A Cook County judge today granted a media request to release an emotional 911 recording in which Jennifer Hudson's sister begged dispatchers for help after she found her mother shot dead inside the family's South Side home.
Julia Hudson had just returned from work on Oct. 24, 2008 and found a bullet hole in the front door and her mother on the floor, lifeless and bloody. She ran out of the house and called 911, not realizing her brother, Jason Hudson, also was dead inside the house or that her 7-year-old son, Julian, was missing.
"Somebody killed my mother," she cries into the phone. "Somebody killed my mother."
"Somebody killed your mother?" the dispatcher asks.
"Please help me," she responds. "Please sir."
The dispatcher asks Julia Hudson if she wants an ambulance and she initially is unsure.
"I don't know," she answers. "I am scared."
Prosecutors accuse Julia Hudson's then-estranged husband William Balfour of fatally shooting her mother, brother and son in an act of spite because Hudson would not reconcile with him and had begun dating someone else.
Her mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother were killed inside the home. Julian was taken from the house and driven to the West Side, where he was found dead three days later.
In the tape, Julia Hudson appears to realize that her mother may not be the only one in harm's away.
"Where's my brother?" she asks.
Then moments later, she tells someone nearby that she can't find her son.
"I don't know where Julian is," she cries.
Cook County prosecutors had objected to the tape's release because they feared it could prejudice the proceedings or a possible re-trial if the jury deadlocks on this case. Balfour's attorneys did not offer an opinion.
Cook County Judge Charles Burns ruled there "is a presumption of public access" in regards to the tape. He also said its release should not affect the jury because the panel repeatedly has been admonished to ignore media coverage on the case.
The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Associated Press had joined together to petition for the tape's release.
In Monday testimony at the trial, a Chicago police officer who was part of a search team looking for the murder weapon used to kill the three members of Hudson’s family in 2008 testified today that he found the gun in a vacant lot on the West Side.
Officer Terrence Fowler was among 75 recent Chicago Police Academy graduates recruited on Oct. 29, 2008, to scour the area between the apartment where William Balfour was arrested and the street where the body of Julian King was found about two miles away.
Fowler said he was only about a block into the search, which began at 13th Street and Kolin Avenue, walking shoulder-to-shoulder with other officers when he swept his metal baton through some high weeds and garbage and struck an object.
"I heard a clink," Fowler testified. "I used my baton to scatter some debris out of the way and that's when I observed a gun."
Prosecutors alleged the .45-caliber black and silver handgun had been stolen from Hudson's brother, Jason Hudson, just weeks before the killings.
In other testimony today, a series of detectives told the jury about finding Jason Hudson's white SUV containing Julian's body parked on Kolin Avenue, just about a block north of where the gun was found. In addition to the weapon, police found keys to the vehicle tossed in a nearby vacant lot.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times