly in the courtroom. She later stated that “None of us wanted her to marry him” in regards to her sister’s engagement to Balfour and that the family “didn’t like the way he treated her”. When Hudson was asked on the stand whether she liked Balfour personally she made it plain that she never had “not even in grammar school”. During this part of her testimony was the only time that Balfour dared a glance at Hudson, he otherwise showed little emotion and simply stared at the jury during the whole process. Though these statements from the star witness may be condemning in themselves, a quote that Julia Hudson, Jennifer’s sister, which was recounted the next day of the trial is much more so. She told the prosecution that Balfour stated to her “if you leave me, you will be the last to die; I’m going to kill your family first”.
This statement paints the picture of an inherently violent man whose sole purpose was to selfishly keep Hudson’s sister as his wife through any means necessary. It also paints the picture of a man who is not at all stable or fit to be the husband of any self respecting woman. To add to this Balfour was a drug dealer at the time of the murder that was seen as a narcissist by many around him, and the defense did not dispute these claims. Balfour’s defense did do everything in their power to show that he was not a murderer and attempted to place blame on Hudson’s brother Jason for being the real reason the family was murdered in the first place. This was because of his own role as a drug dealer during the time of his death. Balfour’s public defender, Amy Thompson, continuously described Jason in a negative light during the first and second day of the trial noting that he was not only a drug dealer but that the family was killed with a gun that was connected to him. Thompson also points out that Balfour’s DNA could not be linked to Jason Hudson’s stolen SUV which held the body of Julian King, Hudson’s nephew. Though these may seem like weak arguments to those who knew that Balfour had the potential to be a killer, only time will tell whether Balfour will be convicted of the murders of three members of the Hudson family and whether justice will finally be upheld in the courtroom.