CHICAGO — A judge on Thursday ordered a man charged in the 2008 Chicago slayings of Jennifer Hudson's mother and two other family members to stand trial in April, despite the objections of his attorney, who said she was not ready.
After listening to William Balfour's attorney say she's still building her case, a clearly exasperated Cook County Judge William Charles Burns said it didn't appear she was making any progress and set a date.
Burns, who suggested he wanted to start the trial next month, instead ordered jury selection to start April 9 and testimony to begin April 23. He said he expected the trial to last about three or four weeks.
Amy Thompson, a deputy public defender, said despite working 12 to 14 hours a day on the case, she could not answer that she was ready for trial, as prosecutors had done.
"We're not prepared for trial at this time," she said.
Balfour, 30, is the estranged husband of Hudson's sister, Julia Hudson. He is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2008 slayings of the Hudson sisters' mother, Darnell Donerson, their brother, Jason Hudson, and Julia Hudson's 7-year-old son, Julian King.
Prosecutors allege that Balfour, using a gun he stole from Jason Hudson, shot the three in a jealous rage because he was angry that Julia Hudson had been dating another man. He is accused of shooting Donerson and Jason Hudson in their South Side home, and then grabbing the boy and shooting him inside Jason Hudson's SUV. The boy's body was found three days later in the vehicle on the city's West Side.
In 2008, Balfour's attorney at the time said that there was no fingerprint, blood or other forensic evidence linking Balfour to the slayings. But prosecutors have said there is evidence linking Balfour to the slayings of the Oscar winner's family members, including gunshot residue on the steering wheel of his car. They also have said detectives have disproven some statements Balfour made to them.
Thompson left quickly after Thursday's hearing and did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
At Thursday's hearing, Assistant State's Attorney James McKay objected to a defense motion to turn over Jennifer Hudson's home address and telephone numbers to Balfour's attorneys out of concern for her privacy. He did agree to make Hudson available to defense attorneys to be interviewed.