Public defender Amy Thompson told jurors during her opening statement that DNA found on the gun didn’t match Balfour, which “absolutely, positively” excludes him as the killer.
But prosecutors claim Balfour targeted the family in a horrific act of vindictiveness against his ex-wife. They believe he became enraged by balloons he saw at the home that he thought were from her new boyfriend.
Prosecutors contend Balfour went inside the three-story house around 9 a.m. and shot Hudson’s mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, in the living room, then shot her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed.
Investigators allege he then drove off in Jason Hudson’s sport utility vehicle with Julia Hudson’s 7-year-old son, Julian King, inside, and later shot the boy in the head as he lay behind a front seat.
Shortly after Thompson and prosecutors laid out their cases, Jennifer Hudson took the witness stand in sometimes tearful, gut-wrenching testimony. Hudson, who was in Florida at the time of the shootings, spoke of her family and her reaction to her sister, Julia Hudson, telling her in 2006 that she was marrying Balfour.
“None of us wanted her to marry him,” the 30-year-old said, her voice cracking as she struggled to hold back tears.
Later, Julia Hudson described how Balfour repeatedly threatened her and her family after she rejected his pleas in May 2008.
If convicted of at least two of the murder counts, Balfour would face a mandatory life sentence.