Jury in Hudson family slayings case requests video
CHICAGO — Jurors deliberating in the case of the man charged with murdering Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew asked Friday to re-watch video footage shown during the trial.
They made the request in a note to the presiding judge on their third day of deliberations. They offered no explanation about why they wanted the evidence.
Judge Charles Burns sent a note back to jurors saying they would receive the videos — one of the post-arrest interrogation of Hudson’s former brother-in-law, William Balfour, and surveillance footage of Balfour’s car.
Balfour was estranged from Hudson’s sister, Julia Hudson, at the time of the Oct. 24, 2008, slayings and prosecutors say he killed the three family members because she refused to take him back. Defense attorneys argued that the evidence tying Balfour to the killings is circumstantial.
Friday’s note was the second from jurors. A note Wednesday requested transcripts and asked if Balfour had had a key to the Hudson home, where the actress and singer’s mother and brother were slain. Burns told jurors then they had all the evidence and to keep deliberating.
The jurors’ notes haven’t said whether they might be at an impasse. As they walked down a fifth-floor hall into a jury room to resume deliberations Friday, many of the jurors looked tired.
The jurors are being sequestered to ensure they don’t see news reports of the case, but officials won’t say where. The jurors have no access to TVs, radios, computers or cell phones.
One of the videos jurors asked to see shows Balfour’s interrogation the day of the killings. In it, he denies involvement in the slayings and offered an alibi, saying he took a subway and then a bus to see a girlfriend around the time of the killings. A detective later tells Balfour that police checked his transit card and found that it hadn’t been used that day.
The other video is from a surveillance camera at a high school showing Balfour’s green Chrysler. By referring to that video, jurors may won’t to check the timeline prosecutors laid out about Balfour’s movements that day.
Balfour pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder. He would face a mandatory life prison term if convicted.
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