Deliberations continue in Hudson family slay trial

May 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM
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CHICAGO, May 10 (UPI) -- A jury began its second day of deliberations in the Chicago trial of the man accused of killing three members of singer-actress Jennifer Hudson's family.

The Chicago Tribune said Hudson wept Wednesday as she sat with her fiance David Otunga and her sister Julia in the courtroom and listened to prosecutors and defense attorneys give their closing arguments in the case against William Balfour, Julia's ex-husband.

The racially diverse jury of six women and six men began deliberating late Wednesday afternoon, wrapped up in the evening and were sequestered in a hotel overnight. They resumed deliberations Thursday morning, the Tribune said.

Balfour, 30, is charged with the shooting deaths of the Hudson sisters' mother and brother and Julia's 7-year-old son in October 2008.

Prosecutors argued Balfour killed the family because Julia left him and was seeing another man. They said in their closing arguments witnesses, Balfour's statements to police and overwhelming circumstantial evidence, including cellphone records, "point to one place and one place only."

However, Balfour's defense attorneys said in their closing arguments authorities didn't consider any other suspects than Balfour and lacked evidence to prove he committed the crimes.

Balfour's legal team also called into question Balfour's possible motive, saying Julia continued to have sex with Balfour after she alleged he threatened to kill her family, so she must not have taken his alleged threats too seriously.

The defendant's lawyers said victim Jason Hudson, the brother of Jennifer and Julia, was a drug dealer with enemies who could have killed him, his mom and his nephew.

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