Suspect Allegedly Threatened Hudson's Family

Prosecutors say William Balfour threatened his estranged wife and her family.

Dec. 3, 2008— -- The man accused of killing three of singer and actress Jennifer Hudson's family members was angry that the singer's sister, his estranged wife, was dating another man, prosecutors said Wednesday.

William Balfour confronted Julia Hudson on the morning of the murders and warned her about having a relationship with another man after he saw a present in her house that he thought was a gift from a boyfriend, prosecutors said.

Earlier that month, Balfour had allegedly threatened to harm Julia Hudson's family if she did not stop seeing another man.

Balfour, 27, was ordered held without bail Wednesday on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion. He and Julia Hudson, Jennifer Hudson's sister, separated in February 2008 but remained in touch.

Jennifer Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson, were found shot to death Oct. 24 inside the home they shared with Julia Hudson on Chicago's South Side. Julia Hudson's seven-year-old son, Julian King, was found dead, covered in a shower curtain, three days later in the back of Jason Hudson's SUV. Police believe Balfour took King from the Hudson home and shot him in the head.

Balfour's attorney, Joshua Kutnick, said Balfour denied the killings and called him a "victim of circumstance."

"William Balfour has not confessed, there's no eyewitness and no physical evidence," he said.

"We are very confident that once the evidence actually comes out he will be found not guilty."

But prosecutor LuAnn Snow said at a bail hearing Wednesday that Balfour admitted to a girlfriend that he had killed Donerson and Hudson. Prosecutors also claim gun shot residue was found on Balfour's steering wheel.

The gun used in the killings belonged to Jason Hudson; Balfour allegedly took the gun from Hudson over the summer, prosecutors said.

Balfour had stopped by the Hudson home on the morning of the murders and he and Julia Hudson allegedly left the house together. Hudson drove away as she saw Balfour walking toward his car. But Balfour's car broke down and two acquaintances gave him a ride to a gas station, Snow said.

He allegedly returned later that morning.

Prosecutors claim Balfour shot Donerson in the living room, then shot Jason Hudson twice in the head while he was still in bed.

Balfour then allegedly took King, his step-son, and shot him while he was lying behind the front seat of the SUV.

Snow said Balfour made statements to authorities that detectives have proven are not true. Though Balfour said he was at his house at 10 a.m. the morning of the killings, cell phone records show that he did not return there until just before 1 p.m., prosecutors said.

Balfour has been out on parole since May 2006 after serving seven years in Illinois state prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Balfour was arrested in June for possession of a controlled substance containing cocaine. Records show that the court dismissed the case in July for lack of probable cause.

A slight man with long hair often worn in braids, Balfour, whose street name is "Flex," grew up in Chicago, where he became a member of the violent Gangster Disciples gang, according to court documents.

Balfour described his childhood as "OK" in court documents. He lived with his mother, a UPS employee, older brother Raymond Jr. and a half sister, Sensuous Alexander. His father, Raymond, did not live with the family and served a 30-year sentence for murder in Illinois state prison.

According to court records, on Nov. 29, 1998, Balfour attempted to hijack a 1988 Chevrolet Suburban. The truck's owner, Charles Gardner, tried to stop him by jumping on top of the vehicle. Balfour gunned the truck, ramming it into a light post and fences to try to dislodge Gardner. He led police on a chase through several blocks before jumping out of the truck.

After a brief foot chase, police arrested Balfour and he was charged with attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Because he was 18, Balfour was eligible to be tried as an adult. He was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison in October 1999. He was paroled in May 2006.