Pathologist details murder of Jennifer Hudson’s nephew
BY LAUREN FITZPATRICK AND RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporters April 25, 2012 12:42PM
The family of Jennifer Hudson as trial continues for William Balfour charged in the Hudson family murders at Cook county Criminal Courts, Wednesday, April 25, 2012 . | John H. White~Sun-Times.
Updated: May 28, 2012 8:48AM
Julian King’s life ended at 7 years. He was 4 1/2 feet tall and weighed 94 pounds.
He was the nephew of famed singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, who called him her “Tugga Bear.”
But in 2008, Julian became Cook County morgue case No. 414 October 2008.
The child died face down, of two bullets to the back of his head, a pathologist testified Wednesday. His short life likely ended in the same place police found him on Oct. 27, 2008: in his uncle’s stolen white SUV on the West Side, wrapped in a shower curtain, miles from Julian’s Englewood home.
He was wearing his nightclothes; near him lay his flip-flops.
His famous aunt and his mother, Julia Hudson, didn’t want to hear it Wednesday. The sisters, who’ve attended the trial of the man accused of killing Julian, their mother and their brother, sat out the questioning of the deputy medical examiner.
But once Dr. Mitra Kalelkar finished her testimony and showed autopsy photographs of the bullet wounds of the boy, the Oscar winner and her sister returned to the room in Criminal Courthouse where William Balfour faces murder charges.
Julia Hudson, who once was married to Balfour, wore a heart-shaped locket around her neck containing a photo of her only son.
Balfour, 30, denies he killed the Hudsons’ relatives. During some of the more graphic autopsy photos of the child’s head wounds, he turned his own face away.
Since the trial began Monday, Balfour’s attorneys have been trying to prove he was not present when Darnell Donerson, 57, Jason Hudson, 29, and Julian were fatally shot in October of 2008.
On Wednesday, Assistant Public Defender Scott Kozicki questioned Kalelkar’s estimated 36- to 72-hour window of when the child died, pushing the doctor toward the later time of death.
That’s because Balfour already was in police custody by 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 — the same day Donerson and Hudson were shot in their home in the 7000 block of South Yale. Julian still was missing at that point.
Balfour was arrested at his girlfriend’s West Side apartment, after police traced his cell phone records there.
The officer who took his cell phone from his right hand and the sergeant who confiscated three sets of keys from him told jurors Balfour tried to run from the apartment they raided.
On cross examination, Chicago Police Officer Charles Honore and then-Sgt. James Sanchez admitted they didn’t have an arrest warrant. But their task was urgent, said Sanchez, now a lieutenant: “To check for the child.”
The same cell phone records placed Balfour on the South Side near the Hudsons’ home in the days leading up to the murder. They showed multiple calls and texts between Balfour and Julia Hudson in the early morning hours of Oct. 24, 2008.
Then the phone fell silent between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. later that day, a Sprint analyst said, most likely shut off.
That’s the time frame in which prosecutors say Balfour shot the Hudsons’ mother and brother and took Jason Hudson’s vehicle. Jason Hudson’s keys were found in his pockets, they said.
Medical Examiner Nancy Jones showed jurors the gunshot wounds that killed Jason Hudson, one fired through his head, one bullet lodged in his brain. The wounds they left showed the 489-pound man was killed lying in bed. Donerson took a bullet to the back, another through the wrist and a third through the center of her chest that pierced her heart and lungs.
She was likely running away from her attacker, and had fallen to the ground when the third shot hit her, Jones said.