Jennifer Hudson’s tears were plenty as she sat in court today in a simple black dress and her hair swept into a bun, as the first to be called to the stand to testify against William Balfour–the man accused of killing her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew–after prosecutors and attorneys for William Balfour finished their opening statements.
Hudson’s testimony was brief, but touching. She tearfully touched on she and her family never wanting her sister, Julia to marry Balfour. “None of us wanted her to marry him,” she said, her voice cracking and struggling to hold back tears. “We did not like how he treated her,” she said. J. Hud also talked about the last time she saw her family intact the Sunday before they were killed.
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A prosecutor kept asking more difficult questions and J. Hud’s testimony became increasingly emotional. Early on during Hudson’s testimony, a prosecutor asked her to identify the defendant. Hudson poked her head around the judge’s bench and pointed at Balfour. “He’s sitting right there,” she said.
Balfour hasn’t even plead guilty to the murders and sat almost stone-faced during her testimony. After about a half hour on the stand, J. Hud continued to weep, tissues in hand.
The saddest part of this entire case is the evidence stacked up against Balfour, who continue to claim innocence. Check out the prosecutors’ and defense attorney’s arguments below.
- Lead prosecutor James McKay has said that the day before the attack, which was Julia Hudson’s birthday, he told her, “If you ever leave me, I’m going to kill you, but I’m going to kill your family first.” Julia never took his words seriously because evidently he’s made similar threats before. If only she’d believed him.
- Prosecutors say Balfour became enraged by balloons he saw at the home that he thought were from Julia Hudson’s new boyfriend. She told investigators that on the day of the killings, she saw Balfour linger behind as she was driving off from home to her job as a school bus driver.
- Defense Attorney Amy Thompson offered jurors another take on the killings, telling jurors police pinned them on Balfour because they felt pressured to make an arrest. A gun was recovered in a lot near the SUV that was used to drive J. Hud’s nephew away from the house after her mother and brother were killed–and the gun will be presented as the murder weapon. During Thompson’s opening statement, she claimed the DNA found on the gun and fingerprints found in the SUV didn’t match Balfour’s.
- In their opening statement, the defense described Hudson’s brother Jason as a drug dealer “who brought” danger to himself and his family. They indicated he had been shot at least two times in the past. The defense is trying to bring up Jason Hudson’s sordid past to take the blame off of Balfour–who’s said out of his own lips that he’d kill the Hudson family is Julia left him. A threat should be just as much evidence as a drug dealer’s past.
We will keep you posted on the latest developments of this trial, which could last up to a month.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"