Hudson's Estranged Brother-in-Law Denied Bail; Prosecution Offers Motive

    William Balfour Chicago Police Department

    A Chicago judge today denied bail to William Balfour, Jennifer Hudson's estranged brother-in-law, whom cops arrested and charged this week with the tragic triple murders of the Oscar winner's family.

    And while many theories have been floated since the Oct. 24 shootings, a Cook County prosecutor also offered the first official motive for the alleged crimes: Balfour, the prosecution claims, committed the acts out of anger after learning that his estranged wife—Hudson's sister, Julia—was dating another man.

    Yesterday, the 27-year-old was formally charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion and was denied bail today despite his attorney's protests that the case against him was largely circumstantial.

    Defense attorney Joshua Kutnick argued to Judge Raymond Myles during this afternoon's hearing that there was neither solid evidence nor eyewitnesses connecting Balfour to the murders of 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, 29-year-old Jason Hudson and 7-year-old Julian King.

    The prosecution, for its part, more or less outlined its forthcoming case during the hearing, including disclosing for the first time that gunshot residue was found on the steering wheel of Balfour's car.

    Prosecutors also noted that Balfour had contradicted himself numerous times during his grilling by Chicago police, noting that while Balfour initially told investigators he was home at the time of the shootings, his cell phone records indicated that he was actually near the Hudson residence. The city's surveillance cameras also failed to show him at a train station where he had claimed to be earlier in the day.

    According to the prosecution, the gun used in the shootings belonged to Hudson's late brother, Jason, but was stolen from his bedroom over the summer. Balfour's girlfriend—while he apparently took umbrage with his estranged wife reconnecting, he seemed to have no problem doing so himself—told police shortly after the shootings that she had seen Balfour with a similar weapon.

    It was also asserted during the hearing that in early October, just weeks before the shootings, Balfour had threatened his estranged wife's family with physical harm should she continue to see the other man.

    The prosecution also claimed that Balfour, who was spotted with Julia at the Hudson home the morning of the shootings, had gone to the residence that day to issue yet another warning. The duo was seen leaving the Southside home together but in separate cars. Balfour was believed to have returned to the home on his own later in the day.

    Kutnick, for his part, continued to maintain his client's innocence. The Hudson family has yet to comment on the proceedings.