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Jennifer Hudson

Half-Brother Jailed in Stabbing

8/19/2014 5:58 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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It's so eerie ... Jennifer Hudson's half-brother is in jail ... for allegedly repeatedly stabbing a man in the face ... a man who was involved in a relationship with his estranged wife.

The incident mirrors another tragedy in the Hudson family.  William Balfour -- the ex-boyfriend of Jennifer's sister Julia -- murdered her mom, brother and nephew in a jealous rage triggered by what he thought was a gift to Julia from her new boyfriend.

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Steven Simpson is now in custody in Paw Paw, Michigan, and he's expected to be charged with home invasion and attempted murder.

Jennifer Hudson Murder Trial

William Balfour Gets

3 LIFE SENTENCES

7/24/2012 11:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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William Balfour
has been sentenced to serve THREE CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES in prison for murdering three members of Jennifer Hudson's family.

Balfour was convicted May 11th of 1st degree murder in the deaths of Jennifer's mom Darnell Donerson, her brother Jason Hudson, and nephew Julian King. He was also convicted of home invasion and residential burglary.

Balfour was in a Chicago courtroom for his sentencing, and proclaimed his innocence right up to the end. Jennifer Hudson was also present.

During the sentencing hearing, the judge looked Balfour in the eyes and said, "Your soul is as barren as dark space."

31-year-old Balfour stands convicted of the triple murder after allegedly flying into a blind and jealous rage in 2008 -- when he believed his ex-girlfriend (Jennifer's sister) had received a gift from her new boyfriend.

Jennifer Hudson

Arrives at Court for Family

Murderer's Sentencing

7/24/2012 8:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0724_tmz_jennifer_hudsonJennifer Hudson just arrived at a Chicago courthouse, where she's HOPING to see a judge sentence William Balfour to life in prison for murdering her family.

31-year-old Balfour was convicted May 11th of 1st degree murder in the deaths of Jennifer's mom Darnell Donerson, her brother Jason Hudson, and nephew Julian King. He was also convicted of home invasion and residential burglary.

Balfour committed the triple murder in 2008 -- after flying into a jealous rage because his ex-girlfriend (Jennifer's sister) had received a gift from her new boyfriend.

Balfour requested a new trial today, but the judge turned him down. He faces a life sentence.

Jennifer Hudson

Murder Jury Finds Her

... Incredibly Famous!

5/16/2012 4:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Jennifer Hudson batted 1.000 with the jurors on the William Balfour murder case ... because every single one of them admitted they knew who she was BEFORE the trial began.

TMZ obtained the juror questionnaires -- filled out by all of the prospective jurors before they were empanelled on the jury to determine the fate of the man accused of murdering Hudson's family.

Of the final 12 -- 5 of the jurors admitted they had seen Hudson in "Dreamgirls" ... and 6 said they recognized Jennifer from her days on "American Idol."

The lone juror who didn't see Jen's Oscar winning performance or "Idol" said he knew Hudson from television ... but didn't specify which show he recognized her from. 

One legal expert tells us ... Hudson's level of celebrity probably didn't hurt the case against Balfour ... because jurors tend to identify with famous people.

It also didn't hurt that Balfour couldn't have been more guilty.

As we previously reported, he was convicted for murdering Jennifer's mother, brother and nephew and is due to be sentenced very soon.

Jennifer Hudson Murder Trial

William Balfour GUILTY

5/11/2012 2:42 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

William Balfour found guiltyWilliam Balfour has been found GUILTY of murdering three members of Jennifer Hudson's family.

The verdict was handed down moments ago after three days of deliberations.

Balfour was convicted of 1st degree murder in the deaths of Jennifer's mom Darnell Donerson, her brother Jason Hudson, and nephew Julian King. Balfour was also convicted of home invasion and residential burglary.

Jennifer Hudson was present in court when the verdict was read.

31-year-old Balfour stands convicted of the triple murder after allegedly flying into a blind and jealous rage in 2008 -- over a balloon gift for Julia Hudson, Balfour's ex and Jennifer's sister.

Prosecutors say Balfour thought the gift was from Julia's new boyfriend and he snapped.

He faces life in prison.

Jennifer Hudson

Jury Divided

In Family Murder Trial

5/11/2012 1:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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1:40 PM PT -- Imagine that ... just minutes after claiming they were "split," the jury HAS REACHED A VERDICT -- scheduled to be announced in 45 minutes.

2:20 PM PT -- Jennifer Hudson just arrived at court.

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The jury in the trial of William Balfour -- the man accused of murdering Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew back in 2008 -- just told the judge they're "split" ... unable to reach a verdict after days of deliberations.

A verdict was originally expected on Wednesday -- when the jury first retreated for deliberations -- but it's been two full days ... and still, they're stuck.

But the judge won't accept a hung jury ... yet ... and has ordered them to keep working toward a verdict.

31-year-old Balfour stands accused of the triple murder after allegedly flying into a blind and jealous rage over a balloon gift for Julia Hudson, Balfour's ex and Jennifer's sister.

Prosecutors say Balfour thought the gift was from Julia's new boyfriend and he snapped. Balfour has pled not guilty to the murders.  

Jennifer Hudson

Verdict Expected TODAY

In Family Murder Trial

5/9/2012 10:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0509_william_balfour_gettyA verdict is expected today in the trial of William Balfour -- the man accused of murdering Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew back in 2008.

The trial began April 23rd. A verdict is expected before the end of the day.

27-year-old Balfour stands accused of the triple murder after allegedly flying into a blind and jealous rage over a balloon gift for Julia Hudson, Balfour's ex and Jennifer's sister.

Prosecutors say Balfour thought the gift was from Julia's new boyfriend and he snapped.

Balfour has pled not guilty to the murders.

Jennifer Hudson's Sister

Frantic 911 Call

Somebody Killed My Mother!

4/30/2012 10:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news


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Jennifer Hudson's sister made a frantic call to 911, after discovering her mother's body laying on the floor of their home.

Julia Hudson made the gruesome discovery when she came home from work and noticed a bullet hole in the door.  She saw her mom on the floor and ran outside to call 911, not realizing her brother Jason was also dead inside.

Julia also didn't immediately realize her 7-year-old son Julian was missing.  His body was found days later in a parked SUV.

The 911 tape was introduced as evidence in the trial of William Balfour, who stands accused of the triple murder.

Jennifer Hudson

I Don't Want to See Crime Pics

of My Murdered Nephew

4/25/2012 10:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Jennifer Hudson excused herself from the courtroom in the murder trial of the man accused of gunning down her family ... deciding she did not want to see the grisly crime scene photos of her slain 7-year-old nephew. 

Prosecutors displayed multiple photos of the blood-soaked body of Julian King ... who was shot twice in the head in 2008.

The man accused of the crime -- William Balfour -- remained inside the Chicago courtroom and reportedly appeared to cry when the photos were displayed.

Hudson's fiance, David Otunga, also remained inside the courtroom ... and took extensive notes about the crime scene.

Prosecutors believe Balfour murdered King -- along with Hudson's mother and brother -- in a horrific killing spree in October 2008. Balfour has plead not guilty to the murders.

Jennifer Hudson

Breaks Down On Stand

In Murder Trial

4/23/2012 11:19 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Jennifer Hudson dissolved into tears as she testified at the trial of William Balfour -- the man accused of murdering her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.

Hudson broke down when the prosecutor asked her about the last time she saw her family.  She said her last visit was just days before the slaughter.

Hudson broke down again when the prosecutor handed her a photo of her mom.

Most relevant to the case ... Hudson told jurors no one in her family wanted her sister to date William Balfour, the man accused of the triple murder.  She said she always tried to keep her distance from Balfour.

Hudson says she never , EVER liked Balfour ... saying, "not even in grammar school."

Jennifer told the court she tried to keep her distance from William whenever she thought he would be around ... saying, "Where he was, I tried not to be. So if I saw him, I separated myself." 

Jennifer Hudson

Murder Trial Starts Today

Jennifer Front & Center [UPDATE]

4/23/2012 10:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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10:45 AM PDT -- Jennifer has taken the stand and will testify in the case.

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The man accused of murdering Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew goes on trial today, and Jennifer just showed up.

William Balfour stands accused of the slaughter, and prosecutors believe the trigger for the carnage was a balloon gift for Julia Hudson, Balfour's ex and Jennifer's sister.  Prosecutors say Balfour thought the gift was from Julia's new boyfriend and it sent him into a blind rage.

Opening statements are set for today. Hudson is on the witness list but it's unclear if she'll testify.

Jennifer Hudson

Emerges, Smiles

1/21/2009 4:38 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Jennifer Hudson hasn't been seen out in public since her horrible family tragedy last October, but the singer/actress reappeared in Florida a few days ago looking in better spirits.


We're told she was out with her fiancé, looking for a new bed.

Balfour

Pleads Not Guilty

in Hudson Killings

1/20/2009 4:10 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

William Balfour has just pleaded not guilty to the October killings of Jennifer Hudson's mom, brother, and nephew.

Balfour was indicted last month on three counts of first-degree murder for the Hudson deaths. Investigators say Balfour shot Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson, and Julian King after a spat with Jennifer's sister Julia, his estranged wife.

Balfour is currently in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections. His next court date is January 27.

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