Gruesome pics make Hudson leave court

2012-04-26 08:34

Chicago - Jennifer Hudson spent much of the morning outside the courtroom on Wednesday as prosecutors projected photographs onto a large screen of the bloodied body of the youngest victim - the Hollywood star's 7-year-old nephew.

Wearing mostly black and with her long hair down over her shoulders, Hudson entered later after the photos were shown.

Prosecutors often give victims notice that they are about to enter disturbing evidence to give them a chance to leave.

The otherwise blank-faced defendant accused of killing Jennifer Hudson's family appeared to cry at his trial on Wednesday when prosecutors projected photographs onto a large screen of the bloodied body of the youngest victim - the Hollywood star's 7-year-old nephew.

It was the third day of testimony and the first time Hudson's former brother-in-law, William Balfour, showed any emotion. After his lawyer grabbed a box of tissues and handed it to him, Balfour hung his head and dabbed his eyes in full view of the jury.

Graphic photographs

One of the graphic photographs showed bullet holes through the top of Julian King's head. Another showed the boy, nicknamed Juice Box, laying on a medical examiner's table with his white T-shirt drenched in blood.

Balfour was estranged from his wife, Hudson's sister, at the time of the 2008 killings. Balfour, 30, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Hudson's mother, brother and nephew.

Prosecutors claim Balfour targeted the family in a horrific act of vindictiveness against his ex-wife, Julia Hudson, the mother of Julian. They believe he became enraged by balloons he saw at the home that he thought were from her new boyfriend.

Julia Hudson testified on Monday that Balfour was so prone to jealousy that, when he lived in the Hudson family home before moving out in early 2008, he even became angry when Julian kissed her.

"He'd say, 'Get off my wife,'" she said.

Circumstantial evidence

For their part, defence attorneys have said the killing could be connected to alleged drug dealing by Hudson's brother.

Balfour showed no emotion on Tuesday when prosecutors showed photos of the bodies of Hudson's mother and brother. Hudson also left the courtroom for that.

Prosecutors contend Balfour went inside the Hudson family house on Chicago's South Side around 09:00 on 24 October 2008, and shot Hudson's mother and brother.

Investigators allege he then drove off in Jason Hudson's sport utility vehicle with 7-year-old Julian inside, and later shot the boy in the head as he lay behind a front seat.

With no surviving witnesses to the murders, prosecutors must offer overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Balfour committed the grisly crime.