Julia Hudson claims her husband threatened to kill her between "24 and 26" times during the course of their marriage.
Earlier this morning, Jennifer Hudson testified that she had feared for her sister and warned her not to marry William Balfour, who now stands accused of killing Julia's 7-year-old son, Julian, as well as the Hudson sisters' mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother Jason Hudson.
Julia took the stand afterward and testified that Balfour said "all the time" that he would kill her if she ever left him. They were still married at the time of the killings and their divorce was finalized earlier this month.
She recalled to the court Balfour showing up at her house on May 6, 2008, telling her, "I can't do this without you. I can't eat. I can't sleep."
When she refused his pleas for reconciliation, Julia says that he told her, "If you leave, you will be the last to die."
Julia stated that she finally told Balfour that September—about a month before her mother and brother were gunned down in the family's Chicago-area home and Julian was found dead in Balfour's SUV three days later—that their relationship "wasn't going to work."
To which, according to Julia, Balfour replied, "Remember, if you leave me I will kill you."
About a week before the killings, Julia testified, she ran into Balfour while driving her school bus route, and he told her he had shown up at her work earlier in the day to kill her and had been "thinking about taking Julian," who was not his biological son.
Balfour then showed up at the house where she lived with her brother, mother and Julian on Oct. 24—the day of the killings—and saw balloons she had brought home after celebrating Sweetest Day, a Valentine's Day-like holiday celebrated in the Midwest.
"He punched them," Julia said, then asked if he could see her later. When she said no, he told her he had seen her mother that morning.
She spoke to Balfour for 18 minutes about a car loan issue later in the day, she says, and he again asked if he could see her. He texted her at 2:21 p.m., saying he was across town.
Julia testified that she returned home at 2:30 p.m. She went into the house and called her mother's name. Then, she told the court, she saw Donerson on the floor bleeding. Julia ran out of the house and called 911, telling the operator, "Someone killed my mom."