Witness: Defendant threatened Jennifer Hudson’s family multiple times
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN AND LAUREN FITZPATRICK Staff Reporters April 26, 2012 12:56PM
Robbin Myers, a witness called in the Balfour trial leaves the 26th and California courthouse after testifying on April 26, 2012. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: May 28, 2012 9:04AM
Two months before three relatives of Chicago superstar Jennifer Hudson were killed, the accused gunman went on a tirade about how he was going to kill Hudson’s sister, Julia, and the rest of her household, a family friend testified Thursday.
Robbin Myers testified that he had just met William Balfour for the first time at his own son’s birthday party when Balfour started ranting on the front porch. He was agitated, Myers said from the witness stand. Balfour called his wife “a fat bitch” and his brother-in-law “a fat ass.”
“I’m gonna kill all those m------------,” Balfour told his host.
Balfour also had a gun in the waistband of his shorts, Myers told jurors on the fourth day of Balfour’s murder trial at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.
And Myers recalled, Balfour was suspicious his wife was seeing someone else, saying, “ ‘If I find that she cheating on me, I’m f------ her and him up.’”
None of his in-laws liked him, Balfour told Myers; the Hudsons wanted him out of their Englewood home.
Myers was one a series of friends or acquaintances of Hudson family members or Balfour to take the stand Thursday, describing events prosecutors contend led up to the murders.
During the brief conversation on Myers’ porch on Aug. 23, 2008, Balfour threatened the family at least 10 times, even when his 7-year-old stepson Julian King popped out to join them, Myers said.
Balfour especially complained about his famous sister-in-law, Myers revealed as the “Dreamgirls” star sat in court.
“She doesn’t like him anyway,” Myers said, summing up Balfour’s opinion of Jennifer Hudson for jurors. “She doesn’t want him around, and she thinks she is better than everybody else.”
That same month, Debra Hampton, one of Balfour’s crack customers, testified that she saw him spying on Julia Hudson “and her new boyfriend” through the windows of her mother’s house.
Weeks later, Hampton, a hard-of-hearing mother of six, bumped into Balfour again and wondered where he had been.
“‘Jason, fat ass Jason, said I stole his gun, and if I stole his gun, I would have used it,’” she testified Balfour told her.
“But,” Hampton continued, “he said it in a joking way, so I didn’t think anything of it.”
Then days before the shootings, Hampton witnessed a fight between the estranged couple out on the front sidewalk in the 7000 block of South Yale.
“I’m going to f--- you and your family up,” she heard Balfour say, calling his wife names.
In September, Balfour had the black and silver gun that belonged to Jason Hudson, said Christopher Mitchell, a friend of Jason Hudson who was familiar with the weapon.
Wearing Cook County jail khakis, Mitchell — jailed on an unrelated aggravated assault charge — testified that he saw “Flex,” Balfour’s street name, take the .45-caliber gun out of his green Chrysler.
Jason Hudson’s “best friend” James Payton also identified the weapon he knew Jason Hudson sometimes carried.
Payton, who cried on the stand, was the second witness close to the Hudsons to admit Jason Hudson dealt drugs.
“While he was waiting for his disability checks, he’d sell a little bit of drugs,” said Payton, who once dated Jennifer Hudson.
Defense attorneys for Balfour, 30, have suggested that Jason Hudson’s drug dealings made him a target for murder.
Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother were found, fatally shot on Oct. 24, 2008. Her nephew, Julian, was found three days later, also shot in the head, on the West Side in his uncle’s white SUV.
Diana Grant, one of Balfour’s three girlfriends, testified that Balfour was with her the night before Darnell Donerson, 57, and Jason Hudson, 29, were killed.
Grant testified that she met Balfour after he married Julia Hudson, but she didn’t know he had a wife until months later, after she was deeply in love with him.
Balfour left Grant’s South Side apartment at 6 a.m. on Oct. 24, the young woman told the jury. Something unusual had happened that night, she said: “He didn’t want to have sex with me.”