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    Jennifer Hudson's Brother-in-Law Formally Charged With Family Slayings

    William Balfour, Jennifer Hudson HO/AFP/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/Getty Images

    It's been more than a month since the shooting deaths of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, but the case is picking up steam.

    A day after his arrest, Hudson's estranged brother-in-law, William Balfour, was formally charged Tuesday morning with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

    At a news conference this afternoon, Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said that, while Balfour has not confessed to the killings, he is "confident in the evidence."

    Without going into further detail, Weis also praised the local community for the way people "stepped up to the plate and helped police solve this case."

    The 27-year-old Balfour, who has been the sole focus of the Chicago Police Department's investigation from day one, is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing Wednesday afternoon.

    Until then, Balfour's attorney, Joshua Kutnick, is wasting no time in defending his client, telling E! News that while Balfour may be a convenient suspect, he's not a guilty one.

    "They were under pressure because William is scheduled for a parole hearing tomorrow and, if successful, he would have been released," Kutnick said.

    "The police have built this case on what some people may say...I strongly contend that these witnesses that are giving information to the police are not to be believed. They are self-serving statements."

    Among those statements, presumably, are some given by Balfour's girlfriend, who not only told police he owned a weapon resembling the .45-caliber gun tied to the shootings but that he even confessed to her he had committed the murders.

    Balfour has been held in custody since Oct. 26, two days after the tragic murders.

    The bodies of Darnell Donerson, the Oscar winner's 57-year-old mother, and Jason Hudson, Jennifer's 29-year-old brother, were found in their South Side Chicago home Oct. 24. Her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, was discovered two days later in an abandoned SUV.

    Balfour has publicly maintained his innocence since being detained, and Kutnick told E! News that police have been remiss in exploring other possible suspects, of which he claims there are plenty.

    "It was no secret that he was connected to the family, so who are they going to look at—of course," he said of Balfour. "The brother was involved in his own nefarious activities that may or may not have caused him to draw not good attention on himself.

    "There are several avenues out there of people committing this crime besides William."

    Also coming to Balfour's defense is his mother, Michele.

    "They have a botched-up investigation, and they're trying to pin it on him," she told the Chicago Tribune.

    Deputy Superintendent Steve Peterson told reporters that there is physical evidence, but stopped short of saying that it implicated the accused.

    Hudson's family has yet to comment on Balfour's arrest and charging.

    —Additional reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum

    (Originally published Dec. 2, 2008, at 12:39 p.m. PT.)

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