Dispatches from the Hudson Family Killings trial

ShootingsJennifer HudsonHomicideHealthJulian KingWilliam BalfourDavid Otunga

RedEye is on the scene at the Cook County Courthouse, where the trial for William Balfour, who is accused of killing three members of actress and singer Jennifer Hudson's family in 2008, is taking place. Here are some dispathces from the trial so far, and will be updated as new information unfolds:

Day 4
10:44 a.m.: Day 4 of the William Balfour trial is beginning soon. Jennifer Hudson is in the courtroom wearing an oatmeal colored sweater and her hair loose with a braid.

11:05 a.m.: First witness of the day is a retired CPD forensic investigator. Photos are shown of William Balfour at the police department the night of Oct 24, the day of the killings.

11:41 a.m.: On the witness stand is Jarvis Williams, who said he was "very close" to Jason Hudson, Jennifer Hudson's brother. Jarvis Williams testifies Julia Hudson asked him to check to see if her mother was dead. Williams said he went into the Hudson home and confirmed she was dead.

12:03 p.m.: On the witness stand is James Payton, who said he is a longtime friend of the Hudson family. He testifies Jason Hudson sold dimebags of cocaine and identifies a gun as Jason Hudson's.

12:09 p.m.: James Payton cries as he's asked when the last time he saw Jason Hudson alive: Oct 23, the day before he was killed, in front of his home.

12:24 p.m.: James Payton said he used to date Jennifer Hudson. During his testimony, Julia Hudson holds a small bag of tissues.

12:37 p.m.: On the witness stand is Diana Grant. She testifies she met William Balfour in 2007. She said she gave him her number. She said Balfour was her boyfriend in 2008. She said she didnt initially know he was married, and found a few months later.

12:46 p.m.: Diana Grant testifies the night before the killings was unusual because Balfour "didnt want to have sex with me." She said he left in the morning of Oct 24 when it was dark out.

1:18 p.m.: On the witness stand is Robin Myers, who said his wife was friends with Julia Hudson. He said William Balfour told him at a birthday party he thought Julia was cheating on him and if that was the case Balfour was going to [bleep] Julia and the guy up.

2:35 p.m.: Court resumes with defense questioning Robin Myer, whose wife worked with Julia Hudson. He's testifying about his son's birthday party in August 2008. Myer said he spotted William Balfour with a gun at the party.

2:46 p.m.: Robin Myer testifies he didnt tell police or Julia Hudson that William Balfour had made threats against the Hudson family to him.

2:55 p.m.: On the witness stand is Debra Hampton, who said she bought crack cocaine from William Balfour. She said she went to the backyard of the Hudson home to buy crack and Balfour said, "I'm watching Julia and her new boyfriend."

3:43 p.m.: Court resumes after short break. Witness on the stand is Christopher Mitchell, who is wearing a Dept of Corrections uniform. He said he was lifelong friends with Jason Hudson. He knew William Balfour.

4:12 p.m.: On the witness stand is Lynette Williams, who said she spotted an SUV on her block Oct 25, the day after Hudson's mother and brother were killed.

4:18 p.m.: Williams said she called the police two days after seeing a white SUV on her block because she had seen a news report about the Hudson family killings and knew the police were looking for an SUV.

Day 3
April 25, 2012
10:56 a.m.: Court has started for the day. Jennifer and Julia Hudson not in the courtroom. Jennifer's fiance is in the room.

11:14 a.m.: The Medical Examiner who reviewed Julian King's body said she observed two gunshot wounds to the 7-year-old's head. A bloody picture of Julian is put up on the screen for jury and those in the courtroom.

11:23 a.m.: Medical Examiner who performed Julian King's autopsy said his "brain was very severely injured" by a bullet. Some Hudson family members crying, clutching tissue as photos of Julian's body shown.

11:43 a.m.: A Chicago Police sergeant takes the stand. Jennifer and Julia Hudson  enter courtroom for first time today. Jennifer is wearing a long sleeved gray shirt and high waisted black pants.

12:23 p.m.: Chicago Police testifying they used cell phone information from Sprint to try to locate William Balfour after the killings.

1:08 p.m.: Charles Honore of Chicago Police Department describes arresting William Balfour. Honore said he entered a house on the West Side and Balfour moved down a hallway carrying a cellphone.

Day 2
April 24, 2012
11:15 a.m.: Jennifer Hudson arrives in court for day 2 of Balfour trial, wearing black sweater and green skirt. Her fiance David Otunga accompanies her.

11:30 a.m.: Chicago Police sergeant first witness of the day. He said he saw a woman lying on her stomach w/gunshot wounds in her back at the Hudson home in Oct 2008.

11:35 a.m.: Police sergeant describes finding Jason Hudson covered in blankets and searching the Hudson home for 7-year-old Julian King.

12:02 p.m.: Chicago police officer said Julia Hudson received a phone call while they were talking outside the Hudson home. Officer said Hudson said William Balfour was on phone.

12:07 p.m.: Chicago police officer said she took missing person report on Julian King.

12:10 p.m.: Third witness of the day is Abdullah Smith, who said he was "associates" with William Balfour.

12:23 p.m.: Smith testifies Balfour told him he was having problems in his marriage to Julia Hudson.

12:38 p.m.: Smith testifies he saw Balfour the morning of the killings and Balfour asked him to "bust a move" but he couldnt. He said he called Balfour twice that evening and calls were unanswered.

12:54 p.m.: Smith testifies he never heard William Balfour make threats against Julia Hudson and her mother, son. He said Balfour said he would like to beat Jason Hudson up.

1:01 p.m.: Fourth witness of the day said he knew Balfour through Smith.

2:27 P.M.: Court is back in session affter lunch break. During break, Jennifer Hudson put her arm around her sister Julia, who is sitting next to her in the courtroom.

Some court equipment difficulties as the fifth witness today called to the stand.

2:49 p.m.: The fifth witness of the day describes buying $10 worth of cocaine from William Balfour the morning of the Hudson family killings.

3:06 p.m.: The sixth witness of the day is Lonnie Simpson, Jennifer Hudson's half brother. He testifies he was close to Jason Hudson, who sold drugs while living in Englewood. Simpson said he sold drugs with Jason Hudson. He said he got Jason Hudson a gun for his protection after Hudson was shot in the leg. Simpson said Jason Hudson didn't have enemies in the neighborhood. Simpson said he went into Hudson home after killings and valuables still there.

4:07 p.m.: Next witness is retired Chicago Police forensic investigator. Jennifer Hudson left courtroom during break and hasnt returned. Her fiance is still in the courtroom.

4:22 p.m.: Retired CPD forensic investigator reviews crime scene photos. Jennifer Hudson not in courtroom. Fiance taking notes.

4:32 p.m.: Retired forensic investigator reviews and details CPD photos of the bodies of Jennifer Hudson's mother, who was found in a white gown and white socks, and Jennifer Hudson's brother, shirtless and pantsless in bed. Neither Jennifer or Julia Hudson present in court. Investigator said he had not heard of Jennifer Hudson at the time of the killings.

5:44 p.m.: Final witness for the day: A Chicago Police sergeant. Jennifer and Julia Hudson return to the courtroom.

Day 1
April 23, 2012
11:13 a.m.: William Balfour has arrived in the courtroom. Jennifer Hudson's fiancee David Otunga is seated in the fourth row.

12:34 p.m.: Jennifer Hudson is first witness to take the stand.

12:45 p.m.: Jennifer Hudson said she told her sister not to marry William Balfour. She said she didnt know immediately when they had married.

12:48 p.m.: Jennifer Hudson chokes up as she describes relationship with her mother. They talked everyday by text, she said.

12:52 p.m.: Jennifer Hudson starts crying as she describes the last time she saw her whole family, at her house. "Thank god i had that opportunity."

1:13 p.m.: Jennifer Hudson off the witness stand, sits in courtroom with her fiancee.

2:31 p.m.: Court back in session. Julia Hudson, Jennifer's sister, called to the stand.

4:11 p.m.: Julia Hudson gets emotional describing finding her mother's body: There was blood. "I didnt touch her."

4:29 p.m.: The tape of Julia Hudson calling 911 after finding her mother is played. Julia cries on stand. Jennifer emotional in courtroom.

5:59 p.m.: Julia Hudson off witness stand, sits next to sister Jennifer in courtroom. One more witness for the night.

 

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ShootingsJennifer HudsonHomicideHealthJulian KingWilliam BalfourDavid Otunga
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