Witness: Balfour Repeatedly Threatened Hudson Family

Robbin Myers' testified that murder suspect threatened family "at least 10 times" during a birthday party two months before the slayings

By Charlie Wojciechowski, Glenn Marshall and The Associated Press
|  Thursday, Apr 26, 2012  |  Updated 7:59 PM PDT
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The man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew repeatedly threatened to kill his estranged wife's family during a

The man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew repeatedly threatened to kill his estranged wife's family during a "rant" about how she was seeing someone else, a witness testified Thursday.

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The man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew repeatedly threatened to kill his estranged wife's family during a "rant" about how she was seeing someone else, a witness testified Thursday.

Robbin Myers' told the court that William Balfour attended a birthday party at his home in August 2008 and "went on a rant'" about how he suspected his wife, Julia Hudson, was seeing a co-worker. Myers' wife was friendly with Julia Hudson.

Balfour, 30, Jennifer Hudson's former brother-in-law and is accused of killing her mother, Darnell Donnerson; her brother, Jason Hudson, and her nephew, Julian King. He's pleaded not guilty.

Myers testified that during their conversation, Balfour threatened to kill the Hudson family "at least
10 times." He said Balfour raised his arms, exposing a handgun in his waistband.

Myers also testified he saw Balfour in a car outside the bus company where Julia Hudson and Myers' wife worked days before the slayings. He said Balfour got out of the car with a gun in his waistband and headed for the building, but stopped when Myers honked a car horn.

Thursday's proceedings also included testimony from Balfour's ex-girlfriend.

Diana Grant told jurors that Balfour slept at her apartment the night before Hudson's family members were killed. She said she thought it was odd that she and Balfour didn't have sex and that Balfour left her her apartment at about 6 a.m. the day of the slayings.

She said she didn't know until a couple of months into her relationship with Balfour that he and  Julia Hudson had been married. And though she knew Balfour was dating another woman, she continued to see him and buying him clothes.

Earlier, Chicago police officers took the witness stand to offer testimony on Balfour's arrest, surveillance videos and cellphone records.
 
Former Chicago police forensic investigator Leonard Stocker said Balfour was arrested wearing blue Avirex jeans, a blue T-shirt and blue Timbaland boots.

A family friend, 19-year-old Jarvis Williams, also took the stand, describing how he found Julia Hudson crying in the street.

"Go in the house. I think my momma is dead," he said Julia Hudson told him.

Williams described Jason Hudson as a man to whom he was "very close, like a father," and said he went into the house and found Donerson on the floor.

Prior to Thursday's testimony, the judge announced a juror wasn't present because of a "physical ailment." An alternate replaced the absent juror.

Balfour, 30, is Julia Hudson's estranged husband. He has pleaded not guilty to murdering Jennifer Hudson's nephew, Julian King; her mother, Darnell Donnerson; and her brother, Jason Hudson.

The trial on Wednesday focused on King's 2008 abduction and murder. The singer-actress and her sister left the courtroom before graphic testimony described the boy's murder.

Police said the boy was shot twice in the head inside a white SUV stolen from the Hudson family home in Englewood. Graphic photos showed bullet holes through the top of Julian's head and his white T-shirt drenched in blood.

Balfour appeared to tear up as the photographs were shown depicting how the little boy died.

The forensic pathologist who examined Julian's body described how the boy died. Mikitra Kaleka said he likely was killed the same day as Donnerson and Jason Hudson.

On Tuesday, the prosecution called officials to the stand who described how they found the bodies of Donerson and Jason Hudson. The actress and her sister left the courtroom when photographs were shown.

Jennifer Hudson, the prosecution's star witness, was the first person to take the stand as the trial started Monday.

It's not clear how much longer the prosecution's case could last. The judge has said the trial could last up to a month.

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