Accused Hudson Family Killer's Defense: Prosecution Didn't Prove Case
In what the Associated Press reports the prosecution representing the people of Illinois and Jennifer Hudson's family called a "desperate" closing argument, William Balfour's defense claimed that circumstantial evidence couldn't prove that Balfour committed first-degree murder.
After this morning's closing arguments, the jury will now deliberate whether Balfour in October 2008 shot and killed the "American Idol" runner-up and "Dreamgirls" Oscar winner's mother Darnell Donerson, brother 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson and 7-year-old nephew Julian King. Balfour is accused of breaking into his estranged wife and Jennifer's sister Julia Hudson's home on Oct. 21; shooting Donerson, 57, and Jason, 29; then taking Julian with him and shooting him in Balfour's SUV, where Julian's body was found three days later.
Showing the jury photos of Balfour's alleged victims bodies juxtaposed next to stills of them while alive, prosecutor Jennifer Bagby claimed that Balfour "made them into these images." She described how Balfour had allegedly left Julian's body covered with a shower curtain.
Amy Thompson, Balfour's public defender, countered that the prosecution had proved nothing and told jurors she claimed to be "offended that they would ask you to throw your logic away.
Bagby countered by clarifying the definition of circumstantial evidence: any evidence short of an eyewitness. That would include, she argued, gunshot residue found on Balfour's green Chrysler's steering wheel and bullets from all three bodies matched forensically to the same gun.
"Make no mistake, there is physical evidence . . . linking him to the murders. You have overwhelming circumstantial evidence," Bagby said. "Contrary to what you may have heard on television . . . circumstantial evidence isn't lesser evidence."
In his closing words, lead prosecutor James McKay proclaimed that "calling the defendant a dog is an insult to dogs!
"I don't know what the acoustics are like in this courtroom," McKay said, reportedly pointing at Thompson. "But what in the world was she listening to here (during two weeks of testimony?"
In convicted on all three counts, Balfour faces a mandatory life prison sentence.