William Balfour trial set for April

    It’s been more than three years since the tragic murders of singer Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew. Now, the man accused of the crime has finally been given a trial date.

    On Thursday, Cook County judge Charles Burns rejected the defense’s requests for another postponement, and announced that opening statements for the trial of William Balfour will take place April 23. The judge originally wanted the trial to start last year, but pushed the date back to give the defense more time to prepare.

    William, Jennifer’s former brother-in-law, is facing first-degree murder charges for the October 2008 killings of J.Hud’s mother, Darnell Donnerson; brother, Jason Hudson; and 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.

    Jason and Darnell were found shot to death inside of their Chicago home; Julian was found in a car days later, also dead from gunshot wounds. The suspect is also facing charges for home invasion and aggravated kidnapping, the Chicago Tribune reports.

    Prosecution lawyers allege that William’s jealousy over his ex, Jennifer’s sister Julia, dating another man was a probable motive behind the slayings.

    The Grammy-winning singer kept a low profile following the murders and only began speaking out publicly about the tragedy last year, starting with her interview with Oprah Winfrey in February. The singer still chokes up when she speaks about the incident and the charity she and her sister founded in memory of young Julian.

    Along with her music, Jennifer’s drastic weight loss and role as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers has helped propel her back into the spotlight. Her recently released memoir, "I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down,” chronicles her weight loss journey and stunning transformation.

    —Hortense Barber


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