Hudson Trial Blog: 911 Tape played in court: 'Someone killed my mother!'

Jennifer Hudson testifies. (Illustration for the Tribune by Cheryl Cook)

Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson was the first witness as William Balfour went on trial today for the murders of singer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in the home where the Hollywood star grew up. Balfour is accused of  killing Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, in the living room, then shooting her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed. He drove off with Julia Hudson's son, Julian King, and later shot the boy nicknamed Juice Box in the head as he lay behind a front seat, authorities say.

Following are scenes from the trial.


911 tape played in Hudson trial: 'Someone killed my mother!'

7:27 p.m. CDT April 23, 2012

Prosecutors played the 911 tape today of Julia Hudson after she discovered her mother’s body. Julia’s muffled voice echoed through the courtroom as the two-minute call was played. At one point, she screamied, “Someone killed my mother!...There’s a bullet hole in the front door!”

Toward the end of the tape, Julia Hudson yelled, “My momma! My Momma!”  Dispatchers told her that ambulances were on their way, and she screamed, “Please!”

While the tape was played, Jennifer Hudson bowed her head, sniffling and holding a tissue to her face.

Julia Hudson completed two hours on the witness stand this evening. The trial resumes tomorrow.

Julia Hudson testified that at first her relationship with Balfour was “fine.” But things soured soon after she went to Japan with her celebrity sister to promote her movie, “Dreamgirls,” for which she would ultimately win an Oscar.

Hudson said that when she came back from the trip that Balfour was “jealous.”

“He didn’t like anybody to do anything with me…it was a problem,” Julia said. “It was like it was OK for him (to have relationships with other women), but it was not OK for me.”

“If I was a little too excited about gifts, he was jealous. Because I guess he didn’t buy it. I was showing gratitude toward somebody else,” she said.

By February 2008, she had had enough and the couple separated.

Julia Hudson testified she knew her brother had a .45-caliber pistol and sometimes “put it up for him,” stashing it in his bedroom closet or under the bed, “anywhere he could get to it.” He kept bullets in the TV stand, she said.

On cross –examination, public defender Amy Thompson asked repeatedly why Julia Hudson never called police or filed for an order of protection despite months of what she claimed were repeated threats by Balfour to kill her family and her.

“This is a threat against your entire family, right Miss Hudson?” Thompson asked. Julia Hudson answered softly, “Yes.”

Thompson also pointed out through her questioning that Julia Hudson continued to have a sexual relationship with Balfour even after the alleged threats, meeting him at least twice at motels in the days before the murders.

Prosecutors later asked Julia Hudson why she hadn’t called police on Balfour after the numerous alleged threats.